The Push Web ..


I am still (technically) on holiday in India – and when in India, it is always a pleasure to meet Rajesh Jain. Rajesh Jain is a good friend and one of India’s foremost entrepreneurs in the Internet / mobile sector besides being a leading advocate for futuretext books.

Rajesh’s claim to fame is he sold his company Indiaworld for $115 million US dollars in 2002 – which is one of India’s largest exit in the Web sector – and his current company mytoday reportedly carries 1 percent of all India’s SMS traffic. Rajesh blogs at emergic

When I was thinking of the service from MyToday ,I was thinking of the following model. It is not revolutionary, but interesting – and the use case I was thinking of is: for an RSS service. I call it the Push Web

As with many things, the idea is simple but the consistent implementation of it is not.

Qs is: Is there a situation when people will pay for mobile content when the same content is available online? Specifically, is there a premium for push content?

The web is ‘Pull’ oriented. Can the Mobile Web be primarily ‘Push’ oriented? And if so, will it carry a premium from the user point of view i.e. will I pay more to get a consistent, push subscribed message which then hops off to a mobile web page.

Like I said, the insight is not exactly earth shattering! But it is significant none the less to ask if the experience of the Mobile Web would be primarily triggered by a Push message?

Everyone has their own ‘poison’ ;)

Some have cricket scores, some girls, some stock quotes, some breaking news etc etc etc .. i.e. everyone has something they want to track daily and with minimum fuss.

For instance, I subscribe to many RSS feeds. I would like to get them on my device since the problem I have(like many others I guess) is they pile up with a large backlog and in the end I often go to Google reader and said ‘Read all’ to all of them (this may be a familiar scenario to many!).

So, the system would configure RSS feeds or better still integrate with Google reader. You would get an SMS update (frequency to be configured by you) and the message would lead to a mobile site which would have a synopsis and then lead off to the whole blog.

Like I said – not rocket science.

I am thinking of developing this idea for futuretext i.e. as a micro publishing model. I welcome any development proposals for this concept


  1. RSS is technically a pull model, not a push model. The feed data resides on the server and is pulled by the RSS reader.
    There are quite a bunch of mobile RSS readers, so you might get the benefits rather sooner than later.

  2. Dana Kirk says:

    Agreed…technically, RSS is a “pull” model. You still have to go fetch the content with some kind of reader. If, however, you can set your mobile reader to fetch the content at a pre-determined time (say 3am when you’re sleeping) then at least it simulates a push model.
    Add to that the ability to select the frequency of updates, then who cares if it’s push or pull. The content is there when you want it regardless of how it got there.
    There are already services out there that do this, ours being one of them (YomoMedia).

  3. Kevin Smith says:

    The point here is Push ‘Web’: SMS alerts and Cell Broadcast push have been live in markets for many years, and allow subscribers to be pushed content to either their message inbox or a cell broadcast widget. Although something similar could be achieved through e.g. AJAX/COMET to a Web widget/application/browser; there would be an additional battery drain with having to maintain the AJAX session (as a listener) where messages may be few and far between. I suspect what is needed is a ‘wakeup’ mechanism to allow rich web clients to be notified in event of push without being ‘always on’.
    Alternatively for something like football scores, I’m sure a user would be happy to start a ‘teleprinter’ type app (like Final Score on BBC1) at 3pm on Saturday and leave it running until 4.55pm; with new scores being printed as they occur.