Mobile Version

We wonder, why does wiki suck on mobile and what has to be done to fix it?

Our vision: a wiki for desk, lap and hand. June 2011.

We might ask George Orwell this question because all web browsers are equal except that some are more equal than others.

We might ask Tim Berners-Lee. He is often appalled at what we have done with his invention and offers specific advice on its 28th birthday. post

The desktop is a place to work on hard problems. Screen space creates room to see alternatives, ponder the future, make things.

The laptop is a place to plan work on hard problems. Mobility moves decision making, command and control, progress reports, to any meeting room or airplane aisle.

The handheld is a place of continual awareness. Hard problems are made to appear simple. An alert, a snapshot, swipe left or right, sustain continual partial attention.

Each device evolves in an economic ecosystem driven by its primary use. The desktop gets more pixels, laptop more battery life and the handheld more apps.

Wiki feels at home on desktop and laptop but is an unwelcome alien on the handheld.

The handheld is today's battlefield where giant corporations wrestle for control of the internet. The browser wars of the last decade are renewed.

The programmers are the foot soldiers of this economic war. They are housed and paid to take territory in the minds of consumers. Through the '90s programmers made computers do more every day. Now as conscripts they defend corporate turf with new barriers sold as features. Corporate giants make these fabulous little devices and pay their programmers to make them do less every day.

So how many hours of human activity will reverse this trend? Clay Shirky suggested that human cognitive surplus be measured in units of "wikipedia". To save the handheld for the people will take a couple more wikipedia at least, maybe more.

TED clay_shirky_how_cognitive_surplus_will_change_the_world Filmed at TED@Cannes, 2010. post