Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Transcoding, blah blah

It seems at the moment that some industry message boards are jammed with comments over transcoding and the apparent hash Novarra and Vodafone have made of their recent implementation. A lot of people have become passionate on the topic and this week's Mobile Monday did not diffuse the situation as many had hoped. This lack of success was nothing to do with the organisers but more to do with the poor presentation given by Novarra who could have simply said:

- we underestimated the impact of this setting in our implementation
- here is the immediate fix
- here is what we are going to do about it long term
- we are on the same side

Job done.

Instead, the team tried to give their credentials. Guys, you missed out. You need to think: what does my audience need to hear?

For the record, I do believe that there is a role for transcoding. Simply put, people will always develop for where they get the most return. For many publishers this will always be the web and they will not develop for mobile. Transcoders can help bring complicated sites to life for the mobile user potentially - though we are at the beginning of the development curve if this is ever going to be more than a stop gap for commerce specific sites for example.

Nonetheless, the conversation is overblown at a higher level. Most sites do not need transcoding!

A huge amount of publishers try to help the user out by saying, "look, here is the meat of my site; all my content in a wrapper". It is called RSS and a service like Mippin cuts to the chase and makes it a mission to dress and monetise these feeds as elegantly as possible. RSS - what a wonderful invention.

I wish I could speak to all the frustrated users out there who are being forced through transcoders and getting frustrated by the results when there is no need. There is a better world. Try Mippin!


prash said...

Great post Scott. Just one tip, its nOvarra, not nAvarra ;-)

Coalface said...

Thanks Prash. Duly Corrected.