Sore thumbs?

Do you see who that is in the photo above? It is Britney Spears, and she is using the new Samsung U-740 mobile phone.

Do you know who else has one of these? Me, of course!

I do a fair bit of consumption of content on my mobile phone, and I thought this would be the better option for me. I didn’t want to change providers to get that totally sweet iPhone, and I didn’t want to pay the extra $40/month to have one of those Motorola Q smartphones or a Blackberry.

So, Ms. Spears and I settled for this. What it does is surprise me. Not for its capabilities, but for the lack of properly formatted content out there. Verizon offers a service they call “Moblie Web 2.0.” It allows you to browse real web pages, if they will gracefully degrade to the Mobile Web 2.0’s level. There is quite a bit of content out there that displays quite well. Kudos to those providing CMSs that facilitate.

Shame on y’alls that don’t. Big name site favorites of mine do not do well. Red Herring and Boing Boing fail miserably, with the device tossing me the dreaded “Insufficient Memory for this Operation” error.

True smart phones account for less than 5% of mobile ownership. There are many more of people like me and Ms. Spears that have the capable devices but not full-on smarty-pants phones.

The lesson here? Program and code your content with graceful degradation of the end user in mind. Not the most up-to-date user, but the guy with the 2-year-old Razr. Everything else will fall into place.

If you don’t, Ms. Spears and I will be out of luck. You certainly don’t want that.

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