Xconomy Goes Mobile at m.xconomy.com

8/18/09Follow @wroush

We’re happy to announce that there’s now an easier to way to read Xconomy on your mobile phone. Go to http://m.xconomy.com for the new mobile-friendly version of our site, which we’ve simplified for easy navigation on small screens.

All the usual content is there: our Boston, San Diego, and Seattle news stories, along with Xconomist Forum posts from all three cities, not to mention subject-specific pages for our infotech, life science, startups, energy, and deals stories. But it’s all designed to look super-clean and load quickly on a mobile device.

The truth is that no website designed with desktop browsing in mind fares well on the screen of a mobile phone. iPhone owners might demur, but even with the iPhone’s Safari browser, you have to do a bunch of zooming and panning to make your way around a regular Web page. If you’re on the go and you just want to catch a few blog posts, you don’t want to mess with all that, or with the nifty tabs, menus, and image maps that make many sites more functional in full Web browsers but just get in the way on mobile devices.

That’s why there’s a crop of companies—some of them in Xconomy’s own home towns—devoted to helping publishers optimize their content for mobile devices. We found a great one in Providence, RI, called Mofuse. Funded in part by the Slater Technology Fund, which uses money appropriated by the Rhode Island legislature to help promote technology entrepreneurship in the Ocean State, Mofuse is already helping thousands of organizations go mobile, including Fox News, Harvard Business School, Chicago Public Radio, as well as great blogs like Mashable and ReadWriteWeb. (See Mofuse’s press release about our partnership.)

We hope you enjoy the mobile site, and welcome your feedback, suggestions, and bug notes. Because our office mobile armory is limited to a few iPhones and Blackberrys, we’re especially eager to hear how the site looks and functions on other platforms. Please post a comment below, or write me at wroush@xconomy.com.

Wade Roush is Xconomy's chief correspondent and editor of Xconomy San Francisco. You can subscribe to his Google Group or e-mail him at wroush@xconomy.com. Follow @wroush

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  • http://springpadit.com Jeff Janer

    Congrats Xconomy; mobile site is clean and quite responsive

  • David Solomont

    A “well-behaved” mobile site is a step in the right direction and much appreciated. Two comments: (1) “Reader Comments” have not been “mobile enabled”:) (2) The site should automatically detect the browser and redirect the site visitor to http://m.xconomy.com automatically, if appropriate. Thanks for the continued great reporting and improvements to Xconomy.com.

  • http://www.xconomy.com/author/wroush/ Wade Roush

    Thanks, guys. To respond to David’s comments:

    (1) You’re correct, showing reader comments isn’t yet one of the features of Mofuse’s platform. There’s a link at the bottom of each mobile story to the comments on that story, but that link takes you back to the full Xconomy website. Now that I think about it, the fact that Mofuse’s system grabs content from our RSS feeds, rather than directly from our content management system (WordPress), probably means that it would be impossible to show comments on the mobile site, much less allow people to leave new comments that would then show up in WordPress. So that’s probably a feature that’s going to have to await the next generation of publishing tools.

    (2) We definitely plan to add redirect code to our site, so that people who visit http://www.xconomy.com from a mobile device will be automatically redirected to m.xconomy.com. In fact, this is already working on our development site. It’s one of several upgrades to the site that we plan to roll out as a bundle soon.

  • David Solomont

    Wade: While you are collecting feedback, one additional suggestion for the Xconomy site in general would be a “print” option alongside “email” and “share”. While I know you want to promote “green” and save trees, people are going to want to print articles, even if it is a PDF file to pass along. Being able to print an entire article without the frames, etc…would be nice. Thanks!