October 12th, 2006
My oldest daughter started kindergarden this year and also started playing soccer. Well she kind of just watches right now, but weâ€™re working on that.
I know one of the dads, Andy, from the local tech scene. Andy is VP of Technology for a local software shop and is an incredibly sharp cat. When we start chatting at the games, we talk about things like RSS, YouTube, P2P, streaming, etc. Now, I also know a few other soccer dads. Steve is the team manager of the Excel Sports Cycling Team. Steve, his teammates, and I have crossed paths on many occasions racing bikes. When Steve and I chat, we talk about criteriums, carbon fiber, AT, power, EPO, components, etc. John, another dad, and I go back a ways. We were initially connected through a mutual friend. We have threatened to go fly fishing on many occasions over the years, and when we talk we have our own set of terminology.
So, my point is that each conversation has its own geek speak that to an outsider sounds completely Greek. For me that geek speak which is foreign to me is soccer. I played football my whole life and the rules and lingo in soccer leave me baffled. When folks are talking about soccer, I feel like a shmoe and sort of drift off. I wish I knew more about the game.
There is clearly a problem here looking for a solution. I have my cell phone with me and would love to be able look up some of the soccer terms on the fly, get answers, and get involved in that conversation.
To that end, on the way to Emmaâ€™s first game we stopped at Barnes and Noble. I picked up a cup of coffee and an issue of Business 2.0. One of the articles was about Yahoo Answers. Yahoo Answers had 12 million uniques in June (YouTube had 13 million). This is clearly a hot and valuable web property and for a reason. It is a great resource for learning things in a hurry.
I could instantly become a soccer expert with Yahoo Answers on my cell phone. However, Yahoo Answers is just unusable in my mobile browser â€“ the page took forever to load ( 3+ minutes for the landing page, and 4+ minutes to get a lis of related questions… yikers) and the extensive scrolling made the experience too painful. I could run the Answers site through a transcoder and get the page load times down, but I still end up scrolling and having to enter some long munged up URL. But not to worryâ€¦ I spent a few weekends and evenings building the Mobile Ask mashup with the help of the Yahoo API, and it is now here for you!
I can now be a real time Cliff Clavin (or at least impress my buddies) no matter where I am or what the topic of conversationâ€¦ and you can too (just donâ€™t be as damn annoying as Cliff)! You can get a Windows Mobile Smartphone or Pocket PC or Pocket PC build here. IT IS A SIMPLE BUT POWERFUL MOBILE APPLICATION and it is FREE!
Check out the screen shots to see what it is all about:
And get Mobile Ask here, now!Â I hope this helps you in some way…
Entry Filed under: Mobile