Mobilewood

Online communication is a wonderful thing but I firmly believe that there’s enormous value to be had in getting together in meatspace for some proper face-to-face discussion. Take the gathering in New York of what later came to be known as HTML5 Super Friends. It was an intense two days of poring over the spec with really smart people. My brain hurt by the end of it but that was a small price to pay for such a rewarding experience.

When the finest minds in mobile recently gathered together in Nashville for the Breaking Development conference, the opportunity for extending the gathering was too good to pass up. By some clerical error, I was also asked along. Thus it was that I found myself in the company of these fine people in a secluded house in Tennessee:

We called it Mobilewood. It was a blast.

Cuddling with multiple devices Jump into Mobilewood! The heroes of mobilewood IMG_0118

It wasn’t all hot tubs and campfires—although there was plenty of both. We worked hard and played hard. Luke did a great job of structuring the event, wielding his managerial experience to make sure that we never got bogged down. We began with some ambitious discussions which led to more focused brainstorming which in turn led to a number of individual projects.

It became clear from fairly early on that simply focusing on mobile alone would be missing the bigger picture. Instead of being overwhelmed by the ever-increasing range of devices out there, we need to embrace the chaos and accept there will be even more devices—and types of devices—that we can’t even anticipate. We should embrace that. Instead of focusing on whatever this season’s model happens to be, we should be crafting our services in a robust way, striving for universal access tomorrow as well as today.

The first project to launch is a manifesto of sorts. It’s a called to arms. Or rather, it’s a call to be future friendly:

  1. Acknowledge and embrace unpredictability.
  2. Think and behave in a future-friendly way.
  3. Help others do the same.

The future friendly site also contains a set of design principles, but they are the starting points for discussions rather than the end points for solutions. Consider them a work in progress.

You can also find a list of future-friendly resources that will most definitely grow over time—probably beyond the bounds of the site.

This is just the beginning. The future is ours to make—friendly.

Devices and mobinauts

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