The New Walled Garden?

It’s getting even worse for mobile developers and content providers.

Now it’s Yahoo!/Novarra. Who else?

Novarra to Provide Mobile Web Tranformation Services to Yahoo!

Chicago, IL USA – July 24, 2007 – Novarra, the leading provider of next-generation mobile Internet platforms and services, announced today that Yahoo! has selected Novarra’s Vision™ server version 6.5 platform to provide web transformation for Yahoo!’s oneSearch service. When a user clicks on a link to a Web site in a Yahoo! oneSearch result, Novarra’s Vision server platform transforms the Web site for the mobile phone.

We decided to check up on what was happening to Winksite.

This is the result…

Yahoo!’s oneSearch/Novarra is providing mobile device search results that link to transcoded versions of our broadband web site rather then linking to our mobile version.

This is after requesting that our domain be placed on the oneSearch White List MONTHS AGO and submitting three of our sitemaps for indexing – broadband site, WML, & XHTML.

WTF.

I have a responsibility to 25K plus publishers who trust their mobile sites to our care to do everything I can to see to it that their content makes it through to their audience.

Sorting out an off-portal publishing system to deliver mobile device-specific 100% W3C mobileOK and .mobi standards-compliant templates was apparently not enough. Now it seems I have to take on everyone in the world who is bastardizing us with their freaking Novarra “web transformation” engines and poor customer service (i.e. whitelisting.)

Is there a reason why mobile developers and content providers have to jump through so many hoops and fight so many battles in order to reach their viewers in a manner equal to how the broadband Internet operates everyday?

Is anyone listening?

CLARIFICATION:
Yahoo!’s oneSearch service clearly distinguishes mobile and web results. They are returning both PC and desktop links to Winksite. Links in the PC section goes to the transcoder, while links in the Mobile Web section goes direct.

So why do I have a problem with this? Let me explain…

When someone visits Winksite or a mobile site published at Winksite we send that visitor to a version appropriate to their device. We asked to be White Listed because a mobile phone should never end up at a transcoded version of our broadband site. If Yahoo! respected that ALL the links in the results would pass to us directly where we could then do the job that people count on us to do.

Instead our routing is intercepted and adapted content NOT our content or the content of our publishers as it was intended to be distributed is sent. This cripples our site and renders our community features unusable.

I question Yahoo!’s (and anyone else’s) right to do that…

…and without permission to create a derivative work that violates our copyright AND hinders our ability to provide a service that took years of hard work to build.

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