Suggestion Box

I thought it would be good to add a suggestion box to Mobile Opportunity. Here it is. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this weblog, please post a comment here. I'll link to this post from the sidebar, so you can get to it easily.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.


Anonymous said...

Since you ask - I find your main font very hard to read. I wouldn't change a word of your content, but a font without serifs would be easier on our eyes.

Anonymous said...

Can you put dates on your posts? They only show a time, not a date.

From the URL, I can figure out the month, and from the comment dates I can make a pretty good guess.

But for some strange reason the posts themselves don't have a date on them. Thanks.

Albert said...

Mike, now that you're asking... what's your view about the Google Phone? Isn't this turning into a iPhone-like hysteria?

Michael Mace said...

Thanks for the comments, folks. I appreciate it.

First off, let's talk about the dates on the posts. I'm sorry you're missing the dates. Believe it or not, I actually removed them on purpose.

Here was my thinking: blog software is designed for writing diaries. You're expected to create short posts, commenting on a recent event or a passing thought, and whatever you write is closely tied to that particular date. That's why there's a date on every entry; it's what you do in a diary.

In contrast, this blog is basically a series of essays. Although I sometimes write about a recent event, even when I do that I'm usually trying to make a more lasting point. Most of the stuff I wrote a year ago is still just as valid today, especially the articles I reference in "favorite posts" to the right.

But when people see an old date on a blog post, they usually stop reading because they assume it's out of date.

When I moved to this new template a couple of months ago, I removed the dates from the posts to see what would happen. I had hoped that traffic to the older posts would go up a little, but instead it went up a lot. More than half the traffic on the weblog is now coming to posts older than a month, and several posts from 2005 and 2006 are getting significant traffic.

I write this stuff to get it read, and removing the dates increased readership.

Let me ask a question, though -- the place where I really don't want to have dates is in the archives. I think I could put dates on the recently-posted articles that are on the front page of the blog. Would that help?

Michael Mace said...

Fonts. This is a tough one.

I'm sorry you're having trouble reading the font. I used to run a font company, so I'm kind of obsessive about fonts. There's a lot of disagreement on whether serif of sans-serif fonts are more readable online. I picked this particular serif font because, in my opinion, it's easier to read. But I know other folks disagree very strongly, and I respect that.

What I'd really like to do is let each reader choose the font they want to read the blog in. I know that in some blogging tools you can let the reader choose between multiple templates. Does anybody know if you can do that in Blogger? I think that would be the ideal way to solve this problem.

Michael Mace said...

Albert wrote:

>>>What's your view about the Google Phone?

Thanks for asking. Here is the very short list of things I know about the 'Google phone':

--A couple of years ago, Google brought in a team of people to work on a mobile-related project.

--A little over a year ago, Google hired some excellent engineers from PalmSource to join this project.

Things I do not know about the 'Google phone':

--Is it hardware or software?

--If it's software, is it some sort of client application (like Yahoo Mobile), a software layer that runs on other operating systems, or a full mobile OS?

--If it's hardware, is it WiFi, cellular, or both?

>>Isn't this turning into a iPhone-like hysteria?

I think the rising interest is actually caused by the iPhone. Anything related to the iPhone automatically gets a lot of press coverage right now, and any new mobile announcement automatically gets positioned as a response to the iPhone.

The Google project has been public knowledge for a long time, but people are interested in it now because the iPhone made mobile hardware into a sexy news story.

The attention that Apple's getting for this one product must drive Nokia and Motorola nuts.

Michael Graff said...

"Let me ask a question, though -- the place where I really don't want to have dates is in the archives. I think I could put dates on the recently-posted articles that are on the front page of the blog. Would that help?"

Yes, that would be nice, and now I understand why you did it that way.

For that matter, do the archives need the "posted at hh:mm" message? Or is that a limitation of the software? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

About the fonts - I'm pickier than most people, not out of any knowledge, but just because there's a lot I can't read comfortably. Using Opera gives me a button for "user mode", where I get my own stylesheet, and I use it whenever I have trouble with any page's appearance. If you like your font, don't change it. Anyone who needs a different font has probably found a workaround already.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to second the call for dates to be added back to the posts - particularly in the archives.

I understand your reasoning around how this change has increased readership - but I'd suggest that perhaps you could incorporate the date into the text at the very end of the article to avoid this.

I find the date particularly useful on old articles to help give them some context... For example - knowing whether something was written before or after the iPhone hysteria hit.

On the other hand - the /time/ of the post is completely useless information.

One other suggestion (that I know you've heard me make before) -- the fixed width layout really is annoying. More and more laptops have widescreen orientations, and your blog reads like a strip down the middle. It would be much easier to read/skim if I could have the text flow to the full width of my screen.

And finally - there is no way to tell when someone else has replied to a comment posted. And the replies are not threaded. This is one area where LiveJournal really excels as a blogging tool. Having comments chained as one long stream is far from ideal...


- chris

Albert said...

Mike, the wait for Hawkins' new device seems to be over. There's a Palm webcast scheduled for tomorrow:

I look forward to your informed comments then.

Michael Mace said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Albert. I am in an all-day meeting with a client Wednesday, but will do my best to post some comments in the evening California time.

David Beers said...

This seems to be the only credible leak concerning tomorrow's Palm product announcement:

Sounds like a novel and promising concept!

Albert said...


What's your take on Palm's recapitalization besides the 'celebrity factor' of Rubinstein joining the board and U2's Bono being among the financiers? It strikes me as real news that Eric Benhamou is leaving the company board.

Michael Mace said...

I agree, Albert. And thanks for suggesting that I write about this.

Albert said...

Mike, here's another suggestion: Google wants to have its own mobile platform, or so it seems.

Michael Mace said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Albert. Keep them coming.

I'll write about this one eventually, but it's part of something longer on the new mobile platforms. That's in the hopper, but several other things are in the queue ahead of it...

Albert said...

Michael, have you seen this about early announcements vs. 'surprise' rollouts? Both the iPhone and the Foleo are mentioned.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice, if there was some kind of way to send trackbacks to your entries, although I don't know if blogger allows trackbacks.

Michael Mace said...

Hi, Andreas.

You have to open the page for the individual post (clicking on its title will do it). Then scroll to the bottom. You'll see something that says "create a link." As far as I know, that's the closest thing in Blogger to a trackback mechanism.

(If anyone knows different, please speak up.)

Albert said...

Hi, Mike. May I suggest that you write about Nokia's recent moves with a new music store and N-Gage for mobiles?. Kind regards.

Michael Mace said...

Thanks, Albert. I did it. Hope you enjoy the article.

Albert said...

Thanks to you, Michael. I loved your post, so here's my Spanish translation of it.

Albert said...

Here's another suggestion: there won't be a Google phone as such, according to the NYT.

Albert said...

Michael, you have written bout UIQ in the past. What's your take on this?

Motorola Takes 50 Percent Stake In Sony Ericsson's UIQ


Anonymous said...

I came to America from Ghana, a west african state, on the 27 of November. As I usually do I went to a shopping mall the next day to get myself a mobile phone to get in touch with family and friends. Well I got hold of this toy-like-looking motorola for $40 and I thought that should do. I was told it had $10 airtime so I immediately bought another $20 airtime.
When I got home I realised I had to register the fone online or use a landline to call a speciall number before I could use my new fone. Fortunately my host had a both so I quickly did the registration and started using my mobile. To my suprise I could not call international numbers directly on my mobile fone. What a big joke! I needed to call a special number for them to connect me. Compare this with my mobile fone in Ghana where I can call directly from my mobile to anywhere in the world. My mobile fone in Ghana is basically my biggest office asset since it allows me to get connected to customers everywhere in the World at a very cheap cost! To add insult to injury, each time I had a call from a freind I had to pay to receive that call. So I pay to call and I pay to receive calls. That can only be a big joke inni? At the moment I do not have any credit on my fone so I'm not able to receive calls anymore! Thats seven years into the twenty first century in What I consider to be the greatest country on earth, the United States of Amrica!

Albert said...

Hi, Michael. What's your take on the layoffs at Palm, as revealed by the WSJ?

Michael Mace said...

Hi, Albert.

I don't have much to add. When you're a publicly traded company and miss your numbers, you're expected to take action. I'm waiting to see what sort of products the new management at Palm will come up with. Probably it'll take another year or so for that development to be completed. Until then, I don't think we'll see dramatic changes -- assuming sales don't deteriorate further.

But I don't have any inside information, so your guess is as good as mine.

Anonymous said...

hello michael, i am very curious and interested to know more about android is all about.Just reading your posts i can see how interesting this new technology is. But do you have any idea what is the current opportunities for android?

Michael Mace said...

Thanks for asking, Anonymous. The consensus among my friends (and I agree with it) is that Android has a lot of promise, but we need to wait and see real hardware shipping with it before we can really judge it. Not just prototypes, finished phones available at retail.

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Anonymous said...

i'd like to see an editorial calendar, so i can know when articles that are especially relevant to me are forthcoming.

Michael Mace said...

The idea of an editorial calendar is great. I only wish I were organized enough to know what I was going to publish, when.

Unfortunately, I have to write for the blog on weekends and evenings, when I have some extra time available. So I don't know when I'll have time to write.

The next thing I'll be writing is a look at relative use of mobile data by different sorts of smartphones, by region. But I'm not sure when I'll have time to finish writing it.

Sorry I can't give you more help. The best thing to do is subscribe to the RSS feed, using the box in the sidebar at right. Then you'll receive each new post by e-mail. I don't post all that often, so your e-mail inbox won't be flooded.

Anonymous said...


My name is Jesse and I have a long established blog that was a leading information provider on digital converter boxes for the digital transition in the United States. This blog is a PR5 and is regarded on one of the top sources in its niche world wide. This blog gets close to 100,000 unique hits per month and has been referenced by numerous news outlets, organizations, city websites, and a U.S. Senator.

I have recently added a section to this blog about femtocells and their emergence. I stumbled upon your blog and noticed that it has quite a lot of related content and I was wondering if you might be interested in working together at all to help each other out. My first thought was to possibly exchange links via blogroll but anything else you had in mind would also be welcomed.

Please get back to me either way and let me know if you might be interested.

Skype ID: trackstar2683

mina k said...

I need to see dates on the front page to have incentive to make return visits to your blog. Your reasoning is idealistic, but the fact is that when you are touching on a topic such as Nokia & MSFT, for instance, it's a newsworthy not all of your posts are timeless.

I've made it as far as to comment on this, but consider that regardless of numbers, a lot of people may be abandoning your blog after first glance because of the date confusion. there is something comforting about having a date stamped on a blog post.

that being said, good content!

Rob said...

HI Michael,

couple of interesting moves from apple recently

1) developers can't publish on jailbroken phones (even if apple denies their app) - at least not if they want to use the sdk and publish other apps in the store.

By contrast, Palm announced that they will allow open distribution of apps outside their store (they'll help you manage it)

2) introduction of paid content for free apps. Apple was really emphatic before that free apps had to be useful, complete and remain free. They are now opening the door to apps that aren't really free -but just a way of sucking folks into buying stuff.

One thought is that it may clear out the paid/lite clutter by consolodating apps. Another is that they have given up on protecting the value of free for customers in favour of making more sales.

It's pretty interesting how this plays out as most emerging other app stores are looking very carefully (if not copying directly), so Apple's moves will likely influence the direction the rest of the industry takes.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Great article, very informative. After another big hassle with our American mobile phone provider, I wonder if the US is the only country that charges for both incoming and outgoing calls? Do you know what other countries double charge?

Appachoo said...

Hi, I am currently doing a research on mbanking and in particular the customer preferences for mbanking application. Do you have any views or any data about the customers who use mbanking applications?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

Just read your post on Blackberry and very well informed thoughts. Do you have a twitter so I know when you have the next blog post out?

Thanks for your careful thoughts on matters relating to mobile.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Mace,
I greatly enjoy reading some of your posts from the past, which contain the truly inciteful analysis which never goes out of date. However, I think it would be extremely helpful if you were to add the original posting date to the articles so readers will know when you wrote them and put them in appropriate perspective.

For instance, to appeciate the article "The War Between Nokia and Apple," it's essential to know when it was written.

Or does an article's date appear somewhere on the page that I haven't noticed?

Thank you again for your outstanding work.

Anonymous said...

Another point on dates: I understand that using the blog software to date-stamp the posts might decrease traffic to articles which still have value to readers. Perhaps a solution would be to add a sentence at the end of an article stating when it was written.

You wouldn't necessarily need to go to this trouble for all articles, but I think it would be particularly helpful for the "classics" that people are likely to refer to in the years to come (such as your excellent insights into the lifecycle of platforms).

Anonymous said...

Michael, really enjoy your column. Since your latest talks about "context", thought you might find this recent post by Scoble interesting: