Mobile Done Right...Facebook...and Mobile Done Wrong... Businessweek... and in the middle... Google

This morning, I was reading my feeds on the train using Newsgator Mobile.   David Armano wrote this post and told me to go here.   Not just go here, but "Stop what you're doing and go read this."

The timing was perfect... I was just about to cross the Manhattan Bridge when I read it... so I could actually click on it, and get a web connection and read the article before going back underground again.

So I clicked, and the little hamster on my PPC-6700 hit the BusinessWeek site, which automagically detected that I was on a mobile browser and sent me straight to here, a mobile site powered by Crisp Wireless.  Um...  I'm sorry...  I asked to go to a very specific place on the web and I have the screen and horsepower to be able to read it... so send me there.  Clicked again... same garbage.  Huh?  If I wanted to read Bruce Nussbaum's fantastic speech (and it was fantastic) on design that I got as a recommendation from a smart guy like David Armano, why on earth would I be interested in your WAP front page with like 14 "Top Stories" on it.  Take me to where I clicked!  That's the way the web works!  That's really annoying.  Thumbs down for BusinessWeek mobile.  I couldn't get to the link and had to read it in the office.

Contrast that with Facebook that continues to have the most useful mobile experience I've ever had in a WAP site.  I can do just about anything on the mobile site that I can do at my desktop...  Message, Add friends, read my newsfeed.   It's really great stuff.

Google also has a solid set of mobile sites, but here's something interesting that, as far as I can tell, just started happening in the last couple of weeks.

Try Googling someone from your mobile browser and clicking on the link.  It doesn't quite take you to that site... it shows you the site in a kind of frame, but the bottom half of the screen has a frame with some Google functionality to it.  And, the URL is a google URL.  You haven't really left Google...  you're being shown the web with a Google wrapper on it.

Imagine if this happened on the web.  I think there would be an uproar, no?  If I have a site getting some mobile traffic that was found on Google, I'd rather it not be seen in a wrapper, thank you.

So, there you have it... the Ugly, the Good, and the "Isn't this bad?  How come no one is talking about this?" of the mobile web.