I’ll be taking my son to the Maker Faire for the third year in a row this weekend. It’s a great Father & Son festival where you see what happens when you throw together technology, imagination, dedication, and passion into a big pot and mix it up together.
On display will be Steve Chamberlin’s hand-built CPU which he built in 18 months using $1000 worth of parts and 1,200 pieces of wire hand-wrapped around gold wrap posts mounted to a board that he bought off of eBay. In the end, he re-created a large version of something the equivalent of the Apple II CPU. He nicknamed it, Big Mess of Wires. Full details on Steve’s blog.
I look forward to seeing Steve’s homebrewed CPU along with many other pet projects that are sure to inspire.
A common problem with the mobile web is that pages are not optimized for the mobile browser. Browsers are getting better but sidebar widgets and other social networking cruft often get in the way of viewing sites efficiently on a small screen over a wireless connection.
Combining both a URL shortening service and a service that optimizes pages for the mobile browser, Delivr makes it dead easy to bring pages over to the mobile web.
On the home page, a drop down gives you access to a number of options depending on the type of page you wish to share with your mobile friends. Choosing an option drives what data Delivr captures to create a mobile-optimized page.
Sharing a flickr photo? The dropdown asks for a flickr username and Delivr will give you a gallery of the latest photos. Select the photo you want, add a title and message and off it goes the link as a text message (currently supports US numbers only) along with the shortened url.
Other content-specific options include a YouTube video, a map of an address on Google Maps (a great way for a business to shorten those long GMap urls), and the “text” option which gives you a whole slew of formatting options to create a mobile-optimized page. I hear from Deliver that more are options are on the way.
Besides texting a link, you also have options to send the link to a variety of social networking sites and (this I really like) they’ve even added a “print flyer” option to create a full page PDF with four postcard-sized cards complete with a QR Code that links directly to the page you’re sharing. Send this PDF off to the printer and you’ve now got a nice postcard to hand out to customers or prospects at the next conference.
Delivr strives to makes things as easy as possible. If you think logging into a site is too much of a pain, they have a bookmarklet that you can add to your browser bar. If even that is too much of a hassle, you don’t even need to have an account to check out their latest trick. Just add “delivr.com” in front of any url to transform it into a mobile ready page.
That’s all it takes to throw a URL over the transom an create a mobile-friendly version of that page that can be shared with all your cellie-toting friends. As with other URL shortening services such at bit.ly, delivr also provides analytics around each link you share, tracking where traffic is coming from (web, the unique print URL, or QR Code). Marketers are already playing around with the service to analyize where they can be most effective in getting the word out with Green Day currently running a promotion for their upcoming release on May 15th.
Every aspect of this service has been thought out carefully, the simplicity of the site is deceiving. Delivr has created a simple platform that can be extended any number of ways; into the virtual space through their series of mobile-optimized landing pages and into the physical space via the QR Coded PDF postcards. If you think that URLs are the currency of the web – Delivr is in a great position to be the central bank for URLs on the mobile web.