Having a small computer, usually with a telephone attached, that you can carry around with a diary and contacts, etc on it has certainly changed the things. We don’t even have to wait to access the web any more but instead can make use of those spare moments we have to catch up on things. I must confess at this point that I’m one of those old fashioned types who likes to use spare time for thinking and reflecting but I understand that I’m on my way to becoming a ‘thing of the past’.
However, the web becomes a different kind of thing if you access it through a mobile phone. Many phones use a text based approach to web sites which renders many web sites all but unusable and others use a kind of miniature web browser (this is the approach an iphone takes of course) allowing you to access most sites but only a small part at a time (this can prove to be very confusing and frustrating if you have ever tried to do it - if you don't have an iphone take a look at http://www.testiphone.com/ which gives you the chance to enjoy the experience - I don't use one myself).
What is kind of strange is that this seems to me to be going back to the old web days when many sites were text based and small (to suite the average sized monitor).
Of course it is possible using style sheets to create a site that will work differently on different platforms but experience tells me that this is easier said than done (it is still not that easy to lay out a site that will work the same on ‘normal’ computers let alone making them also work for mobiles).
Of course social networking sites work fairly well on a mobile and they even have Apps to help.
I don’t personally think that we will stop using full sized computers for the web (in fact with the rise of video streaming etc we are more likely to be using even bigger screens in the future rather than straining to see the world on smaller screens) but we will also now have to consider users with mobile phones.
So how does this change things for the Christian web?
It doesn’t – other than we limit ourselves if we produce stuff only for the regular web. But I also think it gives us yet another opportunity.
At present people access the web on a mobile in a very limited way – social networking, email, directories, etc. They generally want information or to respond quickly to something. People are not spending hours on end surfing the web on a mobile (at least not most people). So how can Christians make good use of the web that works with this rather than demands people to change behaviour to engage?
Perhaps that is a questions that you might be able to answer?