Following our launch of NayaNaya.mobi, Nikhil Pahwa of Medianama suggested the following:
What I found most interesting about MyToday.mobi and NayaNaya.mobi, is that they’re displaying the entire content from a particular article, within the MyToday ecosystem. Take a look at content from Rediff, Afaqs, and Glamsham. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if entire articles (not excerpts) are stored within the MyToday ecosystem, then it is essentially publishing the content…While some media organizations might be fine with their content being made available on the mobile, others will not, particularly if MyToday mobile gets monetized.
Rajiv Dingra from WATBlog responded:
Some blogs have wrongly reported that MyToday plans to monetize the modified content by other publishers by placing ads on them. Which is clearly not the case. The content of the site is modified for mobile viewing which is stripping images and even the banners and showing text in its place like top banner or frame etc. Essentially the model that Nayanaya is following is no different from what In.com is following i.e. aggregation but for the fact that In.com shows the entire page of the content providers (including ads) in an iframe. Check example of DNA via in.com while Nayanaya is modifying content to be viewable on mobile and hence the banner images are stripped away.
Does that mean that the traffic isn’t reaching the publishers? Or one is using entire content from publishers? Not really.. Each time a user clicks go to article the nayanaya website pings the original content site i.e. traffic and modifies the content to be viewable on mobile. Same is done by In.com as well.
Rajiv’s interpretation of what we are doing is correct, while Nikhil’s is wrong. Let me also clarify further on what we are doing and why we are doing so.
The mobile Internet needs a different set of services from what one has on the fixed/desktop Internet. NayaNaya.mobi is an effort in the direction of creating portals which can be consumed on the mobile in the few minutes that one has — those free/empty moments. This should help drive interest and monetisation opportunities for everyone on the mobile Internet — including mobile operators and content owners.
NayaNaya is a public RSS aggregator organised as a river of news, like I explained in my initial launch post. The problem with RSS feeds is that the link that they provide to the full article is most often the full-blown HTML version meant for viewing on the PC. This creates three problems when viewing on the mobile: the time it takes for the page to download, the messed-up formatting because most browsers will not be easily able to render multiple columns, and the cost of downloading (because of the images that also get downloaded). This is where mobile transcoding is an intermediate solution — until sites automatically recognise the browser and redirect to a mobile-friendly version of the page. (This may take a long long time coming in a universal manner.)
Transcoding fetches the requested page in real-time and creates a mobile-friendly page (single column, images resized or eliminated) for ensuring that at least the text on the page can be read. Many search engines also do this. The result is that graphical ads get dropped. That’s a minor irritant for now — given that traffic is still small. Over time, what it will do is create interest in the actual mobile (news) sites themselves and get people going to them.
We also clearly state “Page Modified” at the top of the transcoded page, with a link to the original version of the page. This approach at least ensures that readers who click through are not hit by high data charges should the resulting page be big in size since it is the PC version that they will be accessing on the mobile.
These are of course transitory steps in the road to the creation of the true, mobile Internet. In the coming years, I do expect that websites will get created specifically for the mobile and their navigation will be very different from the PC version.
In the interim, should sites want to create a special RSS feed with their breaking news and link the items to their mobile versions, we will gladly incorporate the change directly. Or if they want their RSS feeds dropped from the NayaNaya sources, we will do that also.
Our intent is, as I said, earlier to create usage of the mobile Internet in life’s free moments. NayaNaya is a small step in that direction. I have been using it for the past 3 months, and find it extremely useful to get quick updates on what’s happening.
Additional reading: WATBlog’s interview with me.