Image credit: devnull’s Kafka2
Andy Rush and I recently did a presentation focusing on the small pieces loosely joined approach for mobile devices. It was a fun presentation, particularly because Andy collected a wealth of information about apps for the iPhone and discussed a variety of mobile themes/plugins for WordPress—while getting in some digs at BlackBoard 🙂 Since the presentation we started running the WPTouch iPhone theme on UMW Blogs (which also works with Android) and I have to say it’s pretty slick from what I have seen—check it out and let me know what you think.
And while I still don’t own an iPhone or iPod Touch—hell I don’t even have a cellphone—I do recognize the growing move towards all things mobile. And what’s so cool for us at UMW is that to get on the mobile bandwagon for a site like UMW Blogs is as simple as a couple of plugins that other people have already developed. And while I would love a UMW Blogs iPhone app, I have to admit that would simply be icing on the cake. So, as Andy says in the presentation (which you can find here along with links to all the resources) regarding UMW’s preparation for the mobile OS craze, “We’re ready, in fact, we’ve been ready.”
Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to Brian Lamb, whose post “Coming Out of the Mobile Closet…into what?” was the inspiration for my part of the presentation—and who nailed all these points already with far more eloquence. He also led me to Bryan Alexander’s “Going Nomadic” paper, from which I stole and re-purposed his brilliant discussion of the nomads in Kafka’s “An Old Manuscript.” I’ll reproduce his discussion of the parable below because I dig it so much:
I am reminded of Franz Kafka’s “An Old Manuscript,” an account of a nomadic army arriving in an imperial city. The nomads arrive suddenly, surprising the urban population and appearing without warning in city streets, markets, libraries, and homes. Kafka’s tale focuses on the incomprehension of the city-dwellers, as well as on their dogged willingness to attempt living life as if the nomads simply weren’t there. The story charts their progressive decay and their slipping grasp on reality while the nomads build a new civilization literally in their front yard. It’s a very funny story, in Kafka’s unique way, but of course it’s also a cautionary tale, especially for those of us in higher education. At colleges and universities around the world, the nomadic swarms are already arriving.