Last April when I was at Web2.0 Expo, there were many round tables featuring various themes being held at some hotels near the exhibition’s main venue. I was hopping some round tables, one of the most impressed was a meeting of government people, actually it was titled as “Government 2.0”. Almost 10 people including the employees of GSA (U.S. General Service Administration) and a consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton were talking on the issue.
They said, at U.S. governmental offices, web browsing to the Internet are usually filtered by firewall or proxy installed, basically people working there cannot use Web 2.0 services. They concluded “Goverment people cannot benefit the services brought by Web 2.0 trends, it may cause avoiding the modernization of working procedures, unlike private sectors.”
In Japan, filtering divices or features are widely deployed not only in govermental offices but also in private sectors. For example, at a site of my company’s client I often work for, when I try to browse some tech news websites, it’ ok for Tech Crunch, Ars Technica and The Next Web, but not for Mashable. Because the site description includes words like Web2.0 or Social? Perhaps, it depends on the targeted site is on the list or not, which are maintained by filtering solution vendors such as WebSense, I know.
The environment that strict filtering features deployed can be called as a certain type of “Isolated Place from Information”. It can be compared to prison where any information outside is shutted off.
At the previous session of WBS 2.0 conference hosted by Mr. Ogawa, who is the president of Modiphi Inc., he mentioned “With iPhone 3G, it’s good for us to gain the free accessibility to websites even in the company’s office where strict filtering features deployed.” It’s just a roundabout filtering features, which means the employees may violate the company’s security policies, but I’m sure Ogawa’s view is right.
Last night I dropped in a session of the group for studying the IT and Mobile Industry (official English name uknown), Mr. Kanda of CA Mobile Ltd. had a lecture, most part of what he said there is off-record, he explained mobile gadgets and widgets for cellphones are getting spread more from now on.
Compared to cellphone applications, gadgets/widgets require less approvals by cellphone operators, and less man-days cost to develop as well. Plus, gadgets/widgets can receive information in push-based (in a strict expression, virtually push-based, because actually and technically it’s pull-based on background), which can be appeared on cellphone’s stand-by screen.
For ordinary types of cellphones (cellphone models other than iPhone), gadgets/widgets would be easily-accessible-windows to Web2.0 services originally designed for PC browsing. “Isolated Place from Information” mentioned above makes more needs of cellphone gadgets/widgets.
Anyway, in terms of usablity of browsing websites, I think there’s nothing better than iPhone so far. But some people says it’s Android will have much better usability than iPhone, I’m looking forward to seeing Google Phone, whose earlist one is rumored to be released from HTC by the end of this year.