Momo Chennai – A report
Mobile Monday Chennai happened today at IIT Madras. The meet was scheduled for 3 hours starting at 10 am. However, since the venue was practically not accessible for it was hidden in between a forest without any sign-board to help the participants, the event got delayed by half an hour waiting for folks to come. I personally had to run down to the main road a couple of times to get my friends who were lost. I am sure a few participants got lost/fed up trying to find the place and left.
On a Sunday morning, in a building which was almost impossible to locate, in the Chennai summer heat at the third floor there assembled 50 undeterred enthusiastic souls, which kind of surprised me.
So this edition of Momo Chennai had the theme “Mobile Web Applications“, where mobile buffs could jam in and learn about it. Andy, Ramanujam, Thyagarajan and I from BotHack attended this, to learn something in this space as we had no clue about it.
But we got four horribly boring sessions. Asif Ali of MobileWorx gave a talk on ads thro’ mobile web apps and its future. Which was pretty interesting to listen to but nevertheless out of the theme. Yes, it did have mobile web apps, but the talk soon shifted to how the ads in web apps will work better than TV advertisements etc.
Then we had Anand Kannan of Wizdom.in who basically did a sales pitch, Atul Chitnis of Geodesic Information System, who gave a talk on “Challenges of Mobile Internet” which was pretty humorous but nevertheless out of the theme. Navjot Pawera of Opera Software who gave a talk on Mobile web and user friendly interfaces.
Where did Momo Chennai lose out? Well if it was a mobile web apps theme, then they should have taught us how to make one. All four of the guys talked about user friendly interfaces. Wait a min. isn’t that like talking about “maximizing profit and cutting down on costs in a company” even before they teach you how to start a company or what company to start?
The most important aspect of such meetings are, that they spark a thread which you can develop on when you go back home. But here none of us took back home anything apart from:
1) Mobile internet is the next big thing.
Like we didn’t know. Why would I attend this event on a Sunday morning, if I didn’t think mobile was the next big thing?
2) GPRS is slow and unreliable and costly.
Duh! Thanks Einstein, I didn’t know that too…
3) All web apps have to be user friendly.
Oh! That makes a lot of sense. But wait a min. I don’t even know how to make a web application, so wouldn’t it be useless for me to know why my non-existent web application should be user friendly.
I would have at least been happy if they taught me how to make a web app more user-friendly instead of talking about why usability is important, which all of us already knew.
We guys are home and I have nothing to work on. No lead, no idea, no knowledge to develop on. I am as good as I was before this event. Had the venue been less of a classroom setting, I would have at least enjoyed the social networking. But even that went to dogs as we had proper classroom (see above picture) setting where it was hard to even turn around and speak.
At one point when Atul was speaking about usability, the only three active participants were Navjot, Asif and Anand, the rest were literally sleeping. Now the only common thing between these three is the fact that all of them have made their own web application, so usability made more sense to them.
Yes! We had big names as speakers, but it was useless. I would have rather preferred Aswin or Varun teach me how to make a web app.
Filed under: experiences, Fests, Mobile, Round Up, Techies, web apps | 22 Comments