WorldCat.org Mobile Service Pilot Launched

OCLC announced today via e-mail and the relevant website a new service. In partnership with purported industry leader Boopsie, OCLC is launching a mobile-optimized platform for searching WorldCat.org. The service requires the download of a client package to your mobile phone or device for optimized searching. There is a list of supported devices available that appears to lack the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the G1 as the more recent Palm Centro devices as well as any tablets from Nokia or similar vendors.

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Explaining something editorial

There may be some question as to my use of the word "purported" above. Such relates to the claim OCLC's release makes that Boopsie is an industry leader. The problem is that outside OCLC, I cannot find a whole lotta references to Boopsie. I've consulted what archives I can and I found no references in the past five years to Boopsie. If they're an industry leader, I am curious as to what particular industry that is. While I do not want to cast aspersions on their tech, if they're an industry leader in tech they're flying so far below the radar that they are invisible to much of the tech industry and tech commentariat.
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Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
PGP KeyID: 899C131F

Sigh...

You know, I like the iPhone. I really do. If I didn't hate AT&T's wireless service so damned much, I'd have an iPhone right now.

But I think OCLC really missed the entire point of a mobile service when it only works with certain devices. I have an LG Dare, so it looks like I'm SOL and JWF on this new mobile service. I'm sorry, but the idea of launching a mobile service that only works with certain devices is the 21st century equivalent of placing the words "BEST VIEWED WITH INTERNET EXPLORER AT A RESOLUTION OF 1024 X 768" on your website.

In other words, if you're launching a public mobile service, and you're not writing code for everybody, then why are you bothering at all?

I know, I can still use the browser on my LG to access WorldCat, but that's not the point, is it? I can also drive nails with a Phillips screwdriver, but that's not exactly the best tool for the job.

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

Conflicting data points

Something just doesn't feel right with this. This service requires a proprietary client. I have been trying to find anything in EDGAR about the company let alone any mentions in the archives of CNET or PCMag Digital Network. I keep coming up empty. ZoomInfo also came up empty.

Something like this should not require a proprietary client. Even III Millennium has AirPac which is an interface to the catalog that is geared towards mobile devices. Such is available with Las Vegas-Clark County Library District and is fairly easy to use.

I'm kinda flabbergasted at this product announcement from OCLC. It really does not make sense. If I were a programmer, I would be tempted to look into building a competitor that just needs a browser alone. Alas, I am not a programmer.

It doesn't help that there isn't a consistent supported device list for this thing. One list includes the iPhone while another does it. Since I have a plain vanilla cell phone that makes calls and little else, I cannot test this with tools on-hand.
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Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
PGP KeyID: 899C131F

So I took a risk

I don't have a smartphone. I do have a Palm T|X. I downloaded the Boopsie software required and tried it out. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it fired up. I am tempted to include a review in LISTen #58. I'll make my analysis known then.
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Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
PGP KeyID: 899C131F

This is amazing

I have a Windows Mobile phone on Verizon's network and this works incredibly well. I like how it starts recommending matching books as I type. Also, I stumbled on the find a library and the program automatically launched Google Maps with my local libraries pointed out. Very nice! Does anyone know if this is this just a subset of WorldCat data?

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