Goodbye MobileMe, we hardly knew ye

During Monday’s Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) I was at my normal multiple monitors position tracking several live-blogs and twit.tv’s live stream and was intrigued about what the demise of MobileMe was going to mean to those of us with blogs and websites hosted on the service.

In typical Apple-style with it’s lightning-focus on delivering the perfect user-experience across three different platforms (desktop/laptops, handhelds and tablets) Jobs proposed the next step in the online evolution. I was there, at a Steve keynote in 2000 when iTools was introduced as an easy way to make websites and send email iCards. Contrast that to today’s announced iCloud services, where we’re not posting websites but making our media seamlessly accessible across multiple devices. Alas, there are still some of us who are just looking for online disk space where we can host our webpages and associated media. Apparently, and not too surprisingly, “we’re” in the minority.

A cursory survey of friends and family pretty much confirms that almost no one really is into creating websites or having an online presence beyond a Facebook account. There are a few, very few, among my geek friends who created slideshow galleries back in the day, mostly of their kids, and there were a few who did blogs back in the LiveJournal days. But as the tools have become more and more powerful, I see virtually no draw amongst my friends and co-workers. A couple years ago I gave pro-flickr accounts to my four siblings. One is being used by my niece to share photos of her first born and another account was taken over by a brother-in-law for his business. The others went unused. None of my immediate co-workers have a personal blog, though they all have personal and professional facebook accounts. A few coworkers use Twitter but I don’t know if any use it personally or just have a “work” account. So, what an online presence means for most is mostly about micro-posting/social networking a la facebook and having this connection available on one’s handheld device(s). And, except for our current dependence on using MobileMe to host student capstone project websites (which could easily be hosted anywhere else), I do not know that anyone would care at all if iDisk or the web-hosting part of MobileMe disappears. Does this, my concern about creating and hosting my own sites and blogs… does this put me ahead of the curve or terribly behind it? I love what Apple has done over the years and plan to continue to explore new ways to use my iPad2, Apple TV, etc., etc. But somehow I do feel like I’m getting lapped and left behind. Adios, mm, we hardly knew ye.

Addendum:

The same day I wrote this post Steven Sande at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) speculated about the transition from MobileMe to iCloud, with the delightful subtitle: “So Long and Thanks for all the Fish.” Sande listed the following four speculations about what this transition will mean:

  • Speculation #1: Web-based versions of Mail, Contacts, and Calendar will be de-emphasized
  • Speculation #2: iDisk disappears
  • Speculation #3: Gallery is toast
  • Speculation #4: So long, iWeb hosting

Though completely based on speculation, Sande seems to agree with my fears that those of us needing web-hosting are going to be EOL’ed. Awesome. I guess I need to look into how/whether one can post iWeb sites using DropBox hosting (next post…). Check out Sande’s article here: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/06/07/mobileme-some-speculation-about-the-transition-to-icloud/.

Resources:
CNET News: Steve Jobs introduces iCloud, http://youtu.be/O_C1TZIT-qQ retrieved 6/7/2011
Apple – Introducing iOS 5, http://youtu.be/LLJIef-e-7g retrieved 6/7/2011
MobileMe: Some speculation about the transition to iCloud by Steven Sande, http://www.tuaw.com/2011/06/07/mobileme-some-speculation-about-the-transition-to-icloud/ retrieved 6/9/2011.