Phillip Smith

#ShowYourWork -- Quite possibly the most straightforward way to build a better Web

Just a quick, fun anecdote today.

A couple of days ago – mostly as a “note to self” – I wrote up the mod_rewrite recipe that I’m using on The Tyee to re-direct people visiting the site from mobile devices.

It’s nothing original. There are lots of examples out there in the wild. On the surface, that post is just a raindrop in that information ocean called the Internet.

However, the day after I posted it, I received this note from the CTO of a technology company in South Africa:

I stumbled across your mod-rewrite script on your blog and wanted to ask if it is okay to use it on our site - I think this is so far the best solution I have come across.

Flattery will get you anywhere! The e-mail continues:

One question: We have two mobi-sites ( which is jQueryMobile and which is standard HTML/CSS) - in our case I would really like to route certain requests (especially BlackBerry and Symbian) to our site. How do you suggest this could be achieved?

A sent back a quick response yesterday with the following recipe (with obvious caveats):

And got this response today:

This is awesome - we just put it on our site and your changes work like a charm! Thanks again for your very helpful article and prompt help.

If only saving the world were so easy. :)

Okay, so what’s the point? Well, just to underscore what’s been said before, often quite eloquently, that the first step toward building a better, more open Web – for journalism, for education, for cinema, for just about everything – is to #ShowYourWork.

It’s really that simple.


Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.