Mowser Founder Pulls the Plug

Mowser founder Russell Beattie has pulled the plug on the transcoding business after one year, citing a lack of quality traffic and the inability to raise funding.

Beattie, a former mobile developer for Yahoo!, had hoped to compete with Google, Greenlight Wireless' Skweezer and other developers that customize Internet content for mobile phones.

"We haven't been able to raise funding, and as a site, growth has been flat or falling for the past couple months because of various search-engine tweaks I've done," Beattie wrote on his blog on Monday. "We'll keep the site running for the time being, but we're going to encourage others to not rely on the service, as it could disappear in the future."

Beattie also addressed those who might question his decision to quit after such a short time.

"I don't actually believe in the ‘mobile Web' anymore, and therefore am less inclined to spend time and effort in a market I think is limited at best and dying at worst," he wrote. "Two years ago, I was convinced that the mobile Web would continue to evolve in the West to mimic what was happening in countries like Japan and Korea, but it hasn't happened, and now I'm sure it isn't going to."

Beattie said the lack of quality traffic - he noted that 80 percent of Mowser's traffic was porn-related - shows that consumers won't embrace mobile Internet until Web-friendly phones such as Apple's iPhone become more commonplace.

"Let me say that again clearly: The mobile traffic just isn't there," he wrote. "It's not there now, and it won't be."