Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rogue Mobile Apps

Maggie McGary had a great question to my earlier post about Mobile Apps:

Now--what's your call on this: a member contacts your association saying they've developed an app that includes content created by your association (say a Twitter or blog feed). They intend to charge for the app. Do you grant permission or not? Hypothetically-speaking only, of course ;)

My two cents, and I am not a lawyer, don't play one on TV and didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night...

That is your content. It isn't public domain. No one should be able to profit from something that your association created (albeit it was most likely volunteers donating the time and knowledge). You wouldn't let your competing association do it, so why a member?

Now, if they had extra content or some new technology to offer that piggybacks off what your association created, I would try to license it or purchase it from the member and launch it under the association's umbrella. That way the member gets the money they were looking for and the association gets another product.

Developing a Mobile App

Lindy Dreyer over at Social Fish has a great blog post about mobile apps for associations. Are they a waste of time?

We had some extra money in the budget to use by the end of the year, so we decided to dip our toe in the app world. We did a quick survey and found that 2/3 of our members who use smart phones use Blackberry, 1/3 iPhone, and one using an Android. So we took one of our products, a listing of crane hand signals and their graphic representations, and made it an app. OSHA just passed a regulation on cranes and derricks, so it is timely.

Here is what I learned in the process.
- You have to register as a developer with both Blackberry and Apple. This step takes time. I thought our vendor was registered and could just put it up, but if we wanted our name on it, we needed to have our own vendor account. Again, this is not a short process. Even if you are just thinking about doing an app, register now. Apple does charge $99 per year.

- Spend the extra time mapping out exactly how you want it to function and how you want it to look. Remember, graphics on the phone are small, so be sure you have them setup appropriately (contrast, colors, etc)

- Free vs. Paid - tough call. Know your members. What is the content of the app? Is it a service or a revenue center.

And for the big piece of info you wanted to know - we paid $2500 total to have it done on both platforms. But it was a pretty simple app and we had the graphics already. Nothing new needed to be created.

I checked the stats and we have over 600 downloads in under 10 days. I am guessing many of those are non-members and non-industry related, but that's pretty good numbers!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stuff I Use and Love - Wall Mount

I really wanted to hang my 32in TV in my bedroom instead of having it on the dresser. I got this mount, and it went up easy and holds it with no problem. Swings out to boot.

Love it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Stuff I Use and Love - Volume 1

I get a lot of folks asking me for computer recommendations, other stuff to buy recommendations. So, I thought I would start a new feature on this blog highlighting some of the stuff that I use and love.

First up, My Netbook.

I have the Acer Aspire. Love it. Highly recommended. Stick with the 6 cell or higher battery, though.

The Whole Cook Source Flap

I am going to give my 2 cents on this whole Cook Source thing. If you don't know what I am talking about, you can read more here and here. I am sure a few folks are going to take umbrage with my stance, but that is bound to happen.

So a magazine found a blog post, liked it, printed it while giving credit to the author. The author hears about it, and gets pissed? She wants printed apologies and a donation made, because she got published? What am I missing here? Who wouldn't want their stuff to be published while being credited? Isn't that one of the main tenants of blogging, to be linked to?

Sure, the response from the editor was one of the dumbest things ever written and she handled it tremendously bad. However, I am just floored that this person is pissed off. True, the internet is not public domain. However, every college paper in the world has citations. And all those students didn't contact the author to make sure they can use it. And every blog post (ok, not every one) has someone else linking back to it, and they didn't ask first before linking.

So what is the rub here?