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Subject:  Re: New Fool Phone App Date:  6/20/2011  9:42 PM
Author:  Goofyhoofy Number:  85658 of 92011

How is my argument sounding now?

Even sillier. First you say people don't want to type messages, then you type a message.

I'm answering you from my Droid Incredible. I read your message here. I replied here.

Optimal experience? No?

My logic train is pretty easy to follow here: Either the boards have value or they don't. My conclusion is that they must have some value, because the Fool continues to maintain them, and even upgrade (?) them from time to time. Why would they do that if there was no value to them?

"Mobile" is where computing is going; Google reports that mobile accounted for about 10% of all searches a year ago, and projects 20% in 2012. These are "active" searches, people typing things into boxes and getting results. Facebook is rumored to be launching its app within a few weeks, again, with people typing things in boxes (sometimes long things) and interacting with other people.

The Fool app, now being flogged over in the right-hand column is completely inidirectional and passive, which is fine, but for those of us in these interactive fields we ask for more. The response is: Pay us $3MM and we'll do it. I'm going to chalk that up to a failed attempt at humor, because other possibilities are unkind.

And I note that it can take mere thousands to put an app together, sometimes one person can do it in a couple weeks: (How to Build An App in 14 Days: ) which argues for the possibility of mere hundreds, not thousands.

I'm sure Facebook is spending a lot more, but then it's their core business and they're adding lots of bells and whistles, according to reports. I'm sure "Friendly" did not, whipped together an app which is entirely useful, simple, and has all the key functions of Facebook, which is to say: it retrieves data from someone's account (with permission), formats everything and puts it on the screen in organized and readable fashion, and allows "typing of long messages" to go right back to the server. I remain unconvinced that this is so hard or costly, because I am seeing in in action with other sites.

I saw it on the MI board when the guy set up his own search function for users. A guy. In his bedroom. A half dozen years ago.

Wait! The Fool has a new set of boards, too: the CAPS side of the house, what with swell new formatting and all. That has no value? That side also gets "read our headlines and listen to our podcasts" but nothing else?

As someone upthread said, far less politely, it's a big boat, it's an obvious boat, it's a cheap-to-get-on boat, and the Fool has decided to miss it.

I don't understand it, even if the economics aren't there by itself. Companies do lots of things that aren't perfectly economic unto themselves but which further the mission: the return counter at WalMart doesn't make a penny; sponsoring Walk-A-Thons doesn't benefit IBM's bottom line, keeping the Charles Schwab call centers in the US costs more, but somehow the longer view is that it's worth it because it keeps customers and/or employees more tightly bound. Why doesn't this? Nobody cares? It costs too much? I remain unconvinced.
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