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Fool Community Help Desk / Improve the Fool
|Subject: Re: New Fool Phone App||Date: 6/23/2011 9:45 AM|
|Author: RaplhCramden||Number: 85664 of 89252|
What do you think the chances are that TMF's "official" policy is that for $3MM they will build a message board app? We are lucky enough to have a few Fools who will engage on boards like this, then I read the thread and am reminded why this is rare and why it is rare throughout corporate America. The public is too uninformed and too ready to whine to have open discussion with the public be a good policy except in some very limited circumstances.
Anybody who wants to develop an app is welcome to. On the Android side of the world, the only things you HAVE to pay money for to develop an app is a PC. If you already have a PC (and I'm guessing most people posting on these boards do), ALL the software you need is free, and there are reasonably well documented discussions of every step of the process. You need the Java Development Kit (JDK) from oracle.com, Android Software Development Kit (SDK) from... I don't remember where its from, google it. I highly recommend Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
For the last two months I have been thrashing around learning Android Apps. My particular focus is nerdy, I want to log various things that the phone does for the understanding of performance and the development of algorithms to do some other stuff efficiently. But it is a BLAST. To realize that every tool I'm using cost precisely $0, that a smart 13 year old could set up the same environment I have and make running code and try them on her own phone, all for FREE. I offered to some friends of mine who are home schooling to tutor their son in getting this going. Talk about highly educational! Learning object oriented programming will get your neurons all dancing together, and doing it on one of the most successful programmable platforms ever should keep it from being too boring.
Yes, the Fool boards are backwards and upside down, technologically speaking. But here on this board, we are a bunch of Dinosaurs b1tching about the small mammals and what they will pay for, and what they won't pay for. I can assure you if I ran a website and I had a bunch of small mammals willing to pay $2.99 to read professional content, and a bunch of dinosaurs stomping around demanding free stuff without every putting (much) money in, I would be devoting my resources to the small mammals.
I doubt that at this time you can get good Android developers for cheap. Even my company is paying me to write Android instead of hiring some junior guy who gets paid half what I get. Presumably because the jr guys who can actually code make a lot more than half what I make due to the amazing demand for Apps.
I'm sure part of what makes Fool message boards upgrades hard is that they have a precarious business model. The way you make a mobile webpage is you strip out most of the junk so you can present smallish amount of text in readable format. All those click through ads... gone! So you have a revenue model on the boards which is likely just sort of limping along, costing very little in CapEx (which is why the software for the boards is about the same as it was 100 years ago), and generating very little in attributable ad revenue. Its not like putting $1MM into developing better boards is going to pay off, there is no particular reason to think that the kind of person who would pay for professional content would be attracted to the boards just becasue they had been spiffed up. I'm sure the Fool looks at its desultory efforts to improve search on the boards and to "improve" the boards by putting Facebook-like lipstick on the board-pig as failures in that they cost SOME money and probably attracted nobody.
We pay the fool nothing. In some sense, we are getting precisely what we want. We can't very well sit around and say "well these other sites are much better" because if that were true, wouldn't we be there and not here? There is something about this software on this board, crafted before the Dinosaurs became extinct, that matches up with us skinflint Dinosaur board users. Yes the future is small mammals, and the business-end of Fool will adapt-or-die to small mammals. But we are not small mammals and our dinosaur interests are at odds with those of small mammals.
What is the proper role of a bunch of dinosaurs on their way to extinction? I'd imagine it is b1tching about everything while paying for nothing. We're doing good!
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