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Isthmus App.

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Isthmus App.

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:55 pm

Any chance that someone could put together an app for our new fangled telephones. An Isthmus app or even better a forum app would be awesome. Anyone else on board with this.
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby rabble » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:51 pm

I can see the forum and the website just fine with my little droid here. I've read and posted and looked up movies and everything.

What exactly would an isthmus app do?
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby jjoyce » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:59 pm

We have a site that's optimized for mobile devices:

m.isthmus.com

But we remain in the exploratory stages of app development. The question is a good one: What would one do? This is a perfect group to field that. But think more broadly. What would you like a Madison mobile app to do, whether that job is traditionally done by an alt weekly newspaper or not?
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby rabble » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:08 pm

The only Madison app I've ever found, I use all the time. BusRadar for Android. It's far and away better than anything on Metro's website.

So, for my money a Madison app should tell me when the bus is gonna get here. And now there is one. I can't think of any Madison-centric tasks that aren't taken care of just fine by google maps, the Isthmus website, and...

Well actually those are the only things I use, now that I think about it. Buses and navigation mostly. With a little movies and restaurants but not much. Maybe I need to get out more.
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:32 am

rabble wrote:The only Madison app I've ever found, I use all the time. BusRadar for Android. It's far and away better than anything on Metro's website.


That one is great.

jjoyce wrote:We have a site that's optimized for mobile devices:

m.isthmus.com


That was what I was looking for. I was looking for something that was optimized for a phone. It would be nice to have the forum on this page.

rabble wrote:I can see the forum and the website just fine with my little droid here. I've read and posted and looked up movies and everything.

What exactly would an isthmus app do?


It's about viewability for a phone. Madison.com actually has a pretty good mobile site for the phone. It's nothing fancy, it's just how it's set up for mobile use. I discovered it when I looked their site up on my phone and they directed me to download the mobile app.

I didn't even know the Isthmus had a site for phones.

I've used the forum from the browser on my phone and it's ok, but when it's optimized for the phone it's a bit more user friendly. Ya, I'm lazy and don't want to keep zooming in on each page. There is a convenience factor about having a button in my applications window. Plus, with an actually application, you can utilize more of the settings for additional navigation rather than just relying on the browser to go back and forth. For instance, you could have as part of your list button a "post reply" feature for the forum or sumpin' like that.

I think the Isthmus mobile site is alright, but I would suggest less text under the article headlines. You can preview more content on one page that way.

I'll check and see if any other weekly's have apps for their sites. Dammit, I want an app for everything.
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:31 am

Village Voice Media properties (Village Voice, City Pages, Westword, etc) have apps. But they also have a gajillion dollars supporting them.

Isthmus' mobile site is advertised at the top of every page in the little gray bar that reads "Mobile? Click HERE for m.isthmus.com"...FWIW.

I'd like to see Forum in some kind of mobile medium. I'd also like to be able to comment on TDP stories on a mobile; the comment field doesn't play nice with the iPhone OS, so I'm stuck waiting until I get home to post anything there.
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:26 am

I have the Isthmus telephone number programmed into my Samsung Stride, or as I like to call it, the watermelon seed. I've never had to use it, but just knowing it's there makes me feel a little warmer, fuzzier.
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:47 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:Isthmus' mobile site is advertised at the top of every page in the little gray bar that reads "Mobile? Click HERE for m.isthmus.com"...FWIW.


I never noticed it before you pointed that out.

TheBookPolice wrote:Village Voice Media properties (Village Voice, City Pages, Westword, etc) have apps. But they also have a gajillion dollars supporting them.


Is it expensive to put together an app? I have no idea what it takes to create and maintain. It seems as though the Isthmus is close with it's mobile site.
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:28 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
TheBookPolice wrote:Isthmus' mobile site is advertised at the top of every page in the little gray bar that reads "Mobile? Click HERE for m.isthmus.com"...FWIW.


I never noticed it before you pointed that out.

TheBookPolice wrote:Village Voice Media properties (Village Voice, City Pages, Westword, etc) have apps. But they also have a gajillion dollars supporting them.


Is it expensive to put together an app? I have no idea what it takes to create and maintain. It seems as though the Isthmus is close with it's mobile site.

Depends if The Isthmus has any C programmers on staff. Or they could contract with one of the myriad news app providers out there if they want something generic.

I've been using the madison.com app for awhile (iPhone). It's pretty good for recent stories and has a huge advantage on the clusterfuck they call a website.
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby jjoyce » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:55 pm

My research turns up several tens of thousands for a decent app.

A few other alt weeklies have apps and we're going to be debuting one for happy hours in a few weeks here, but it's one of these deals where we share ad revenue and help support content on an app built by someone else.

The VVM apps are okay, certainly very rich and expensive and taking advantage of economies of scale.

By far, the most popular apps continue to be games. I like a New York Times app called The Scoop, which is a collection of critics choices for stuff like food, drinks, events and NYC attractions. Seems pretty simple, straightforward and ideal for the medium in a city where people are often trying to figure out what they're going to do or what's close by that's good.
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby mrak » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:12 pm

The other problem with app development is that you have to develop for multiple platforms (Apple iOS, Android and probably BlackBerry) to reach as large an audience as possible.

Meanwhile, a mobile version of your site can have pretty much all of the functionality you really need, and if designed to look good and work well on a certain common denominator of mobile web browsers, will reach everyone.
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Re: Isthmus App.

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:27 pm

mrak wrote:The other problem with app development is that you have to develop for multiple platforms (Apple iOS, Android and probably BlackBerry) to reach as large an audience as possible.

Meanwhile, a mobile version of your site can have pretty much all of the functionality you really need, and if designed to look good and work well on a certain common denominator of mobile web browsers, will reach everyone.


Bingo bango bongo.
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