LJ for WebOS update
Mood: hopeful
Posted on 2010-04-16 10:11:00
Tags: lj for webos palmpre projects
Words: 297

The good news: Since my last update, I'm up to 132 copies sold. I've added some new features, including the heavily-requested thumbnails in posts, and I made a video walkthrough of the app that's linked to from the App Catalog. (which is a cool feature - thanks Palm!)

The bad news: The rate of sales is really slowing down - this last week I had three days in a row where no copies were sold, which is the first time that's happened since I've been tracking the daily numbers. Pushing the update helped a little, but I'm getting a feeling that the market may be somewhat saturated - the intersection of "people who own a Pre" and "people who use LiveJournal enough that they're willing to pay a few bucks for a good client" probably isn't that big to begin with. Or maybe it's just a blip; I suppose time will tell.

I was hoping that I might squeak in to the Palm Hot Apps competition, but looking at the leaderboard I'm a ways out from the #200 slot. Right now I'd have to sell 51 more copies to get on the list, and that's only going to go up over time. Oh well!

In any case, I've had a lot of fun working on LJ for WebOS and I'm glad that people seem to generally find it useful. I'm hoping to publish my next app (the FlightCaster-based one) within a few weeks - it's mostly ready to go but I'm waiting on some API changes before I call it done, and then I have to make a video, etc.

A post by someone on Palm's developer relations team sums up well why I like WebOS so much and why I'm going to be a sad panda if it goes away.


Comment from spchampion:


- Create a limited version you can give away. Make upgrading easy.

- Make a website for your app. Choose a domain name and build a nice looking site. Use Wordpress and a nice looking template. (See http://www.premiumwp.com/ for a list of some good ones.)

- Focus on SEO so that when I search for Palm and Livejournal, I find your app.

That will definitely raise your interest level a bit.

The next ideas are two of the hardest to accept:

1.) LiveJournal is losing popularity in this country. Are there other geographies (Russia?) where it's more popular? Could you get your app translated, assuming Palm Pres are available in that geography in the first place?

2.) Palm is a tough sell for people right now. Can you move your app to Android or iPhone?

3.) Could you provide access to more platforms? Your app could do LJ, Twitter, and Facebook. Or LJ and Wordpress. Or LJ, Blogspot, and Wordpress. Etc, etc.

Comment from spchampion:

I should proof read my comments.

"The next ideas are *three* of the hardest to adapt:"

Comment from gregstoll:

Hey, good ideas! Here are my thoughts:

- I've thought about this - my app segments nicely into reading posts and writing posts. But, I'm afraid that giving away reading posts (which was by far most of the work) is giving away too much (most people might be happy with just that), and giving away writing posts doesn't show off how useful reading posts is. Plus, submitting another app in the App Catalog costs $50, so I'd need to sell ~25 more copies just to break even.

- Yeah, I've been kinda lazy about LJ for WebOS website. Point taken.

- I think I'm pretty decent here - googling for palm livejournal puts me in the #3 spot, and for webos livejournal I have spots #1-3.

Harder ideas!

1) Yeah, LJ is pretty popular in Russia, but I don't think any WebOS phones are available there. (and certainly you can't buy apps there)

2) There's already a pretty good free iPhone app (although the ratings are low...interesting) and some Android ones, although I can't seem to view the details.

More philosophically, I can't get too excited about developing an app that I can't use...since this is just something I work on in whatever free time I can squeeze out, I doubt I'd be able to work on one of those for too long.

3) That's a good idea - if I could think of a good way to unify the interface (as opposed to having LJ, Twitter, Facebook sections) I might do that. That's a lot more work, though, and there are a bunch of good Twitter clients and an official (free) Facebook client already on WebOS.

Comment from blamantin:

FYI, I think your googling results are higher with google 'knowing' what you've liked/looked at before.

If I google palm livejournal, you're #6.

And for webos livejournal you're 2-4.

Comment from gregstoll:

Dang...I even signed out of Google so that wouldn't happen! Interesting...

Comment from spamchang:

Maybe most ppl were too busy filling out tax forms to deal with apps this week? Good luck!

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