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Dusko
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03/02/16 01:42 PM (5 years ago)

How I See the Current State of Buzztouch

The views in this post are my own and have not been influenced by any kind of insider knowledge and what not. This is how I see the current state of Buzztouch and is not endorsed by David Book. We have first heard about the changes on 22nd April 2015, see the announcement here: https://www.buzztouch.com/forum/thread.php?tid=A336CBFD7EA572BE3FE4256&fid=29FCCE999D443E6BA90435B&sortColumn=FT.id&sortUpDown=&currentPage=1 Unfortunately, I had not had sound at that webinar so I have no idea what it really was about, except that the changes will be fantastic (from what I have seen on the screen). Then we had the announcement four months ago. Since then David did not appear with any new announcement about anything. Officially, no news at all. But when you try to use the site, there are changes. The main change is the steep increase in price. Depending on what you were charged before, it could be a 2 to 5 times increase on the annual level. Also, there is a fixed period of one month before the free membership expires. Earlier, you could have three apps on BT servers for free, forcing David to bleed server expenses out of his own pocket instead of you. Now you can have one app until the membership expires and then renew or find some other way of making mobile apps. Increase in price will never be popular but David said on his last webinar that about 64% of BT users were from "undeveloped" (read: poor) countries which did not pay more than 4 dollars all together. (Four dollars is not a typo here.) David has been paying server costs all along and for nothing. Free obviously did not lead to increased sales in this case. David is still here and monitoring the whole thing otherwise dozens of thousands of apps would stop working at the first sign of a problem. "September certificate crisis" shows us how instrumental David is without ever telling any one in the forums. Use the Advanced forum search feature and search for posts by david @ to see what I mean. He also said that he would produce two new plugins per month. This, in my opinion, is a very problematic idea. Where would the ideas for new plugins come from? How useful would they be in reality? Two plugins per month is 24 plugins per year, times two too, for Android and iOS. This is impossible for one man to do if we are talking any serious development idea. (I know this first hand, because for the last two years I have been producing dozens of plugins for myself and for various other parties.) Let us take a concrete example of a menu plugin. David gives away the Menu Simple plugin which does the job but apps with it look outdated. Susan's Menu with Image rules and is probably the most usable plugin around. So what would happen if David produced exactly one such plugin and "gives it away" with the monthly membership? In the plugins market you will find many plugins with identical similarity but from different authors. There is one plugin for RSS which is for Android and another one for iOS, but from different authors. There is one plugin for watching YouTube videos for Android and the other one for the iOS -- from different authors, again. These plugins are cheap in themselves but they are not usable if you want to use the same code base to produce the app on both platforms in one swoop. For serious app producers this is a huge problem and once in a while I will get a job to convert the existing and a well known plugin to the "missing" platform. The logic is simple: enable creation of apps for both platforms at once and double the money for the publisher. That in itself is a great justification for the increase in price for the BT system. The other thing that I am missing is the ability to sell anything related to BT in the marketplace. I would like to offer courses, membership sites, ebooks, personal couching or consulting and I would like Buzztouch to get its share of all that. buzztouch.com is where all of it should happen, not ClickBank nor Udemy. Moving on. A HTML5 version of an app would be available, which means you could see your app right there on the server. iBuildApp and others had that functionality in 2011. Before using BT, I was on iBuildApp and I can tell that this is NOT the fastest way to create an app. It would be great for novices though, to see what it is that they were doing. We still have no idea about HTML5 version in new BT. The idea that produced the most stir was that the self hosted version would somehow be discontinued. We do not really know why did David give us the self hosted version at all, as it produced many of his severe competitors. (I could swear that iBuldApp was working on one such system, though I do not know for sure.) He did, however, that cat is out of the bag and will not return back, at least not without a very good reason. The reason for the "stir" is that you really can go pro with a self hosted BT server: you can create as many of your apps as you like and you can have customers that do not pay David Book anything (which hurts the most, I think). Now dig this: once you download one version of your app from the BT server, you do not have to download it again, EVER, if you specifically don't want to. In cases of complicated apps, you are almost forbidden to download it again -- if you change BT core code, it will be overwritten with the next download from server, so it is not a good strategy for complicated apps. If you are a programmer or if you have a programmer on your team, once you get the BT source code, they do not really need BT in any shape or form. So BT is for people who want to create apps easily or for novice to intermediate users. The greatest strength of BT is the ability to change plugin behavior from the server, while the app is still live and in use. I have no idea when the next set of changes will propagate through buzztouch.com. I have no idea why David is not telling us more. Many new users are confused by the lack of documentation -- read the forums and see one and the same question be asked again and again and again. How many new users will have to be directed to GoNorthWest's videos on YouTube instead of watching David's videos on his own site? Or why there is no link to these videos to help potential buyers use their free month of BT in a more productive way? Still, I have paid the yearly membership and I do believe better things are awaiting us. I'm looking forward to seeing them!
 
Grateful
buzztouch Evangelist
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03/02/16 07:30 PM (5 years ago)
Good summary. I believe better things are waiting for us. Even as is, the product is good.
 
AlanMac
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03/04/16 09:30 AM (5 years ago)
Well said Dusko.
 
affinitymc
I hate code!
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03/05/16 03:22 PM (5 years ago)
Hmmm...me thinks David needs a solid business plan. Maybe I should produce an app for that?
 
LA
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03/06/16 07:47 AM (5 years ago)
I just keep on plugin until David updates. LA
 

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