Create an app or mobile version of the site.
Making an app or mobile version would be great because then someone could post their newest finds right away and not wait till they got home or to a wifi spot.
Version 1 of the App is now live. You can access at: http://app.comicbookrealm.com
There is also a forum devoted to the app for your feedback.
You can now access version 1 of the App here: http://app.comicbookrealm.com.
There is also a new forum category devoted specifically to the App for your feedback.
I currently use Zap-Kapow and paid $2.99 for it. I only use it to check prices of comics to see if I'm getting a good deal or not. However I haven't added my entire collection or a want list to it.
They also charge a voluntary 99c price update fee once a month. Which is more than reasonable because you have a choice of whether or not you want to update the pricing or not.
My only grip with the app is that it doesn't have a bar-code scanner would save heaps of time and prevent comics being duplicated on the site.
Either way I'd gladly pay $3.00-$5.00 for the app and would recommend it to my friends if a lot of the features from the site carry over to the app with the BAR-CODE SCANNER!
Charlie Cheng commented
1. Have the lifetime members of CBR use the app for free. Or pay a smaller fee. I've already paid for the lifetime membership...would make sense to get a free/discount for the app.
2. If there is a fee...make it a one time deal. I hate paying for anything monthly. You have to add it to your budget and sometimes I go for a month or two away from CBR, hate the idea of paying for something and not using it.
3. Great idea to have the app free for browsing but if you want to add issues, make that a paid option.
4. Lastly, all for the app. When I'm out shopping, that's when I need to check my CBR list.
Chad Allard commented
Without reading the majority of comments here, I'm going to throw my 2 cents in. Would I use a mobile app? Absolutely! Every time I'm at the LCS I view the site mobile to get my want list, and it's always a pain to navigate around.
When it comes down to cost, getting advertisers is simple. Heck, you can sign up with an ad service (such as adsense) and generate mobile ads without having to physically go out and find advertisers.
For those who don't want to see the ads, a fixed ONE TIME fee. That's how 99.99% of the apps I've used do it. The thing is, that 100% of the time, I'm willing to pay the fee. The problem is that if it's a monthly cost, I know for a fact that I would end up not paying it and browse the site the old way if necessary. Call be cheap, call me thankless, but if anything I'm honest... and you know that people will be the same. People don't like feeling "nickle-dimed". Of course many might jump on the bandwagon and claim they'll pay monthly, but you'll notice that few do.
You can charge a higher one time fee and get it almost always whereas if you charge a lesser monthly fee, you will find people unwilling to pay it.
I run a few mobile apps for my company, and have worked with national newspapers in integrating their mobile technology... this is just what I've seen as far as payments go.
Of course the benefit of the mobile app world is that you open the door to that audience who may never actually use the website itself, favoring the mobile-only mentality. That's a whole lot of extra untapped traffic.
j doe commented
hey Dough Boy. a mobile app for Comic Book Realm would, of course, be great. as a Lifetime Member, i would have no problem paying another one-time fee for something that i would use almost daily, be it to check my collection while at the shop, compare prices, or show off my collection to my pals. i think a lot of other collectors would be willing to also. whichever way you go, i love the site and, like i said, use it quite a bit.
Peter Larsson commented
Just switching to iPhone I have to agree that an app would be great, particularly when out and about and just want to check if you have a particular issue so you don't miss out or get duplicates. I'd be willing to pay for it.
Jared Spindor commented
I would be willing to purchase the app as well, I think a 1 time purchase would be better than a subscription but that is just my 2 cents. I wouldn't mind seeing 2 versions of the app, that is mostly because I don't really see myself using it to manage my collection. I would use it more to search for prices or just to see if I already own the comic in question.
If the only option would be a more advanced app to manage the collection, as long as it had a good search capability with less overhead than the full site (ads/images/etc) then I would still purchase it. As it stands, even when I am on wifi my phone tends to load the site fairly slowly, so an app would be much easier to use on a phone.
I did not realize that app development would run that high. Then again, I am not a developer, just tech support. Based on the cost of development, I don't think you would be out of line to do a subscription for it, would the cost just be added to the cell bill? I'm a little ignorant on how that kind of stuff works too...
Definitely sign me up for it if the app gets made. I love this site and as soon as I have some disposable income again was planning on upping to the paid membership or making a donation because I use the site on a regular basis.
Rich Hosey commented
I'd probably pay in the $5 range for this. I use the browser version on my iphone now when I am in a shop, it works okay but not ideal.
I'd be more willing to buy the app as a one time purchase for basic features like viewing my collection, somewhere less than $5. Maybe more advanced features like editing your collection could be an in-app purchase or subscription fee. I personally doubt I'd do the subscription because I think this app will be useful in short bursts. I doubt I'll be using it on a regular enough basis to justify a subscription.
They have apps like this already, like iCollect Comics, but it sucks, its slow as can be when scanning in covers via barcode... heck, every option is slow! I keep all my comics here cause this site is the bomb :) Even now i use safari on my iPhone to see my comic collection while at the store, but a quicker, easier way with covers would be excellent and worth paying for to DL :)
I'm with what Anonymous stated...:)
A few comments:
1. I'd be willing to do a one-time purchase of an app over a monthly fee. I might go months without accessing the app, and I think it would be more annoying to pay for something I'm not using. I'd be more willing to pay for an app once and then have it for use whenever I need it. As for price point, I'd probably pay $3.99 without blinking an eye. Apps above $4.99, I at least pause to think about before purchasing.
2. Although it would be grand to manipulate my collection in the app, the main thing I would want it for is to see my owned and wanted lists and to view covers.
3. If you do allow for manipulation of a collection via the app, I'd be ok with adding one at a time for phones. I'm not going to be sitting in a store on my phone doing mass adds. (Though I could see folks doing mass deletes if they're selling comics.)
On a side note, it's sad to hear that more people haven't donated. I finally just did, and at least one person who I got started using this site also has. It's an incredibly useful site, and I appreciate the work you've put into developing and maintaining it.
The problem with the full page ad is having to "sell it". This takes time, effort, and energy.
As far as the subscription I like the logic, but we sort of have that now and a very small fraction of the members even ever donate anything. If I didn't have advertising the donations wouldn't come close to covering the costs of running the site.
I mostly agree with the previous post. I think I would only really want to have the ability to see what's in my collection. I don't see myself needing to add multiple comics to my pile whilst on the move. It would be more for when I am in a shop and cannot remember if I have a certain book.
So I think if the intention is to give users the ability to add / edit / remove comics, then doing so one at a time is fine with me.
Also, I think an up front pricing structure is best rather than a subscription fee. Wouldn't the ongoing cost of the servers etc be covered by future users paying for the app?
Alternatively I have seen apps where there is a full page advert that you have to click through to access the main part of the app. Would this approach work, rather than having a banner present at all times taking up too much room?
You should make 2 versions of the app... one for consumers who have a personal collection and a larger more advanced app for the serious collectors/shop owners..
The personal collection (free or $.99) app could be a simple app that just lets you view your collection with covers and in groups by series or however, then the more advanced (monthly $$ fee) can be a subscription and have editing capabilities along with everything else
I am not sure everyone would want
So in thinking things through, I believe I can support most functionality on a small screen, except for "mass adding of comics".
For instance you can select say 10 comics now and it goes to a different screen for you to set grade, price paid, ask price, pile, etc.
For simplicity sake I believe that you should only be able to add/edit/remove one comic at a time through your mobile app.
How do I help?
I'd go $20/year...if that's what it would take...
I guess I should be more specific as far as cost.
Would you be willing to pay $2/month or $20/year, or $1/month or $10/year, etc. I am trying to calculate how much money could be raised to offset the cost of development and ad loss, etc. For instance 1 app could cost $3-5k in development fees (not including building out the API system, etc).
Out of the 23k+ members only 377 have donated anything over the years. If the cost is $10k to get apps for the major players at $20/year (only $14 after sharing with Apple/Google) it would require about 725 pay $20 for one year to recover the cost. At $10/year (only $7 after sharing with Apple/Google) it would require 1,450, at $5/year (only $3.50 after sharing with Apple/Google) it would take nearly 2,900. At the $20 level if only 100 subscribed a year it could take more than 7 years to just recoup my costs.
As far as your phone goes I will be targeting iOS and Android devices first (likely with native apps). If you have something else as long as it has a "modern" mobile browser I might be able to support that as well.
Regardless there would likely be a free trial for any app (i.e. 2 weeks). Sort of a try it before you buy it, etc.
Would like to see this; My personal answers to the 2 questions:
1. - Would like to view my database, as well as manipulate...with my current phone (Sanyo Innuendo (provider is Boost)), I can see the the site, but cannot log in, post PMs, or look at my collection. It would be helpful, as I recommend CBR to many co-workers & friends who might be interested in comic collecting.
2. - I would be willing to pay a subscriber's fee a month, if there is a working mobile site/app for my current phone.