Hello iBirders!

I’m happy to welcome you to our new iBird Blog.  The idea for this blog came out of my frustration. Let me explain. First in case you’ve been sleeping under a rock (some birders I know actually sleep in what I bet you would agree is a cave) a “blog” is a way for a blogger (that would be me in this case) to write about stuff, publish it on the web, and have people leave comments about that stuff. So maybe now you can guess my frustration came from not having a good way to talk with our iBird customers. Its my hope this blog will allow me to communicate all kinds of interesting topics about iBird including:

  • Cool things we are working on for future updates to iBird
  • Answers important to all iBird customers
  • New technology in birding, what I call “naturetech”
  • The best places to bird, the best birding books to read, etc.
  • What to do if you get a ticket for J-walking

Okay that last bullet was not serious but I want to make sure you are reading this, otherwise what’s the point?

I’ll publish this message to the blog and ask you all to leave comments. To give some direction to the comments, here are some of the things I would like to hear from you:

  • Is this blog a good idea?
  • What would you like me to post on the blog?
  • What do you love and hate about iBird (when I say hate I mean it tongue in cheek; I will delete hate mail but I do want to know what you don’t like as well as what you do like.)

Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully leave some thoughts.

Mitchell Waite
Publisher, Mitch Waite Group

20 thoughts on “Hello iBirders!

  1. Hi Mitch – I am happy to see you finally get around to publishing a blog and let me be one of the first to say THANK YOU FOR MAKING SUCH A GREAT PRODUCT. I won’t waste a lot of your time with my verbiage (at least not just yet) but I do have one thing to request you add to your list of things you’ll blog about: HOW TO USE IBIRD’S SEARCH ENGINE. I know that the search is a powerful feature but I sometimes find I end up with no matches for a bird I am sure it should identify. So maybe I am doing something wrong and you can help me get better at using it?

    Thanks

    Otis

  2. Mitch,

    What a wonderful idea to have a blog for iBird! Yes, iBird should definitely continue.

    As far as posts, there are two thoughts that I have. One might be to have a section (or page) for frequent answers to tickets that people send in. Another idea might be to have guest bloggers that would write on our favorite subject — birds — every facet. Of course, the blog posts would need to be approved prior to posting to make sure they are in line with iBird quality and guidelines.

    The one thing that I didn’t particularly like was the bird comparison feature on the iPad. I did not find it user friendly for being able to “clear” my comparisons and put in new criteria (remember that I’m going off of memory here as I can’t look at the iPad).

    iBird apps are a wonderful resource for either identifying unknown birds or re-acquainting oneself with old familiar birds. Great job!

  3. Hi Mitch,

    I think the blog is a great idea and I’m excited to see where it goes.

    I think Pam’s ideas for a FAQ page and especially for guest bloggers is brilliant.

    Having people review a popular birding trip or getting advice from professional bird photographers would be fun too.

    Is there a background with the logo and links to iBird info being worked on?

    I own a few different iBird apps, and they are among the most useful and well used apps I have. I appreciate the attention to detail and the frequent updates that makes iBird an ever evolving tool.

  4. Hi Pam and Crystal.

    Thanks for the nice feedback to both of you and for being the first to comment on the blog.

    All your collective ideas are great; a page for frequent answers to our most common iBird support questions (like where did my sound go), a guest blogger, advice from photographers, etc. Perhaps I can interview some of our contributing professional photographers? Yes, there will be an iBird Logo, as soon as I figure out how to add it to my theme. And pick a more exciting theme.

    The question of iBird Pro for the iPhone vs iBird Pro HD for the iPad…how funny you should ask that as I am just wrapping up my first major blog article and that is one of the topics I am covering.

    Mitch

  5. 1. Yes – communication with the customer is always a good thing and breeds customer loyalty. Read books likePutting The Public Back in Public Relations, etc…they all advocate for the blog. But it needs to be a two way conversation not just a broadcast mechanism. Not that. You have to reply to each and every post. Also it must be consistent.
    2. I am mostly interested in updates to the app. Maybe you can post different ways you can use iBird in the field. Dont think tips, etc are necessary, but might be a good topic area when there isn’t much to write about.
    3. Have no complaints since last year when the app kept crashing…since then it has been a constant companion on both walks and kayak trips.

    • Hello Charlie – so good to hear from you! May I asked how you found out about this blog? I haven’t really started promoting it other than a short tweet I sent last night. Eventually the blog will be inside of iBird and hopefully customers will discover it there.

      I completely agree with your comment #1 about the blog being a two way communication and that is exactly our plan. In fact my associates will also be chiming in to make sure there are several points of view. We might not be able to reply to all the posts instantly but will do our best. The fact that this blog will be included right in the iBird app should make the conversations more robust.

      Your comment #2 that you are mostly interested in updates to the app – that is one I would also be interested in and will make sure we keep everyone appraised as to what is coming. Of course we have to be careful about how much we can reveal as I am confident our competition will be lurking. On that note I’ll be posting about updates in the next few days.

      I am sure the tips will be well received as you would not believe the volume of questions we get each day from people wanting to know how to do things which we thought were easy to understand. Posts about how to use iBird in the field is a great idea. I’d be curious to hear how you use it on your walks and kayak trips.

      Mitch

  6. The blog’s a great idea! I agree a FAQ could be very helpful.

    How about an article comparing the various versions of iBird that are available with details of each?

    Any chance we’ll see iBirds available for the (non-rooted) Nook Color?

  7. I just bought a Nook Tablet and I rooted it just so I could use IBird on it. Unfortunately IBird won’t install because it says my device in not compatible. I can install other Android apps without a problem. Do you have any suggestions?

    • My suggestion don’t install our app on any rooted device. I’m not saying you are using it this way but rooting allows installing cracked versions of paid software. So obviously we are not going to give support to people rooting their tablets or phones. The only way we will support the Nook tablet is if we submit iBird to the Nook app store. Until we see a really large market share for the Nook we have no plans to support it.

  8. Thank you for your reply. We purchased the Nook just for iBird and vice versa. The Nook is perfect for IBird because it’s the right size and it is quite reable outside. Phones are too small and IPads are too big and both are hard to read outdoors because of the reflective screens. We purchased IBird just for the Nook but it would only let us install it on our Android phone. I didn’t realize rooted devices could install cracked versions but now I understand why you would not want to support a rooted device. Of course our intention was not to steal the program. IBird is priced very reasonably and it’s hard to imagine someone would go to this much trouble to try to steal it. I did find a way to install it on the Nook but as I mentioned we did buy IBird. We would have gladly paid much more if it would have saved us the trouble of rooting, etc. I hope your developers will submit iBird to the Nook app store so other Nook users can enjoy iBIrd. I don’t think you have to wait for customers to ask for a Nook version. Steve Jobs said “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” When people see iBird on the Nook they are going to love it.

  9. I was very disappointed to learn that I couldn’t download ibird for my wife’s nook for christmas – today.

    Bummer.

    Please make it available for nook. Researched for the last month, was sold on ibird – looks like a great product

    • Alan we are looking into the Nook. I have owned their color book reader since it first came out. We have to be careful about where we port iBird to. I am not yet convinced that the Nook is selling in sufficient quantities to justify all the effort. Have you seen any sales figures? We did port to the Kindle Fire and I am very happy with the sales, iBird is in the top 10 best selling education app.
      It has a perfect 5 star average customer review.

  10. I received a Nook tablet as a gift for Christmas and, like others, was disappointed to learn that iBird isn’t available for it. Yet, I hope? B&N issued a Jan 5 press release in which they stated that Nook sales were up 70% over prior period sales (9 week holiday period) and digital content sales (including apps) were up 113% over the same period. You can find the release here: http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/press_releases/2012_01_05_2011_holiday_sales.html

    My fingers are crossed!

    • Hi Joni – thanks for the info on the Nook sales. We were just discussing this subject today. The problem with a company press release is they always spin them to be super positive. And thats fine but you need to stand back and look at the situation. The internet is full of articles today such as this one from the Wall Street Journal: Barnes & Noble Seeks Next Chapter which basically explains why their stock fell 17% today. Most analysts are worried that they are not going to show a profit for the digital part of the business. The news that B&N is looking to possibly spin the digital part of the company from the book part means to many that they need some kind of partner if they want to continue to compete with Amazon and Apple. So….while I would like to offer iBird on the Nook we can’t afford to do all the work and have the sales be low. I am sure you can understand that. There are other bird apps on the Nook, like the Audubon app. Have you considered buying it?

  11. Got the Nook Tablet for my wife and she is very disappointed we can not load iBird to it . Understand your concern about investing development time for a “small” platform. I did not realize that all Android devices were not the same. If Ibird does not want to invest in specific Nook development, is there any possibility of future Android upgrades that will make devices more universal?

    • The issue is that each carrier/manufacturer who chooses to use Android can set up their store in such a way that it will not work with any Android program unless the developer of the app joins their developer program, pays them for the privilege and makes a special version of the app that runs on their platform. They call this a “curated” store. While it might be great for Barnes and Noble and Amazon, I don’t think its so great for consumers. The only way to get a regular Google store purchased app to run on the Nook or Fire is to jailbreak it. We don’t recommend that as you can “brick” your device so it wont work at all. But if you are brave there is no law against it.

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