There was much poo pooing out there in the twitterverse today over the multitude of reactions to the Verizon app. Apparently some feel you only have the right to an opinion if it includes hearts, and flowers and fluffy bunnies when discussing things following this week’s State of IndyCar address… (more on that later)
The flip side of course is if the majority are in agreement in their negativity, like in the case of the sucker punch that was the firing of Lindy Thackston, well then you’re good to go. (I’ll save my ire on that topic for another day)
Personally, I stopped paying attention to the Verizon App part of the presentation because it was yet another offering not available to the Cdn or International fan base.
I’m not “outraged” (today’s word du jour) about Verizon making an app. Good for them I say! If I lived in the US, and had a Verizon phone, I’d be pretty happy and would probably download it. But I don’t, and I don’t, so I’m not, cause I can’t.
Here’s my take, if I might be so bold as to express a thought out of step with the bloggerazzi this week. Perhaps it will provide some insight from the perceived “ungrateful” side of the fence.
For the last 6 yrs I had a Blackberry. When companies/products/services I liked came out with apps, it didn’t matter what ‘carrier’ I was with, but rather what phone I was using. In the early days, most companies/products/services limited their offerings to one platform or another, usually iPhone of course.
It was disappointing for us Blackberry users, and some people perhaps voiced their displeasure (for the sake of context today lets call it “OUTRAGE”)
As smart phones proliferated the marketplace, the savvy companies, you know, the ones who wanted to grow their fan base and capture the attention and loyalty of the ever fickle consumer base, created apps for multiple platforms. So now I was able to download the same app for my Blackberry that my friends had for their iPhones. Likewise, when Androids flooded the marketplace, companies made sure their product/services were also available for them too. Sure, some remained solo platform and proprietary, but the big players did everything in their power to be inclusive rather than exclusive. When I switched to iPhone this year, I sought out the apps that I had grown to love on my Blackberry for my iPhone. I was thrilled to be able to still support and enjoy the companies/products/services I am loyal to on this new platform.
I think it is GREAT that Verizon has created an app. Yes you heard me, Great. And while I’m at it, let me take this opportunity to say Thank you Verizon for your continued support of the series and of Will Power. I’m sure the app will bring your company lots of new customers. Which of course is what it is all about as a sponsor.
This, however is where the disconnect (phone pun unintended) seems to be for many, including myself.
I feel that it’s a little short sighted, not on the part of Verizon, but mostly on the part of IndyCar, to tout a proprietary app in such a big, public, showy way, that only a fraction of the fanbase will actually be able to use. Most of us already have to resort to an illegal stream online (shhhh) to watch the races, and this is just one more “have/have nots” situation to contend with as a fan.
So because I try to provide solutions not just snark whenever possible, here’s a potential solution moving forward:
Perhaps they (IndyCar) could work in tandem with Verizon and their creative team to create an app of their own for the Series. A cross platform, universal app that would be available for download via IndyCar for everyone, regardless of carrier, OS, equipment or country. It could still be branded up the yingyang with Verizon name/logo if so desired (if sponsored by) Or it could be made available for free for Verizon users, and at a cost for those on other carriers. Or maybe the Verizon version has extra features. I don’t know if any of those are viable options, I’m just throwing it out there.
I do know, however, that IndyCar, as the Company/Service/Product I’m interested in, and who is or should be interested in me as a fan/consumer, should be doing everything possible to make themselves available to ME. I, as a fan, and more importantly, a consumer, shouldn’t have to jump through so many hoops, or feel slighted, disregarded and left out more often than not.
Just saying is all.
All that said, don’t worry IndyCar, you’re stuck with me for at least another year, for better or worse. I’ve never been an “I’m taking my ball and going home” type of gal when things don’t go my way. And hell, I’ve put up with all of the other shit for the last decade, I think I can put up with not being able to play with an app on my phone during a race. (as if I have any time to do that anyway? Who are we kidding here?)
alright, now that’s out of the way… Next up… LindyGate…