Just because it’s not your opinion, that doesn’t make it wrong…

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…

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14 responses to “Just because it’s not your opinion, that doesn’t make it wrong…

  1. I’m almost 100% sure that IndyCar will have an app-ized version of their mobile website for multi-platform usage. It’s common practice – in fact, I’d say over 50% of the “big company apps” aren’t much more than that (i.e. Wells Fargo, USAA, etc.).

    I should probably also point out that the Verizon app that was in use last season – again, the one that excludes so much of the fanbase – was so buggy and so lacking in anything that made it any better than the actual IndyCar mobile site that I deleted it two days after downloading it. So while I understand very well the principle of your objections, the reality is that even if you HAD had access to the app, you’d probably have had a better experience using the illegal web streams than with the Verizon offering.

    • I’m with you on IndyCar stepping up to the plate with a web app of some sort. Hopefully with a few more bells and whistles than just a mobile version of the website.
      I too am confident they won’t let an opportunity like that slip by. (never hurts to sometimes point out the obvious though 😉 )

      LOL on last years app. Sounds somewhat akin to our Race Director online thingamabob with Champ Car. More often than not it was a piece of garbage, but at least it was a piece of garbage that was available to everyone. 😉

      What I really wish they would somehow hook up with (especially at the track) is KangarooTV. I was spoiled during the CC years using those at the track.

      • KangarooTV rocks, I used it at the Belgian GP in 2010. The combo of live timing plus an audio feed *in English* was a lifesaver. 🙂
        They’re called Fanvision now and they’ve got a cool-looking new version. http://www.fanvision.com/

        • By the way you’re right about Race Director, it never seemed to work properly, but as a concept it was years ahead of anything else out there. Entire races on a website which you could watch whenever you wanted? Madness!

        • I was so spoiled by the KangarooTV peeps. They used to give me a unit on my first day at the track, and in return I would pimp for them all weekend. They sold out consistently before race day.

  2. Brett M. Waldrpep

    I think what a lot of people missed in this is what was said right after it. They also talked about the new website. And it sounded to me like that will have a lot of the same features as the Verizon App. So you don’t have the convenience of the App but, you can still get all of the info from a laptop or possibly even your cell phone through the normal web browser (remember they said you would need 4g anyway).

  3. FWIW. The new website will be in HTML 5 and will have a mobile web version attached to it. All multimedia will be accessible on mobile devices and on iOS (I have spoken with Randy about this). It is MY understanding that the app will not be Verizon customers only. We shall see when the final product arises, but this is my understanding.

    • Good to hear Tony! Thanks for the inside scoop!

      See that’s the stuff that should be promoted and touted FIRST. Then give the shout out to Verizon for their app and support.

      There is a rhythm to unveiling news that sometimes gets lost in the mix over at 16th and Georgetown…

  4. Like you I mentally tuned out when this section came up in the presentation, so I’m not up in arms about it. In fact I have no idea what’ll be in the app apart from the virtual reality thing, which obviously you can only use if you go where they’ve put something you can point the camera at.

    I pay good money (more than it should really cost) for a Formula 1 app from Softpauer, which has live timing and a live track map showing car positions, which looks great on my iPad. If you miss a race you can download the data later and press play when the green flag starts on your recording, so you still have live timing even though you’re watching the race the day after! I would very much like to pay for an IndyCar version of that (but NOT if it is like the crappy version you currently get on the website during a race!). If this app can offer something like that, great! Suddenly I’m more interested in whether or not I can get it.
    If it is just fluff pieces of (admittedly quite cool) showy tech which is only worthwhile at a track, or if it is just driver profiles etc, sorry, not interested.

    But it seems by locking to a single carrier in a single country they may not be interested in my business anyway. I hope Tony is right.

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