The Talk Show

64: One Star


00:00:00   Almost lost my mouth almost lost my fingertips yesterday because I decided to run with

00:00:06   Insufficient glove wear I

00:00:11   Thought I was too literally thinking

00:00:15   About a mile and a half from my home. I

00:00:18   Should have gotten that computer programmer

00:00:21   fingertip insurance

00:00:23   I

00:00:26   Had a lot of problems writing when I had that finger injury two years ago just with one bad finger

00:00:30   I think if you lose them all here, I think you're kind of hosed. Yeah

00:00:33   Become an expert in speech recognition systems in a hurry. Yeah, definitely. Although I think

00:00:42   That's interesting I never really thought about it but it's got to be the worst the worst use case for voice recognition has got to be writing

00:00:52   computer code I

00:00:55   I would think so.

00:00:58   The person to ask about that is John Siracusa.

00:01:00   Right. I'll bet he doesn't. He'll probably pipe in. He listens to the show.

00:01:04   He'd be the one to ask, though, because I know he uses it for his writing,

00:01:08   like those massive Mac OS X reviews. He dictates all of those,

00:01:13   which is amazing to me because I couldn't do that.

00:01:17   No, I don't think I could either.

00:01:19   it falls into the same category for me as not being able to type seriously on an iPad

00:01:29   because it's not the same capacity that I have on a regular keyboard.

00:01:33   >> It says two guys who both have weekly podcasts.

00:01:41   I write to me, in my opinion, I write way more eloquently than I speak.

00:01:48   I should not have a podcast.

00:01:50   It's an interesting angle.

00:01:56   Yeah, right. Here we are saying we basically can't express ourselves as fluidly or as

00:02:02   elegantly with speech.

00:02:05   Just not as accurate. I don't know. And part of it, I've said this before too.

00:02:10   My typing speed is as fast as I can think. And some people might say, "Wow, you must type really fast."

00:02:17   No, I type pretty slow. I think by the schemes by the the standards of somebody who's spent as many hours

00:02:24   Commutatively over the what the last 25 years at it

00:02:29   Keyboard is I have I should be a far better typist

00:02:33   but I'm not because there's I don't think there's ever any motivation to type faster than you can think unless you take some kind of

00:02:40   Secretarial job, which I've never had, you know, I've never had like a job or you

00:02:47   Type transcripts or retype stuff. So I mean what how would anybody ever have a motivation to type faster than they can think?

00:02:54   Right, unless you're just like I guess you could you could argue that stream of consciousness writing or something is faster than thinking

00:03:01   But I can I can talk far faster than I can think which is you know

00:03:04   That's why you stay in your home. Most right gets me into trouble. I

00:03:09   Had an idea

00:03:11   I should just toss this out there. Who knows maybe something will come in. You know, what's bothered me for years now

00:03:16   You've got a podcast you've been doing the or you have two podcasts now

00:03:19   Correct. Yeah. Yeah, I have a podcast on hiatus and the podcast with Manton Reese core intuition

00:03:26   Which we have been keeping up right pretty bit splitting one. You've you've put on hiatus on hiatus

00:03:31   Yeah, how many episodes just get in ten episodes?

00:03:35   So that was kind of a nice round number and I wasn't sure it was going on hiatus and tell

00:03:40   like the moment

00:03:42   Episode ten went out there and I was just like oh, you know, it would feel really good

00:03:46   not having, you know, the load of another episode next week or whatever. So it's

00:03:54   been feeling good. I've been missing it, but... and I've been gratified by some, you

00:03:58   know, faithful listeners who are missing it, but it's the kind of thing where it's

00:04:02   a format that is well suited to being able to take long

00:04:07   breaks. You should think about, yeah, it's what my wife Amy and Paul Kofasis did

00:04:13   with their show and maybe will continue to do is that they thought of it as a

00:04:17   season yeah and I think that they were originally gonna do 10 but they did 13

00:04:23   because it was going well and because they had sponsors yeah and I had stuff

00:04:30   lined up so you know why not and 13 you know is a reasonable season length but

00:04:34   then there's a break you know yep because yeah seriously - I mean they

00:04:38   were like did like proper editing and stuff like that I mean they would record

00:04:42   for like two hours to get a half hour show.

00:04:44   Right.

00:04:45   Yeah, and a lot of beloved TV shows,

00:04:49   it's not like they say even necessarily when

00:04:52   the next season is going to come.

00:04:53   They just eventually say, yep, we got another one.

00:04:56   Remember, The Sopranos was like that, right?

00:04:58   Yeah.

00:04:58   They're kind of like, yep, give it a year or two.

00:05:02   Maybe something will come out.

00:05:03   Yeah, Mad Men has sort of gotten like that.

00:05:05   I don't think quite as bad as The Sopranos got.

00:05:07   But I mean, I just mean bad as a fan,

00:05:10   because you'd like the show you wanted that season as quick as possible.

00:05:14   I don't think it was any kind of laziness or sloth on the part of David Chase and the

00:05:19   producers.

00:05:20   I think it was that's how long it takes to write that quality of material for 13 hours

00:05:28   of that quality and to line up all of the acting talent, creative talent to make it

00:05:34   happen.

00:05:35   That it can't happen.

00:05:36   You can't do it every year.

00:05:39   The side effect of that is it sort of exudes quality subconsciously, that idea that this

00:05:45   thing isn't like all the other shows.

00:05:46   It doesn't come out on some...

00:05:49   Nobody had to hire illegal immigrants to finish the show on time.

00:05:56   So let me just say this here.

00:05:57   I've been thinking about this for years, many years, all the way back to the first runs

00:06:02   of the talk show with Dan.

00:06:06   the biggest problem with podcasts in general? I have one specific gripe and it

00:06:11   applies to almost every podcast I'm aware of and it's the lack of

00:06:15   transcripts. For a couple of reasons. One, for me selfishly wouldn't it be

00:06:22   great to just have a searchable archive of all the shows that I've done so

00:06:27   that if I know in the back of my head, Jesus I had I remember when Jalka was on

00:06:31   the show a couple months ago and we were talking about you know whatever topic

00:06:34   What the hell did we say? Yeah, and when did we say whereas I it you know, there's there's no way to get that

00:06:40   You know and if I open up a six-month-old episode of the talk show, even if I know that this is the episode

00:06:45   I can't you know, how do I don't remember?

00:06:48   You know if it was at the 45 minute mark or the 20 minute mark or the hour and 20 minute mark when when whatever came

00:06:54   up

00:06:56   transcripts would solve that and then the other big thing would be

00:06:58   it would be Google searchable by everybody else not just me and

00:07:03   And thirdly, it has to be, it's like by definition, it's a huge accessibility issue, right?

00:07:10   Anybody who has a hearing impairment cannot enjoy this show.

00:07:15   That's true.

00:07:17   But it seems like there aren't, you know, every time I think of it and I get the itch

00:07:23   to look into it, there doesn't seem to be any kind of like turnkey solution.

00:07:28   Yeah.

00:07:29   a

00:07:30   Solution. Yeah

00:07:32   well

00:07:32   It seems like the kind of thing that where you could say naively that you should be able to just point

00:07:37   Dragon Dictate or something at it and yeah

00:07:40   transcript

00:07:41   But you know, it's not the case right? Yeah, and the other big problem with that wouldn't that wouldn't even if that worked

00:07:46   Accurately enough to be good enough it how would Dragon Dictate be able to tell our voices apart?

00:07:53   You know know which was me and which was you? Yeah. Yeah, that's a challenge and

00:07:57   You know, some people have tackled this like I think Renee Ritchie

00:08:00   Among his many other projects has tackled transcripts and I think he may just be doing it all himself

00:08:08   I'm not sure but

00:08:09   It seems like I've also heard some other people though enlist, you know, super fans to

00:08:14   Do transcripts on behalf of a show I mean that gets weird to me when it's like a

00:08:21   commercial enterprise like enlisting

00:08:25   donated labor, but

00:08:27   You know, that's something I agree with you. It would be and and there's a sense it's some in some ways

00:08:33   It's positive but in many ways it's negative. There's a sense that all this stuff that happens on

00:08:38   podcasting is kind of ephemeral like

00:08:42   radio

00:08:44   even though it's permanently recorded just as

00:08:46   Just as well as blog posts or articles are but you know

00:08:52   It wouldn't be that way as as much or even maybe at all if there were an accurate trans trans. Uh, yeah

00:08:58   It's not ephemeral, you know, it's like more ephemeral and maybe every single word is of less value

00:09:04   You know that if if we like I just right there three seconds ago said, you know

00:09:09   Which I know is a verbal tick I have and obviously

00:09:11   98% of the times I say, you know on this show should and could be edited out

00:09:17   it would be if it were a written article instead of

00:09:20   off-the-cuff talk show. But there's always, you know, there's every show

00:09:29   that's worth listening to. I mean the whole point of what makes it worth

00:09:32   listening to is there's got to be something worth remembering about it,

00:09:34   right? Yeah, absolutely. So I, here's the thing though, I was thinking about it and

00:09:40   I know some people have done some things. I know Andy Baio had a project where they

00:09:44   had a whole bunch of, I forget what it was for, but a couple years ago he had a

00:09:47   a whole bunch of audio that he wanted transcribed

00:09:49   and he just threw it at Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

00:09:53   But that wouldn't, and it was really

00:09:56   relatively cost effective, it was relatively inexpensive

00:09:59   to get the people who participate in that to do it.

00:10:04   But I don't think it would work for the show

00:10:07   because I think you'd need somebody,

00:10:09   it couldn't just be anybody, like any person

00:10:13   anywhere in the world who happens to speak English,

00:10:16   You know speak English well enough to transcribe it like you to do it, right?

00:10:19   You'd a you'd need to know the guests on the show like

00:10:23   Because I feel like if somebody in a foreign country who I think is a lot of the people who do the Turk work

00:10:30   It is a very good possibility that every almost everybody I have on the show. We all sound alike to them. Yeah, right

00:10:37   Some more than others. Yeah, right and that would really screw up

00:10:40   I don't hear it. But like when I did the show with Dan every week

00:10:45   We used to get comments every single week from people who said they cannot tell us apart

00:10:49   Yeah, and I always felt bad about it, but it's like, you know must have made the show confusing

00:10:54   But he tries so hard to impersonate you. It's really it's kind of weird

00:10:57   And I feel like it would also help to know I mean not that we talk super tech stuff

00:11:04   But I mean, you know, it would helped if you you know

00:11:07   We start talking about some of these things that you know that you'd know that you know

00:11:11   Some of the words we use are goofy jargon jargon II acronyms and then like other little things like little

00:11:16   They've become like lovable like podcasting ticks like Merlin man with like

00:11:23   Turns out or something. Yeah. Yeah, and see that kind of stuff would be like why the hell does this guy keep saying turns out?

00:11:30   That's the kind of thing that would look like a transcripting error

00:11:33   So but I'm wondering though if maybe it's just as simple as sort of a combination of your hey

00:11:41   have a superfan do it and combine that with well this show actually has good

00:11:47   and real sponsors now and a reasonable revenue stream pay them you know like I

00:11:54   don't know mm-hmm you know I think for a very reasonable hourly rate you know

00:11:59   maybe somebody out there who listens to the show and is a very fast typist and

00:12:04   maybe would actually even enjoy doing it maybe I could hire them and then they

00:12:07   would do transcripts every week. I would insist upon paying for it though

00:12:12   because I feel like it's got to be a quality product. Right, that just

00:12:17   makes everybody take it more seriously. Now the question to throw out there is,

00:12:22   and I always have this thought when it comes to the idea of app localization,

00:12:27   which again is also often like volunteer driven and ironically enough and it

00:12:32   seem to often be completely accepted by commercial software developers that it would be donated

00:12:38   in that sense.

00:12:39   I might be guilty of that too.

00:12:42   But I've always thought with something like that, if I ever formalized doing a really

00:12:46   ambitious localization, I would want to have two people for each language as a sort of

00:12:53   self-correction.

00:12:55   And I wonder if you would want that with transcriptions or if that sort of takes away that pride

00:13:00   and like you know the respect that that one person would have for being like the

00:13:04   official archivist yeah I think it's it's sort of a different problem because

00:13:09   with with with a localization you're you're running into those from any

00:13:18   language a converting to language B there's a 10,000 different weird you

00:13:25   know things that don't translate directly you know it figures of speech

00:13:29   in English that just don't have any direct equivalent in whatever language

00:13:34   you're you're going to and then picking the nuance of you know like there's

00:13:39   nothing like midway between casual and formal to translate it so do you pick

00:13:46   the one that's a little bit more formal or the one that's a little bit more

00:13:49   casual which fits with the brand and that's the sort of thing where if you

00:13:52   don't speak that language it's so hard to judge right like if you commissioned

00:13:56   the Spanish localization of Mars Edit. I don't know, I mean it's like I speak just a tiny

00:14:03   little thimbleful of Spanish. I couldn't judge whether the button to publish was using too

00:14:09   formal or too casual a tone. I wouldn't add... So that's where I would see having two eyes

00:14:16   look at it would really be helpful and might catch some of those things. Whereas for a

00:14:21   Podcast for idiomatic English speakers, you know, I don't I don't I don't think that would help

00:14:25   Because what would you have the second person do you'd just be paying them? Yeah read the transcript while they listen to the show

00:14:31   Yeah, well, I was thinking along the same lines of like each of them does it independently and then compare for differences

00:14:37   But they I think that's overthinking it. That's that's crazy

00:14:40   But I think it's a good idea. I think you you have an audience where I imagine at least

00:14:47   You know 10 to 20 people right now are probably at least considering the possibility that they are the person to do that

00:14:54   Yeah, I wonder if I wonder if just talking about this will turn up any any offers to do it

00:14:59   We shall say I mean, it would be really crazy of just talking about something like motivated people to do something. I know

00:15:06   The other problem I thought of I mean, this is easily solved, but it's like I don't know where I would put the transcripts. I

00:15:14   Guess I could ask my friend at mule to maybe add something to the custom CMS over there where there'd be like a transcript field

00:15:21   Or something like that, but or you know it were it seems like they'd be up to doing that

00:15:25   but without you know, assuming that they would in the worst case you could always just have like a

00:15:30   Site dedicated to it something that comes to mind is have you seen this?

00:15:35   It's really great. If you ever want to search anything about

00:15:38   WWDC it's called ASCII

00:15:41   WWDC no, what's it called?

00:15:43   ASCII like the

00:15:45   formats, right, right, right

00:15:47   WWDC calm and it's something I think Matt with three T's Thompson. I think he put it together

00:15:55   And it's brilliant. I mean give it a look if you can right now because you just get to search any

00:16:01   Word and because this makes it this makes sense because WWDC

00:16:06   sessions are

00:16:08   transcribed for

00:16:10   Accessibility purposes, I think yes, they took advantage of the presence of this

00:16:16   transcription material on the videos themselves, I think

00:16:19   And so you can search anything

00:16:22   it's only I think maybe

00:16:25   2013 sessions but

00:16:27   It's pretty great and you can you can look up

00:16:30   You know if you have this hunch that you heard something in a session

00:16:33   You just type in the word maybe sometimes you have to because it's I think it is sort of automated or you know

00:16:39   transcribed by people who aren't perfect and you have to you know, adjust the stem of the word or something, but

00:16:46   It's pretty great

00:16:48   Yeah, I'm gonna that up. That's really good. So you could imagine that wwdc. They've got wwdc 2012 - oh look at that scroll down

00:16:56   All right help out with transcription. Oh

00:17:00   Like it looks like maybe for 2012

00:17:03   There were transcribed but maybe 2013

00:17:07   Yeah, Apple did a great job transcribing the sessions for this past WWDC, but there's tons of content in the previous year

00:17:14   So Apple did it for 2013 and I guess these guys were able to scrape it. Yeah, that sounds right

00:17:20   I'm just grateful that this thing hasn't been shut down yet and maybe won't be shut down ever

00:17:25   but this is probably the kind of thing where

00:17:27   Everybody who likes it should instantly grab a right curl dump of the whole thing

00:17:34   But this is the kind of thing, you know, you could imagine maybe not even limited to like how cool would it be if

00:17:39   If you could go to you know, ASCII

00:17:44   podcasts calm or something and then among the podcasts there is the talk show and

00:17:50   You know, this is ringing a bell. I think there was some company that did this

00:17:54   Years ago, I remember in like the original podcasting boom

00:18:00   I remember something I had I had because I had like a search feed

00:18:04   on you know my own name and products on this service that was trying to transcribe I think a bunch of the

00:18:11   you know like Leo's

00:18:14   twit shows and stuff like that, but

00:18:17   There's some there's some there's some like state-of-the-art out there and I don't know what it is

00:18:21   yeah, and another thing too is that

00:18:25   It occurs to me that I'm you know, I've been doing it long enough that I'm a little

00:18:29   blinded

00:18:31   Historically because it used to be I mean and this was for the first couple of years where I was regularly podcasting

00:18:36   It was there just wasn't a lot of sponsorship interest

00:18:40   It was really hard to get sponsors and and it didn't bring in much money

00:18:44   And so I you know, like when we were thinking about how could we get transcripts before what we were thinking we could possibly afford to pay

00:18:54   Was a very different percentage of the overall income. It was more or less again at the time

00:18:58   It was like cheese that's gonna take every you know, we'd have to you know

00:19:01   Just take the sponsor money and then hand it right over to the transcription service and maybe nothing left over

00:19:06   Whereas it's not the case anymore

00:19:08   Yeah, that's a lot of money to put into just quote unquote just having a transcript, you know, I'm just

00:19:16   randomly cruising around here on the web and I found this site podcast search service calm and

00:19:24   I don't know. It kind of looks like it could be trying to do this and I

00:19:29   don't know if it's worth even

00:19:32   Mention having mentioned them on the air or not, but yeah, it's the angle

00:19:37   It's the same kind of angle the idea looks like looks like a website from 1994

00:19:42   Which means it might just work

00:19:44   The whole thing is set in time Times New Roman

00:19:47   Speaking of sponsors, why don't I take a break here and thank

00:19:53   our first sponsor of the show and it's our friends at Drobo. You guys know

00:20:00   that the file transporter people are back at Drobo. It's all one big happy

00:20:05   family and they have sponsored the show a few times this year to talk about file

00:20:11   transporter but today I want to talk to you about Drobo which is the service

00:20:15   that they started with. Did you ever have a Drobo? I never did. Oh man, Drobo's are

00:20:20   really cool. Basic idea with the Drobo is it's like a hard drive, you plug it into

00:20:24   your Mac, it's a thing for your Mac, you plug it in your Mac and your Mac sees it

00:20:27   from your Mac's perspective just sees it as a hard drive. But what it really is is

00:20:31   a device that has like five slots and you can take actual drives in and out of

00:20:37   it. You almost treat the hard drives like floppy disks sort of. And it appears to

00:20:42   your Mac as one big single simple drive. But what you can do then is like, let's

00:20:51   just say you put five one terabyte drives in so you've got five total gigs

00:20:59   of storage. It won't give you all five gigs. What it'll do is replicate that

00:21:03   data across those five drives. So if you put, you know, a terabyte or two of data

00:21:08   in there. It's not all like the bit for one file is not just written on one bit

00:21:13   on a platter on one disk. It's replicated so that depending on the color of the

00:21:18   disk when it's ripped when it's green it's okay. When it drives are green

00:21:22   they're okay and you can just without turning the thing off without unmounting

00:21:26   it you can just pull one of the drives up which is crazy right now if you've

00:21:30   been using computers and hard drives long and long enough the idea that you

00:21:34   could do that, it sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Because your Mac still complains

00:21:39   when you unplug a goddamn USB key without unmounting it first. But that's because the

00:21:46   whole Drobo idea is set up that the data is always replicated. So why does that matter?

00:21:50   Because then what you could do if you start running low on space is you just pull one

00:21:54   of the old smaller ones out and plug a bigger one in and it's just there. You don't have

00:21:58   to reformat, you don't have to go into disk utility and manage partitions and resize and

00:22:04   this and that. Just plug a bigger piece of hardware in a bigger capacity drive

00:22:09   in there and it'll just work. So they have two, well three models for Mac users

00:22:16   right now. They've got the Drobo 5D that's a five drive system with

00:22:19   Thunderbolt and USB 3 interfaces. That's the one that's really really fast. That's

00:22:24   the one you want if you're doing like photo and video work. They have the Drobo

00:22:27   5N and is for network. It's a network storage system that connects via gigabit

00:22:33   Ethernet, really fast Ethernet. And then they also have Drobo Mini and that's

00:22:40   designed for portability. It's small and lightweight. It's not as performance

00:22:44   optimized. It's meant for somebody who needs to work in the field like maybe

00:22:48   like a photographer or somebody who's out in the field and wants to carry

00:22:51   their storage partition with them. It's really easy to set up, really, really

00:22:56   friendly to just regular people. You just plug it in. The lighting system will tell

00:23:02   you how much space is left on each drive, they have a little

00:23:04   little blue lights for each one. And each one is worth 10% of the

00:23:08   storage. So when you start when you have a drive that starts

00:23:11   getting filled up towards like eight, nine blue lines, then you

00:23:14   know it's time maybe to buy a bigger one. You can buy these

00:23:17   things with no drives in them. No, no, just get the empty,

00:23:21   empty Drobo and put your own drives into the slots. Or they

00:23:27   will sell you ones with drives and their drive prices are very,

00:23:31   very competitive. It's not the sort of thing like when you buy RAM from Apple and you pay

00:23:36   a real markup for the convenience of having your Mac shipped with maxed out RAM. When

00:23:41   you buy your drives from the Drobo store, I think the prices are super competitive.

00:23:46   So it's really, really easy if you just want to get a big storage from them. Just buy it

00:23:50   with the storage. Where do you go to find out more? Easy. Go to www.drobostore.com.





00:24:03   DROBO

00:24:03   they have a coupon code. Use this at the DroboStore.com website. Talk10.

00:24:09   T-A-L-K-1-0. And that'll save 10% off any purchase. And so some of these things, you

00:24:16   get the 20 terabyte model. It's 1,500 bucks. Well, you'll save 150 bucks just by

00:24:21   using that code. Serious money. 150 bucks you could save. Talk10. My thanks to

00:24:27   Drobo. I've got one here. They sent me one. It's really nice.

00:24:32   I love that idea that you know when they can be empty when they when they ship you an empty one

00:24:36   I love the idea that it solves that like super geek problem of having like five miscellaneous hard drives lying around

00:24:43   If you think I'll just plug them in here and see what it can what it can do with it

00:24:47   Yeah, it just creates one big pool of storage. It's a great thing

00:24:50   I mean, there's so many things you can use it for but anything you need if you you know, and again, it's just take a

00:24:54   Once every few months recommendation that if you don't regularly back up your Mac, please please think about it get some you know

00:25:01   Buy three different ways to back up your Mac.

00:25:03   You'd never, ever regret backing up too much.

00:25:07   You could use the Drobo as your time machine target.

00:25:10   Do it if you're not doing it already.

00:25:12   But it's a great way to, and like you said,

00:25:14   if you're a geek and you have a whole bunch of drives

00:25:16   laying around your office already,

00:25:17   it's a great way to put them to use.

00:25:19   So what's next?

00:25:24   How about the, how about this whole thing

00:25:27   with the Rate My App?

00:25:30   Yeah, let's talk about it.

00:25:33   So how do we review?

00:25:36   There was a few days ago, or last week, I was linking--

00:25:39   I had a whole bunch of-- every once in a while,

00:25:41   it's like I like to do--

00:25:43   if I have a whole bunch of saved stuff

00:25:45   and I can see a pattern that connects a few of them,

00:25:47   I'll be like, well, maybe today I'll do all four of these,

00:25:50   because they're sort of related.

00:25:51   And I had a whole bunch of--

00:25:53   I think they were all Tumblr sites.

00:25:54   And if they weren't on Tumblr, they were like Tumblr.

00:25:57   and they were just sites that people were collecting like screenshots.

00:26:03   One of them was like an iOS 7 criticism or it was a whole bunch of stuff in Apple's iOS

00:26:09   7 with questionable design in iOS 7.

00:26:12   And then the other one of them was called F Your Review, EFF Your Review.

00:26:17   And all it is is a Tumblr that collects screenshots of those dialogue boxes that say, "Enjoying

00:26:27   this app?

00:26:28   Take a moment to rate it on the App Store."

00:26:30   And then there's usually three buttons.

00:26:32   Rate this app, remind me later, or no thanks.

00:26:37   And so I linked to it and I just wrote something to the effect of that it's been a pet peeve

00:26:43   of mine for a long time and that I've long considered encouraging daring

00:26:48   fireball readers to when they encounter these things to actually say yes if

00:26:51   they're annoyed by it as I am every time you see it from now and click the rate

00:26:56   button don't say the note don't hit the no thanks button hit the rate button go

00:26:59   to the App Store and leave a review of like one star and explain politely that

00:27:04   it's because the app keeps badgering you to review it and that is sort of a

00:27:11   Typical John Gruber move because I didn't tell people you picked up on it you ran this why I want to join the show

00:27:17   You picked up on it and and I didn't say this is what people should do

00:27:22   It was a very, you know, it's the way that I'm a total asshole

00:27:25   I just said I've long thought about doing this but by putting the fact that I'd long thought about doing it on

00:27:31   Daring fireball there's you know tens of thousands of people who saw it and then therefore had the idea

00:27:37   Well, and you're not naive you know that you can't protect against people following through with it

00:27:43   And some people start have in fact started doing it. Yeah

00:27:46   So you wrote about it and I linked it up today

00:27:52   But I thought it was the other day when you wrote about I thought you were really really thoughtful

00:27:55   Take on this because you're a developer. You are also in my opinion a very nice guy

00:28:02   Right most of the time. Yeah, you're sensitive and it is there's nuance here, right?

00:28:07   But there it is weird to me though there it

00:28:09   Clearly touched a nerve though where there were a lot of people on both sides

00:28:14   There are a lot of people on the user side

00:28:16   Who after I wrote that like the people who immediately started doing it who are like hell

00:28:20   Yeah, this this stinks and I'm sick of this. Yeah, and on the developer side boy

00:28:24   There are some people who got really angry at me because they're like hey it works this you know

00:28:30   You need good reviews in the App Store to stand out and this is the only way that you can

00:28:34   Get good reviews to stay competitive with everybody else who's doing it and and and then

00:28:39   probably even more

00:28:43   aggressive against you were the people who were sort of

00:28:46   protective of developers as a class who were kind of like who read into your statement as

00:28:53   passive-aggressive maybe as it was

00:28:57   that you were trying to literally undermine the

00:29:01   profitability the viability of small developer right industry and

00:29:08   That started to get I think that's what got my goat to start writing about it because it just rang very

00:29:17   It felt to me like

00:29:23   Misplaced blame

00:29:26   It's hard not to jump to the conclusion that people are frustrated by the App Store in

00:29:34   general and by the reviews system and they're doing things.

00:29:41   I think what it reflects is that customers know, developers know, and these people I'm

00:29:47   alluding to who are sort of jumping to the defense of developers in general all kind

00:29:52   to know that this is a gross work around like the rate me dialogues I mean they

00:29:59   are a gross work around and in the context of all that kind of collective

00:30:04   disgust and maybe shame on behalf of some developers it's like to have

00:30:09   there's this kind of phenomenon when you get like called out for something that

00:30:12   you kind of know is shameful you're gonna be that much more likely to lash

00:30:16   out about it it's like if you it's like it's like if you it's like if you are

00:30:21   crossing the street and somebody almost hits you and you get mad at them they're gonna be like super mad at you they're gonna find some

00:30:27   way to be like why the hell were you in the street, you know and

00:30:31   I think there's something to that that kind of got me going like, you know folks I take take take

00:30:38   responsibility for your own move here like

00:30:42   the the fact of the matter is you many people are

00:30:47   stooping in my opinion to a level of behavior with the design of their apps that is in

00:30:53   the in the aim of making more money and yes possibly in the aim of making the difference between

00:30:59   viability and and otherwise for a company

00:31:02   But the fact of the matter is you know

00:31:05   There's lots of different things you can choose to do or not to do to to make that difference

00:31:10   Right. It's it's all in some sense a negotiation

00:31:15   you know and and people forget that

00:31:18   The some I don't know why it is. I never forget it

00:31:23   I always think about it

00:31:24   but there's a lot of people who forget that the customer gets his say in the in negotiation too and I always thought that that's what

00:31:30   Music piracy was about like in the days when it was really rampant with

00:31:37   Napster is

00:31:40   that the music labels were saying as the CD era got older and older you're gonna pay more and more for CDs and a

00:31:47   Lot of top 40 CDs are gonna have fewer and fewer

00:31:50   Good songs on them, you know

00:31:52   And and it's not an exaggeration to say that a lot of money was made by the record companies

00:31:57   Selling seventeen eighteen dollar compact discs that maybe only had two two or three good songs on them. Yeah, and

00:32:07   Napster was a way for people to say you know what I think that's too much money. How about zero and

00:32:13   You know and and the the the me and I'm not saying it's right. I'm not justifying you know piracy of any content

00:32:22   But it's a negotiation

00:32:25   It's a way of them

00:32:26   You know the customer saying that this stinks paying all this money for CDs this stinks that I owned all these albums on

00:32:33   one format and now I have to pay for them on the same exact album on another format.

00:32:37   And I think that, you know, when the success of the iTunes Music Store showed that it wasn't just about people

00:32:48   saying that they felt entitled to never pay a nickel for anything. It was, you know, when you could only pay 99 cents

00:32:55   it was a way of saying, "Well, yeah, that's cool. That's a good deal.

00:32:58   I could get in on that." And, you know, is the right price 99 cents? Was it a $1.29 where they wanted to move

00:33:03   it and they got to eventually. I don't know, but it certainly wasn't $18.

00:33:07   Yeah. And the way I see it with this is, okay, you can ask us over and over and over again

00:33:14   to rate your app. And you know, you certainly can ask, but we collectively could if we chose

00:33:22   to rate the app and give it a bad rating because you're annoying us. We can do it, you know,

00:33:28   And there's this weird entitlement that some of the backslash had where it's like, how

00:33:32   dare you ruin this thing that is getting us four and five star reviews.

00:33:36   Right.

00:33:37   Because that's the thing that I got from a bunch of people.

00:33:39   I got it on Twitter, I got it in email.

00:33:41   It's it more or less boils down to the two word argument, it works.

00:33:45   And what I'm saying with this campaign is maybe, you know, maybe it won't work forever.

00:33:51   You know, using this music analogy, I also think that, you know, it was fairly subtle

00:33:57   the fact that you sort of caged it as a hypothetical.

00:34:01   But to any intelligent reader,

00:34:04   that caging is a sort of implicit,

00:34:07   it's a hint that this is sort of a,

00:34:11   it's a thought experiment, right?

00:34:15   And so taking your music example,

00:34:17   you could imagine somebody, a blogger in the

00:34:19   pre-iTunes days saying, $18 for a CD?

00:34:24   Well, sometimes I think what would happen

00:34:26   if I just asked each of my readers to

00:34:29   Make a copy of their favorite song and give it to somebody for free. All right, you know and that's a I think that's fairly comparable

00:34:36   because

00:34:38   You know, there's lots of nuanced differences in particular like a lot of people in this case feel

00:34:43   that

00:34:45   if people acted on your

00:34:47   You know

00:34:49   Your hypothetical advice that it would unfairly

00:34:53   Proportionately affect smaller indie developers. I think that was one of the one of the sort of like things that rank old people

00:35:00   But you know, that's it was a hypothetical and it feels to me I think a lot of people it felt like they weren't

00:35:09   They weren't giving

00:35:12   First of all, Darian fireball readers as a whole like enough respect for you know, sure

00:35:18   Yeah, I'm sure you have not not to dismiss anybody in your audience

00:35:21   but I'm sure you have a few idiots reading the blog.

00:35:24   (laughing)

00:35:25   But, you know, come on, that's not who you're writing to.

00:35:30   Right, it's not like a situation where you are

00:35:33   getting up every day and writing for an audience of idiots

00:35:37   who will do whatever you allude to

00:35:39   without thinking it through.

00:35:41   - Right.

00:35:42   - And to sort of like hold you accountable

00:35:45   for a standard of behavior that assumes

00:35:49   you have thoughtless, mindless drones

00:35:53   who read and follow your every word,

00:35:55   I think there's something wrong with that too.

00:35:56   - Right, or that I'm somehow targeting

00:35:58   my political enemies or something.

00:36:00   - Right.

00:36:01   Well, another thing was somebody who was debating this

00:36:05   with me on Twitter was talking about it

00:36:07   being undermining businesses.

00:36:10   And I pointed out, I do think it would be

00:36:13   a much different situation if you were to list

00:36:17   like five or ten companies and say, even theoretically, sometimes I wonder what if I ask the users

00:36:23   of app A, app B, and app C to give them one star.

00:36:28   That would be a more hostile act, I think.

00:36:33   Our friend, there's a lot of nuance to explore here.

00:36:35   Our friend Cable Sasser, you quoted his tweet, but he had a very good point out, Cable, a

00:36:40   long time co-owner of Panic Software, that the one star aspect of it makes him very uncomfortable.

00:36:47   that no argument that these these dialog boxes are annoying.

00:36:50   And collectively, it's becoming, if anything, a bigger problem as

00:36:54   time goes on as more apps do it and seemingly ask you more and

00:36:57   more times. But that the the angle of my hypothetical

00:37:00   proposal where you leave a one star review is perhaps

00:37:04   problematic. Because what if you otherwise love the app, but you

00:37:07   would just like to gently, gently poke the developer about

00:37:11   this, this issue, the rate my app issue. And so I've seen

00:37:15   other people on Twitter who are like, well, what if you gave them say two stars fewer

00:37:20   than you would have otherwise awarded. So if you would have given them a five star,

00:37:24   give them a three star review and say, I'd give it five stars if it weren't if it would

00:37:28   cease bugging me to rate the app, which is an interesting proposal, like the one star

00:37:35   in particular isn't magic, and perhaps would only skew the ratings, you know, it just it.

00:37:44   I think the whole five star rating thing is a bad idea anyway.

00:37:49   I almost feel like, I feel like the whole app store would be better off if it was like

00:37:52   a thumbs up, thumbs downs thing.

00:37:54   Yeah, absolutely.

00:37:55   And I think most, more than anything, what your post and the follow up has done is just

00:37:59   draw a circle around the fact that this review system is not very good.

00:38:03   Right.

00:38:04   And the combined with, yeah, it's a bad review system in general, I think.

00:38:08   And nobody agrees on what difference between Ford, you know, what's a three star is three

00:38:13   star in the because it's in the middle of the five stars does it mean okay or

00:38:16   it's three stars good four is very good and five is excellent and you too is

00:38:22   okay you know there's no guidelines as far as I know either from Apple so who's

00:38:27   to say that one star isn't the right the right rating when an app does something

00:38:33   that's like philosophically offensive to me like everything so I want I don't

00:38:39   want if you had a track you're going there I don't want to derail it too much

00:38:42   but one thing that came to mind is it's an interesting problem to me because I think

00:38:51   it's fundamentally wrong to modally interrupt a user from the course of their own self-driven

00:39:00   action in an app.

00:39:02   To ask them to do something, and this is the key point, to ask them to do something that

00:39:08   is of no benefit to them.

00:39:11   Right. You are totally it is a developer's problem. You are and

00:39:14   you are distributing your solution to this problem. And

00:39:18   the attempt The problem is, how do we get more users to download

00:39:21   our app?

00:39:22   That's your problem as a developer, that is not the

00:39:27   users problem at all. And if they've paid, you know, it's

00:39:29   it's even worse, in my opinion. Yeah. And you're just taking that

00:39:33   problem and distributing a solution across all, however

00:39:37   many users you have, you know, if you have 10,000 users, you're

00:39:40   just giving each one of your users one ten thousandth of a share of your problem.

00:39:45   Yeah. So depending on how strongly you take that offense,

00:39:49   it could very well be grounds for a one star review.

00:39:53   But more, you know, more to the point, like if people are saying, no,

00:39:58   you should have just recommended three stars or you know, two stars off.

00:40:01   All of this is just, you know,

00:40:03   you could make cable or anybody else could thoughtfully make an argument that

00:40:07   That's not fair either, to deduct two full stars.

00:40:11   But since Apple gives no guidelines

00:40:15   for how things should be rated,

00:40:17   the other thing is I just took that,

00:40:20   your suggestion in the hypothetical,

00:40:23   one star is the right number to choose

00:40:25   because it makes the hypothetical expression

00:40:28   of disdain more strongly.

00:40:31   And it doesn't mean that every person

00:40:33   who is even inspired to follow up on your pseudo advice

00:40:38   actually chooses to give one star.

00:40:40   - Right, and I tend to think that most people,

00:40:43   whether they're being thoughtful or being unthoughtful,

00:40:47   tend towards the extremes.

00:40:49   So again, I haven't done any kind of statistical analysis,

00:40:51   but just eyeballing reviews

00:40:53   seems like the most common reviews are five star,

00:40:56   if you really like the app,

00:40:57   and one star if you don't or you feel ripped off

00:41:01   or you've famously, and it's not a good practice,

00:41:06   but users who are hit by bugs will often file the bug report

00:41:10   by leaving a one-star review on the App Store.

00:41:13   - Yeah.

00:41:16   - But that just seems to be that in some ways,

00:41:19   a lot of people tend to use it as a thumbs up, thumbs down,

00:41:21   and thumbs up is five and thumbs down is one.

00:41:24   And it works out.

00:41:27   Maybe the average stands up in the middle.

00:41:30   Yeah, or four is, it's perfect in every way,

00:41:33   but there's one tiny little problem.

00:41:36   So how much in general, Jon, do you feel like

00:41:38   you should be held accountable for the power

00:41:43   that you might wield with your audience

00:41:46   to inspire them to do things?

00:41:49   And is that something you think about more these days?

00:41:53   - Oh, I definitely do.

00:41:54   I worry about it, and this is a perfect example.

00:41:56   'Cause it's no joke that I've been thinking about this

00:41:58   for years and the reason I haven't done it before

00:42:00   is that it's out of fear that it would be too successful,

00:42:05   you know, that too many people would leave one star reviews

00:42:08   and that it would, you know,

00:42:10   anybody who thinks I took it lightly

00:42:11   that this could actually affect the average rating

00:42:14   of certain apps and that a decrease in the average rating

00:42:17   would actually lead to a decrease in sales,

00:42:19   I am completely aware of that, right?

00:42:21   And that's, I do worry about that sometimes.

00:42:25   - Yeah.

00:42:26   - And it's very, very hard for me.

00:42:27   I've said this before, my interface to Daring Fireball is literally almost exactly the same

00:42:35   as it was six or seven years ago.

00:42:38   I still have the same old 20-inch cinema display in front of me.

00:42:42   I'm sitting at the same desk.

00:42:44   I'm sitting in the same office.

00:42:47   I'm using...

00:42:48   Well, actually, it's not the same keyboard but the same model keyboard.

00:42:53   it's so much of a bigger audience, right? And it's very different than like if

00:42:59   you're like a live performer, right? Like I've effectively gone from back in 2002

00:43:05   to 2003 being the equivalent of playing in like a local pub to playing on a

00:43:11   daily basis, you know, before thousands of people. But it doesn't look different,

00:43:15   right? If you're a stage performer and now all of a sudden you're no longer

00:43:19   performing comedy in front of 20 people at 11 o'clock at night but instead

00:43:24   you're performing in front of 4,000 people at you know the Mirage in Vegas

00:43:29   every night it feels different instantly I mean it's a huge you know big room

00:43:33   whereas when you're a writer like I am here it doesn't feel that different

00:43:38   so I definitely think about it and I definitely hope that most people out

00:43:41   there are being thoughtful about it but on the other hand I actually feel pretty

00:43:45   I do feel I know it sounds and this is the other thing too people are like

00:43:49   what's just a stupid dialog box hit a button and it goes away and you know for

00:43:52   a while but I do feel like collectively it's such a bad practice mm-hmm and like

00:43:59   I was saying it's a philosophical turn off and so if you get turned off it's

00:44:05   the kind of thing where like for example on the positive side of things if like

00:44:09   an app you use expresses you know some feature in a way that has like a little

00:44:14   bit of humor or like a touch of humanity that really relates to you, then you get like a

00:44:19   sense of like, "I'm kind of like simpatico with this app," right?

00:44:23   Like this is kind of like, it's almost like it's an emotional reaction.

00:44:26   And this kind of thing is emotional as well.

00:44:30   And if you're gonna have emotional bad things, well, I hate to break it to folks, but that's

00:44:37   gonna lead some people to the one star zone.

00:44:41   And the fact that this Tumblr blog existed that was called "F Your Review," that doesn't

00:44:47   come out of thin air.

00:44:50   It wasn't like problematicreviews.tumblr.com.

00:44:55   It was meant to be a heated rejection of the whole idea.

00:45:00   I do think that my having written it, it did uncover.

00:45:04   And I'm not surprised, but it was kind of a relief because I felt like I'm not alone,

00:45:08   where it feels felt like a lot of the response I got from users was, you know, I hadn't really

00:45:12   thought about it. But you're right, this is annoying as hell. And I see a couple of those

00:45:16   every goddamn day now. You know, it's funny, I'll tell you what, I was in New York, the

00:45:20   last few days, I was up for the I went to the Instagram event in New York. And it was

00:45:27   a really nice event. And Kevin Systrom, the founder, and I don't know what his title is

00:45:32   now that they're on Facebook, but what you know, he's the boss of Instagram did a really

00:45:36   great job. I thought it was a great presentation. But while he was doing a demo of the new faced

00:45:42   or not Facebook, Instagram messages, while he was doing his demo, Instagram gave him the like

00:45:50   Instagram, rate it later, not now. And so and it was clearly not part of the, you know, what he was

00:45:56   ready for. And I think I'll get to the technical reason. I think I know why he got that alert.

00:46:02   were on stage in front of the audience of the press you in so he you know he handled

00:46:06   it great he's like no i don't want to rate instagram right now thank you very much all

00:46:11   right let me come back to that in a moment let me just do a second sponsor read and this one's great

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00:48:06   How about that? There you go. Quality stuff. Good new sponsor. I like getting a sponsor

00:48:12   like that is a little bit off the... No offense to Drobo. I love Drobo. But Drobo is a perfect

00:48:18   example of like a typical talk show sponsor, right? A little nerdy, plugging hard drives

00:48:22   in. Now we've got something a little different.

00:48:25   Well, this recognizes that all of us techies, we have other aspects to our lives that we

00:48:30   need to buy other things. So why not get the message out?

00:48:34   Right. So one of the things... And I didn't know this. Now, get back to these RateMe dialogues.

00:48:42   I knew I'd been annoyed by them.

00:48:44   And I knew that there was a lot of similarity

00:48:46   between a lot of the ones I'd seen.

00:48:48   But only after I wrote this and it sort of became

00:48:50   a topic of conversation on Twitter

00:48:54   and an email with readers

00:48:56   that I start looking into it a little bit.

00:48:58   And I found, I guess I'll put it in the show notes,

00:49:01   but there's like an open source project at GitHub

00:49:03   called iRate, which is funny, right?

00:49:06   - How appropriate, yes.

00:49:07   - Right, it's I capital R-A-T-E.

00:49:11   But it's funny because it's gotten a lot of people--

00:49:14   I'm not even going to say it.

00:49:16   But anyway, and a longtime friend of the show--

00:49:20   he's never been on, but he's Dan Weinman,

00:49:24   who's a professional programmer, was taking a look at it.

00:49:30   And it's, A, even if you're not a programmer,

00:49:33   if you go to their website and just read the read me

00:49:35   and just look at the configuration options for this--

00:49:37   and it's ostensibly simple.

00:49:39   it's you know air add this open source thing to your your iPad or iPhone app

00:49:44   and it will automatically you know ask the user to rate and you know not rate

00:49:51   if they choose the app but it has so many configuration options it's crazy

00:49:56   it's so super complicated and it has really in my opinion really bad defaults

00:50:03   And it's the dialogue like I think it is the default dialogue

00:50:07   Is the one that you're all of you anybody I bet every single person listening to the show has seen it not just seen it

00:50:14   but has seen it within the last three or four days is

00:50:17   This dialogue that says do you like this app?

00:50:20   And there's three buttons and then I'll rate it

00:50:24   Ask me later and

00:50:28   Bottom no. Thanks

00:50:31   and

00:50:33   And the one thing that I've noticed, I've known this, everybody's known it, the "No

00:50:38   Thanks" button doesn't seem to do what you would want it to do, which is...

00:50:45   I think this is very obvious.

00:50:47   I'm not gonna rate rap right now, and I don't wanna ever be asked again.

00:50:51   Right?

00:50:52   Yep.

00:50:53   And now all it says is "No thanks."

00:50:54   It doesn't say, you know, "We'll never ask you again."

00:50:57   But I'm not sure what else "no thanks" could mean, or a reasonable person could assume

00:51:03   it means, if there's also a button above it that says "remind me later," which I'm guessing

00:51:09   nobody has ever tapped in their life.

00:51:13   But if one of the options is "remind me later" and another one is "no thanks" and you tap

00:51:19   "no thanks" and then a week or two later the same app asks you again, that to me feels

00:51:25   broken.

00:51:26   And it's apparently by design, like looking at it,

00:51:29   like Dan Weinman looking at the code.

00:51:32   What no thanks really means in this open source project

00:51:36   is no thanks for this version of the app.

00:51:39   But if it's version 2.7.3, when you release 2.7.4 to fix a bug,

00:51:48   this irate project will then take a queue to ask again.

00:51:52   And that's why so many of us for so many apps

00:51:55   have seen the same goddamn dialogue so many times.

00:51:59   And I think it's why during the demo yesterday

00:52:02   at the Instagram event that Kevin Systrom got prompted

00:52:05   by it from Instagram app, because I'll bet what happened

00:52:08   is that he upgraded the version on his phone

00:52:12   to either a newer beta or to maybe

00:52:14   the App Store release version.

00:52:16   - Yeah. - Which had just come,

00:52:17   which was coming out yesterday.

00:52:19   I think it came out like during the event.

00:52:21   So my guess is he upgraded to the new version

00:52:24   of Instagram and hadn't launched it yet.

00:52:27   Or maybe it like, maybe, I'm not even quite sure about this,

00:52:31   but maybe it doesn't ask you the first time

00:52:33   you launch after an upgrade.

00:52:34   It maybe it asks like the third time after you upgrade,

00:52:39   it will ask again.

00:52:40   And he'd install, you know,

00:52:42   it was such a good presentation, very well rehearsed.

00:52:44   He probably installed it, ran through the demo

00:52:47   two or three times, saw that it was all working

00:52:50   exactly right and then on stage hit the whatever you know the nth time when irate is going

00:52:58   to make you angry.

00:53:00   [Music]

00:53:01   Hey kids, John Gruber here. I've always wanted to do this. I've got breaking news. It ends

00:53:13   up in the couple of hours in between when Daniel Jalkett and I recorded this episode

00:53:19   right now, Friday, December 13th in the evening, the developer of this irate open source package,

00:53:28   Nick Lockwood, has, now this is not coincidence, this is in response to conversations on Twitter

00:53:37   among various people in the developer community before we recorded, but anyway, Nick Lockwood

00:53:43   has made changes in the new version of irate which he published today on github

00:53:47   has a few changes it no longer asks users to rate the app each version it asks once

00:53:56   and if the user selects no thanks they will never be asked again and he even went so far as to remove

00:54:06   the option to prompt again each version.

00:54:10   I think all of these are changes for the better.

00:54:14   So great move and really really cool response from

00:54:19   developer Nick Lockwood and I really hope developers who are using this package

00:54:23   update to the latest version. Now back to the show.

00:54:27   So I'm looking as well at this configuration documentation. There are

00:54:31   a ton of different things as you said including all these like fine-tuned

00:54:36   attributes that taken together determine when it will prompt you but one of them

00:54:44   is literally prompt again for each new version and it says in the

00:54:48   documentation because iTunes ratings are version specific you ideally want users

00:54:53   to rate each new version of your app so that's the mindset behind the so so you

00:54:59   John when you said you think it has poor defaults I think the defaults if it's

00:55:05   set to prompt again for each new version, which it sounds like it is, they are very

00:55:12   well chosen for the goals of the project.

00:55:16   And this gets back to my whole point about who is this in the service of, right?

00:55:23   The whole point of this project being here at the disposal of hundreds or thousands of

00:55:31   developers is to benefit developers by maximizing some perceived benefit of

00:55:38   capitalizing on users and not just of getting reviews but of getting new

00:55:43   reviews over and over and over again because in fact from everything I've

00:55:47   been able to gather from this this project which I think is super popular

00:55:51   and other ones there is no way to stop being asked not only does the no thanks

00:55:57   button not stop you from being asked again when a new version comes out

00:56:00   Even if you rate the app, if you do the thing that they really want you to do,

00:56:06   which is tap that first button and leave the app, even though you clearly went to

00:56:10   the app for some other purpose, which was to actually use the app, but you're

00:56:13   willing to say, "You know what? Forget everything. I will do you a favor. I will

00:56:19   take time out of my life right now. I will drop what I was doing. I will hit

00:56:24   this button, I will go and peck out using my thumbs in the App Store a review of

00:56:31   your app right now, and I'll give it five stars and submit it and put my name on

00:56:36   it on the iTunes Store as a review of your app. You do all of that for the

00:56:42   developer, and then the next time a new version of the app comes out you're

00:56:44   gonna see that dialog box again. Even hitting "rate the app" doesn't set any

00:56:49   kind of flag that says, "Okay, this guy is, you know, you don't have to show this

00:56:53   user the dialog anymore there is no way to stop getting prompted there is no way

00:56:58   as a user on a default configured deployment of irate and that's what it

00:57:05   looks like and looking at this documentation a little more it actually

00:57:09   covers this case specifically in the same area it says if you set that prompt

00:57:14   again for each new version value to no then it clearly says they will not be

00:57:20   prompted again each time they install an update if they've already rated the app

00:57:25   then it goes on to say it will still prompt them for each new version if they

00:57:31   have not rated the app and that presumably means if they've said no

00:57:35   thanks but then it says you can override this using a delegate method

00:57:40   irate should prompt for rating so it has to be completely customized

00:57:44   Some sense of decency needs to be instilled into this framework.

00:57:51   Right, and again I think that it's arguably well-intentioned but blind to

00:57:58   the cost of user attention. I don't think that you know whoever wrote this and set

00:58:04   up this configuration system was in any way evil. You know I just think it's right

00:58:11   You know and it and I do think it was well-meaning in that it's aiming to solve a problem developers face

00:58:16   But I think it's completely blind and ham-fisted to the effect it has on users. Yep

00:58:21   You know and I'll draw another similarity and again people keep saying that the defenders of this practice keep saying but it works

00:58:28   And there's all sorts of stuff that works. That's that is not right, you know telemarketing works. That's right, right telemarketing works

00:58:35   But it's annoying as hell and I would never want any product or service that I'm involved with to be involved with it

00:58:41   Like even if it was cost-effective I would never have you know

00:58:45   You know pay $100 to have some

00:58:48   Telemarketer try to get more readers of daring fireball or you know people to buy Vesper or something like that

00:58:55   It's you know, it's beneath the brand in my opinion. That's why we're on the same. It works. Yeah

00:58:59   I

00:59:01   was just gonna say I think that this reflects like

00:59:04   there's kind of a herd mentality with

00:59:07   developers and I fall victim to it sometimes but you know

00:59:11   The problem is we're all sort of scrambling for how are we gonna make a living at this?

00:59:14   How are we gonna like eke out enough of a profit that we can you know?

00:59:18   Maybe quit our day job or you support our family. All these are valuable things to aspire to do, but you're right there

00:59:25   This is one variable in like not just dozens but hundreds or thousands of variables that added together

00:59:33   you know lead to whether you make a living or not and

00:59:37   And there's lots of things.

00:59:38   You know what else makes money?

00:59:39   Pornography.

00:59:41   And Apple--

00:59:43   - That's a good point.

00:59:44   - Apple draws the line right there.

00:59:45   If each of these apps popped up a bare boob

00:59:49   every once in a while,

00:59:50   maybe they'd make a little more money.

00:59:52   But Apple draws the line on that for us.

00:59:56   If Apple said tomorrow,

01:00:02   hey, guess what, folks?

01:00:03   New policy.

01:00:05   you're not allowed to proactively encourage users

01:00:09   to rate your app from the app.

01:00:12   That would be it.

01:00:13   It would be over, and that would be a new rule of the game

01:00:16   for developers to play with.

01:00:17   And they'd have the time to fix it, to submit.

01:00:21   No apps would be taken out of the store,

01:00:23   but as new apps, new versions get submitted,

01:00:26   they would need to comply.

01:00:27   Yeah.

01:00:28   And I think what I feel like when stuff like this

01:00:31   comes up and people--

01:00:33   I have to be careful because I'm a developer too.

01:00:35   I face my own problems, but it so happens

01:00:39   that I'm not in deep with iOS as a revenue stream.

01:00:44   So I have to be careful not to be too dismissive

01:00:46   of folks having problems with this,

01:00:49   but it feels to me, it reminds me of situations

01:00:52   I've encountered myself where I was looking

01:00:55   for easy outs or easy blames for what's going wrong

01:01:02   with my business or with my app.

01:01:04   Kind of reminds me of this old quip

01:01:08   I think Gus Mueller made on his blog years ago.

01:01:12   I wish I could remember the context,

01:01:13   but it was like somebody had one of these

01:01:15   kind of like whiny rants about so and so.

01:01:19   I think it was somebody who was like quitting

01:01:20   the software business and blaming it on

01:01:23   piracy or people not,

01:01:28   lack of marketing or something or other.

01:01:30   Gus just says maybe your app just sucks

01:01:32   You know like that's always something

01:01:35   We have to think about yeah, and and and sometimes I think when people are down to the point where they're considering

01:01:43   whether or not I can force users or

01:01:47   strongly compel them to do my bidding and

01:01:50   That makes the difference between whether I make a living or not. That's a sad place to be and there is there is

01:01:58   To be sympathetic to developers. There's also a prisoner's dilemma angle to this, right?

01:02:04   I mean, what's the classic formulation of the prisoner's dilemma? It's like you and a friend are both put in jail

01:02:10   separate cells and

01:02:13   the jailer comes to you and they want you both to confess to a crime and you can

01:02:18   Your like three options are to maintain your innocence

01:02:21   And if you both maintain your innocence, then you'll both get out without doing a day of jail time because the they don't have a confession

01:02:27   you can say it was all the other guy's fault and he'll do all the jail time. He'll do, you know,

01:02:32   ten years of jail time and

01:02:35   you get to walk away.

01:02:39   Or it's no, no, or what did I guess it would be like you would do like a year of jail and he'd do ten years

01:02:44   of jail.

01:02:45   Isn't that it?

01:02:47   I don't remember the details.

01:02:48   Well, but anyway, it's in your interest in theory to stick together and do the right thing and maintain your innocence and you both walk

01:02:55   out but that there's a big motivation to rat the other guy out because then you won't be getting

01:03:01   the worst of it and you can't trust him not to do the worst and stick it to you. Or it's like if you

01:03:06   both rat each other out then you do some time. But if you rat him out and he says you're both

01:03:16   innocent then he does all the time. And so it's in your interest to do it and just hope that he

01:03:21   did the right thing and let you go, right?

01:03:23   - Yeah.

01:03:24   - And there is a prisoner's dilemma angle to this

01:03:26   where it's like if the other developers are doing it

01:03:29   and you're not, they're getting more reviews.

01:03:31   And if it does seem to work

01:03:33   and the reviews that are left are mostly positive,

01:03:36   then your app is getting a disproportionate share

01:03:40   of positive reviews because you're not asking,

01:03:44   your competitors are,

01:03:46   and therefore their app is better reviewed than yours only,

01:03:48   not because it is better, but only because they're asking.

01:03:51   And therefore, it's in your interest to go along with it.

01:03:54   And that's sort of why I feel like Apple would be the one

01:03:59   who could solve it best by saying,

01:04:00   "You're not allowed to do this."

01:04:02   Because it also leads, it's a slippery slope.

01:04:04   And as I've researched this,

01:04:06   there's a lot of apps that are doing other things.

01:04:08   They're not just saying, "Hey, if you like it,

01:04:09   "leave an app or leave a review."

01:04:12   There's other apps that are like going,

01:04:14   taking measures to try to only get positive reviews.

01:04:18   Instead of saying, "Rate the app," they're doing things like saying, "Do you like the

01:04:23   app?

01:04:24   How do you like this?"

01:04:25   And if you say, "Yes, I like it," then they ask you to leave a review.

01:04:29   And if you say, "No, I don't," then they don't ask you to leave a review.

01:04:33   They'll point you somewhere else, like point you to a help page or something like that.

01:04:36   Right, which somehow feels disingenuous and slimy when it's automated like that.

01:04:42   But for example, it doesn't feel so bad if I, as a software business owner, like selectively

01:04:50   choose to mention, "Hey, maybe you could leave me a review," in like an email correspondence.

01:04:56   Right.

01:04:57   And that's totally okay.

01:04:58   You know, we do that with Vesper.

01:05:00   Like we'll, you know, at the bottom of like, when we answer support emails, we'll just

01:05:04   put in a little quick boiler point like, "Hey, if you like the app, it would be really, it

01:05:09   would be great for us if you took the time to leave a review."

01:05:12   Something like that. Well, it's sweet. A big part of that is you're you're squeezing that in as like a side note in

01:05:19   A communication that is getting back to the point otherwise for the customers benefit exactly answering a question, you know

01:05:27   providing them with a workaround or

01:05:30   Acknowledging. Yes, that's a known bug but it's it's you know, it's an Apple bug and we have to wait for salt

01:05:36   We're as annoyed by it by you, but we have to wait for Apple to fix it

01:05:39   we've filed bugs with them and you know hopefully we'll have an update soon or

01:05:43   something else you know like hey you're that's a cool feature request we'll

01:05:46   think about it you know or you know that's a cool feature request we have

01:05:50   thought about it here's why we didn't do it you know something like that some

01:05:54   sort of positive interaction and at the end of it another thing I've seen and I

01:05:59   think it's great I think it's totally cool are some people it's nowhere near

01:06:04   as prevalent a practice as these alerts these alerts have become like a disease

01:06:08   But like so I've seen there's I've seen screenshots of some apps

01:06:11   We're like on the settings page on a settings panel. There will be like a link like

01:06:16   to two buttons like one tap here to get support if you have a

01:06:21   Issue and then underneath that if you like the app tap here to rate it in the App Store

01:06:26   These ratings really help us with our you know rankings in the store

01:06:30   I think that's ideal because it's again it's sneaking it in and in a place that does not slow down the user and right

01:06:38   It's not you know just I don't know that's to me

01:06:40   It's it just as crazy to me that there are some people who don't see how an alert is is going right to code red

01:06:47   You know yeah

01:06:49   You should never show an alert unless you have to like I think ideally the ideal work flow through any app

01:06:55   involves no alerts

01:06:57   You know only when you really have to when there's no other solution

01:07:02   We've got to make sure because all right they're trying to delete this thing and if they do it

01:07:06   There's no way to undo it

01:07:08   we've got to show an alert to double-check that they really wanted to because it would be catastrophic if they

01:07:13   deleted it by accident, right and so I think like

01:07:16   More forgivable example is like sparkle in Mac apps where it does show an alert

01:07:25   but it is clearly usually clearly for the customers benefit right to get an updated version and

01:07:32   importantly in almost every app on the Mac that uses sparkle there is a

01:07:36   preference in the app to completely disable the

01:07:40   the alerts

01:07:42   So it's a totally different

01:07:44   Mindwell, and again, it's an important thing where again it's in the users interest usually to be running the latest version of the app

01:07:51   But it's not in the users interest in general to update automatically, you know without their yeah

01:07:59   Okay, right. So you're protecting them and and and benefit. Yeah, the right thing to do is to do

01:08:05   What sparkle does is to say, okay, there's an app store. There is an update of version, you know

01:08:10   Whatever number you're running this number. Here's you know, you can do this later or you could do this now

01:08:17   so I think that there is a possible like

01:08:20   another possible like acceptable

01:08:24   Communication stream between developers and users which is some kind of like passive news stream

01:08:30   Where it's kind of like the about box idea. It's still begging the users attention

01:08:36   I've seen this in some games like they'll have like general news, but then occasionally they'll also have as among those news items

01:08:43   You know, hey, you've been using this for a while if you like it rate it. Yeah

01:08:47   And that kind of stuff usually entails like some kind of little subtle signal like a little

01:08:54   You know like maybe a little red light or something on the main screen that lets you know, there's messages, right?

01:09:00   Something like that. Let's just say if something like that had become the de facto standard for how

01:09:06   People try to cajole people into reviewing. I don't think we'd be having this conversation

01:09:12   It's not that's not problematic enough or maybe not problematic at all

01:09:16   but there I

01:09:19   I think even with the alerts, which I think is generally heavy-handed for this, but as long as if this irate project that everybody...

01:09:27   or it seems to be so popular, if no thanks meant never show this again, ever.

01:09:32   Yeah, just one time only and you can opt out and it'll never show you again. I don't think we'd be having this conversation.

01:09:38   I really don't because then you'd only see that dialogue once for every app and even if you have a lot of apps installed,

01:09:44   that's not that bad.

01:09:45   It's in hindsight, and I didn't really this didn't really occur to me until after I published that

01:09:50   But the more I thought about it and really considered my position

01:09:53   It's not being asked the first time that annoys me

01:09:56   It's being asked the second through the nth times the one time it's like I don't like it

01:10:02   Yeah, I wouldn't do it, but I could live with it and it's the same thing as things like hey

01:10:07   Maybe you want to I don't think you should do all of these things. I think you have a limited amount of

01:10:12   attention you can take from the user, but if you wanted to maybe you want to do something like you said like

01:10:16   Prompt them once to sign up for an occasional newsletter

01:10:20   Yeah, or just follow your company's or products account on Twitter

01:10:26   Follow Vesper app on Twitter and you'll receive you know occasional

01:10:30   You know tips tricks news stuff like that, right and it would be completely appropriate

01:10:37   to say on your Vesper Twitter account, you know folks if you haven't done it yet now would be a great time to review

01:10:44   Exactly and and part of that too is that with an email newsletter?

01:10:48   You know you can and I know the panic apps have always done this and I think they've had a great success with it

01:10:53   And it's a really cool

01:10:54   You know the newsletters are you know everything you'd think a panic newsletter would be it's funny and very well designed

01:10:59   It's like one time when you install like a new panic app for the first time

01:11:04   They show you a dialogue box and it'll just it says something, you know, very friendly and it's like hey

01:11:09   We run a company newsletter where we give occasional

01:11:12   news and updates and tips

01:11:14   It's not annoying we promise and you can unsubscribe anytime

01:11:18   But it'd be it would be great if you signed up and you could put your email address in and hit a button and if you

01:11:23   Don't want it you hit another button and they never ask you again

01:11:25   Yeah, same thing for like Twitter and then again if you want to in your newsletter or in your Twitter account

01:11:32   occasionally remind people to do to maybe leave a review in the App Store

01:11:35   That's cool

01:11:36   Because if if they want to they'll do it if they don't they won't and if they're annoyed they know how to make it stop

01:11:42   You know how to hit the unfollow button in Twitter. Yeah

01:11:45   Whereas there is no way to make these dialogues stop

01:11:48   I think you I think you're right that the the one-time thing is I might consider it like

01:11:54   slightly a slight like

01:11:58   Tarnish on an app, you know, but maybe not even that maybe I would just accept it as the as the you know

01:12:04   Cost of doing business, but we all overlook

01:12:07   little things here and there in apps that bug us right and they don't have to be things that are like intentionally trying to

01:12:13   Coerce us into doing something could just be like oh, I I really hate the fact that

01:12:18   this button, you know always behaves this way when I click it and and then I think what you're on to here with the

01:12:25   in particular of this open source framework is collectively,

01:12:30   when you magnify that out over so many apps

01:12:33   doing the same thing and the sense that they're all

01:12:35   kind of collectively, they're giving it the okay

01:12:40   by all doing it, right?

01:12:42   It would be like what if you had this one really frustrating

01:12:45   annoying behavior of an app and then they open sourced that

01:12:48   and then suddenly all your apps were behaving that way.

01:12:50   - Right.

01:12:51   Let me take a break here and do the third sponsor break

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01:15:38   So the last thing I wanted to say about this is Apple's role, and not just in approving

01:15:42   the apps that are doing this, but in the way that the App Store is currently configured.

01:15:47   And one of the things, a lot of people jumped on this in the Twitter conversation.

01:15:52   An awful lot of people are saying what I think I agree with too, which is that there's a

01:15:56   big difference between asking the user once and asking them over and over again.

01:16:01   And it's that once every version that was annoying.

01:16:04   immediately then there were people defending it because the way the App

01:16:07   Store is set up it's only the current version of the app whose reviews are

01:16:14   counted to make the average rating so like if you had really good reviews a

01:16:19   year ago but now you've had two versions since and not so you know maybe not even

01:16:24   bad reviews just you don't have that many reviews they don't show up in the

01:16:27   default listing and that people based there like should I download it or not

01:16:31   decisions on how well rated it is. Be that as it may, that is not the user's

01:16:38   problem. That's right. Right? It just isn't, you know, and it's like, I don't know,

01:16:47   should that be fixed? I think there's got to be a better way to do it. I mean, I

01:16:51   think there's a lot of people who are, you know, as time goes on, who are kind of,

01:16:54   and the App Store gets older, you know, that it's discovery is definitely, it's

01:16:59   always been a problem in the App Store, right? Where the best apps don't

01:17:02   necessarily filter to the top. You know, Twitter clients is a perfect example

01:17:06   where like if you search the App Store for Twitter, you don't get a listing of

01:17:11   the best Twitter clients. You do get Twitter.com's official Twitter client

01:17:15   early on, but like apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot, depending on, you know, the

01:17:19   day and what's going on with Apple's indexes, don't show up. You get a whole

01:17:23   bunch of junk underneath the official Twitter client. Whereas I think in a

01:17:28   world where the App Store worked according to Apple's ideals where the

01:17:32   best you know Apple's you know stuff has always been about the best you know

01:17:36   what's the best quality apps like tweet bot and Twitter if ik should be at the

01:17:40   yeah near the top of the results and what's worse is that they have

01:17:44   apparently been you know punished for this practice of starting you know

01:17:49   releasing a new release with a new skew and SKU code on the App Store right

01:17:54   which is itself a workaround to the lack of a paid upgrade system,

01:18:00   like where people, developers would like to ideally hold on to their sort of like

01:18:06   notoriety and their reputation in the store for a particular app, but to get paid again,

01:18:12   they either have to like jump through some weird hoops to turn their upgrade into an a la carte in

01:18:19   in-app purchase or they have to make an all-new SKU,

01:18:23   and then they start at the bottom, literally.

01:18:27   Like, I mean, somebody mentioned,

01:18:30   I think it was maybe David Barnard,

01:18:31   'cause he's always real, you know,

01:18:34   I think productively critical about the search issue.

01:18:38   He said, you know, Tweetbot went from like number one

01:18:41   or number two in those results to off the page fold.

01:18:46   - Right.

01:18:47   So yeah, Apple's role, it's one of those things where,

01:18:52   you know, it's always been easy for us

01:18:54   who are big Apple fans and we appreciate

01:18:57   so much that Apple does, it's always easy for us to say,

01:18:59   like, oh, this one fix would fix everything,

01:19:02   or this is what they should do,

01:19:03   or this is, why is this all so screwed up?

01:19:06   And of course, we have to take a step back

01:19:08   and realize that when you consider that

01:19:11   for any one of these little things we can pinpoint,

01:19:13   there are actually dozens or hundreds of things

01:19:16   that could probably be improved.

01:19:18   It's easier than to at least be empathetic

01:19:21   to how it's not perfect.

01:19:23   - It is effectively, the similarity that keeps,

01:19:27   I don't think we've even mentioned it during the show yet,

01:19:30   but this whole practice of asking for the reviews,

01:19:32   it reeks of SEO, search engine optimization,

01:19:37   which is largely, in my opinion,

01:19:41   and always has been ways to take advantage

01:19:46   of search engines.

01:19:49   Whatever techniques have worked.

01:19:50   It's not about truly deserving top spots.

01:19:54   It's how to get the top spot, whether you deserve it or not.

01:19:58   And that's-- it's become a dirty word.

01:20:01   And people, other than marketing scumbags, people hear SEO,

01:20:07   and they think, oh, man, it's bad practices and annoying

01:20:10   cheats.

01:20:11   Well, that's-- I hate to say it.

01:20:13   That's what this rating thing is.

01:20:15   Even if it works, that shouldn't be how it works.

01:20:18   You're taking advantage of Apple's relatively poor ranking system.

01:20:25   Yeah.

01:20:26   Well, something else that just came to mind is another one of the Twitter things that

01:20:32   got to me a little bit because, of course, it's close to home and it's a personal allegation,

01:20:38   but there was a not so subtle suggestion that for me to criticize developers who are doing

01:20:45   this, it's a situation where my privilege should be called into question, meaning that

01:20:56   it's easy for me to take the high road or to proclaim that developers should or shouldn't

01:21:04   do these things, because implying that even with my modest Twitter and blog audience and

01:21:12   podcast audience that I have this huge upper hand in marketing my apps such that I wouldn't

01:21:18   need to use these kinds of marketing techniques.

01:21:21   And I thought that was particularly interesting because this was based in a post that you

01:21:29   had written because people could as easily, if not more forcefully, make that allegation

01:21:38   about you with Vesper.

01:21:40   Vesper. Right. Yeah, I definitely got that. I mean, to a couple of people with the effect

01:21:44   of developers defending their use of it in their apps. Well, I wouldn't have to do it

01:21:49   in my app either if I could get a link on Daring Fireball for my app as often as Vesper

01:21:53   does. And I don't know what to say to that. Here's what I have to say to it is these people

01:22:00   are overlooking how difficult it is to market apps and to make apps profitable and successful.

01:22:07   make apps profitable and successful,

01:22:11   even if you do have the luck of an audience.

01:22:14   - Of starting with some kind of audience or notoriety.

01:22:16   - It's this, you know, not to,

01:22:20   I don't wanna insult these people per se,

01:22:23   but they have a misunderstanding of the whole system.

01:22:28   - And it's better to have an audience than not.

01:22:34   It's better to be the Omni group and already have tens of thousands of happy users when

01:22:40   you're launching a brand new version 1.0 app that nobody's had before.

01:22:45   It's better to be Panic than to be an unheard of software developer.

01:22:51   But it definitely does not make it easy for Panic or the Omni group or anybody else to

01:22:58   launch a 1.0 and get it to stick more than just on the first day.

01:23:03   You do get a nice spic.

01:23:05   It's easy to get a nice spike on the first day if you're known.

01:23:09   It does not have that much bearing on what happens a week or a month or two months or

01:23:14   six months later.

01:23:15   Eventually, it doesn't take very long for water to reach its own level.

01:23:19   The app becomes as popular as it should be whoever you started out as.

01:23:23   Eric: Then we get back to Gus Mueller's, "Maybe your app just sucks."

01:23:27   Those of us with some kind of built-in audience, if we're struggling to sell the app at some

01:23:31   point, we can choose to take stock in whether the app needs to be improved.

01:23:38   A lot of times an app just needs to exist for a number of years before it has the refinement

01:23:46   and the feature base and the mind share to be successful.

01:23:50   Gus is probably a good example of that because I'll bet that that's sort of what happened.

01:23:53   I don't know exactly how the sales chart for Acorn has been, but I think when Acorn first

01:23:59   shipped it was very interesting because there had been so many years where

01:24:03   everybody was like how come there's no indie image editors and then all of a

01:24:06   sudden there were a couple yeah corn was one and had some interesting you know

01:24:10   design and interface and features but it's such a heat you know you you know

01:24:16   you're competing against Photoshop you know and you've got a lot you know I

01:24:21   think it just took a while for acorn to have a minimum feature set that was just

01:24:25   like, you know what, this is totally feasible.

01:24:28   - Yeah, and one other quick thought that comes to mind

01:24:32   is all of these people who are sort of like

01:24:34   comforting themselves, I think,

01:24:38   maybe for the behavior of their app

01:24:39   or for the apps that they love,

01:24:41   comforting the fact that these tactics are being used

01:24:45   because it's somehow necessary

01:24:46   or because it's the leg up that they need

01:24:49   to offset that lack of an existing audience

01:24:52   or the lack of existing success.

01:24:54   It just strikes me as totally opposite

01:24:59   from the mindset you need to have

01:25:01   if you actually want to be successful

01:25:03   because by adopting these follow the herd tactics,

01:25:07   it's the exact mindset that prevents you

01:25:11   from having those noticeably different,

01:25:15   you look at some companies where you're like,

01:25:18   panic, for example, they keep coming up,

01:25:20   obviously we love them,

01:25:21   but they distinguish themselves often

01:25:25   by doing things that no other company does.

01:25:28   And it's not by assuming that because everybody else

01:25:32   has a nagware like dialogue in their app

01:25:37   that that's the way to do it.

01:25:39   And I think if these people think that,

01:25:42   if they're so convinced that the way to succeed

01:25:45   in the software business is to adopt whatever,

01:25:48   like I'm being a little dramatic here,

01:25:50   but whatever bottom feeding tactics everybody else is using,

01:25:54   then that's just like a symptom

01:25:56   that they're setting themselves up

01:25:58   for that kind of mentality in general.

01:26:01   Like, well, it's good enough for everybody else

01:26:04   on the App Store.

01:26:05   And you don't get successful and popular and beloved

01:26:08   by trying to be only as good as everything else

01:26:12   on the App Store.

01:26:13   Is that, I had to get up on my high horse eventually, right?

01:26:19   Well, that's why I had you.

01:26:20   I always have you on the show to get up on your high horse,

01:26:22   Daniel.

01:26:24   I got my stirrups on and my 10 gallon hat.

01:26:29   It's nuanced.

01:26:29   I think bottom line takeaway.

01:26:32   I think if there's anything everybody could take away

01:26:34   from this, if there's a way that raising this into an issue

01:26:38   that we're being discussed, if there's some change that comes

01:26:42   of this, my hope would be that it

01:26:44   would be to make these dialogues a,

01:26:48   when you hit no thanks, you never see it again.

01:26:51   - Yeah. - Or any version.

01:26:53   Regardless of all of the arguments that that's,

01:26:55   you know, that the App Store wants that.

01:26:58   'Cause let's face it, people are not,

01:27:00   what do you do really as a developer?

01:27:01   If you're out there and you're on the fence

01:27:03   and you're thinking, you know, your app does this

01:27:06   and you're listening to the show,

01:27:07   I hope that we've convinced you at least

01:27:09   that it doesn't even make any sense

01:27:10   to ask people to do it over and over again.

01:27:12   Do you really think that they're going to leave multiple reviews?

01:27:16   I think they are, Jon.

01:27:18   I think that that's...

01:27:19   I think that...

01:27:22   Let's say you got 10,000 users.

01:27:25   I think they're counting on the fact that by annoying 10,000 people, 5 to 10 of those

01:27:32   people will push the button and go review.

01:27:36   I don't know what the numbers are, but if you think about it that way, you don't need

01:27:40   to hit that many people.

01:27:41   I mean, you don't need to hit that big of a percentage for it to make an impact and I think unfortunately, that's just another

01:27:47   That's another that's another case for

01:27:50   punishing the bulk of your users

01:27:53   When you know only a small tiny fraction of them is needed to give you the result you want. I

01:27:59   Also think that Apple should seriously considered banning it

01:28:03   And yeah

01:28:04   And I think the fact that there that like I as we talked about a few minutes ago that developed some developers

01:28:10   are doing the even more questionable practice of trying to figure out first

01:28:15   whether you're gonna leave a four or five star review and only then forwarding

01:28:19   you on. Because if you're gonna allow in general I'm not sure how you

01:28:24   would how you would ban just that even though that is to me clearly gaming the

01:28:29   reviews. It's almost as bad it's only it you know it's only a hair short of using

01:28:35   those scammy paid services that leave made-up reviews. Right, and it sort of

01:28:41   feels like the kind of thing where Apple could include it in the whole genre of

01:28:47   prohibitions against like acting like the App Store or acting like

01:28:52   the springboard or whatever, you know, getting into Apple's business. Right,

01:28:55   the reviews should be, you know, in theory, should be organic and, you know,

01:29:00   and only maybe prompted by things that are outside the app, like I said, like in

01:29:04   in a tech support email or your Twitter

01:29:07   or something like that.

01:29:08   - Well, one positive thing I think that came out of this

01:29:11   is there has been a little bit of a kind of a grassroots

01:29:14   call for voluntary rating of apps that you love.

01:29:19   And I think that's great.

01:29:22   That will offset to some extent that tiny percentage,

01:29:25   I think, of your readers who have gone out

01:29:27   and taken your advice literally.

01:29:30   But it also reminds me that there are a few,

01:29:34   In my mind, there may be at high level three different approaches to solving this problem.

01:29:39   The approach that many developers are taking now to coerce users into rating,

01:29:43   the approach that we wish would happen, which is Apple would systematically repair the review system in some important ways.

01:29:50   And then there's another option, which is

01:29:54   somebody putting together some

01:29:57   system whereby people can kind of take pride or

01:30:02   ownership of their ratings of apps some kind of system that gamifies

01:30:07   ratings in a way that

01:30:10   Users would want to go

01:30:12   You know show off what they like and and share their reviews like the example that comes to mind is I think some people out there

01:30:20   Developers in particular you are more likely now to report radar bugs to Apple because of this open radar

01:30:27   site where you can say look folks I

01:30:31   Did my part and whether Apple ignores my suggestion or heeds it I reported the bug

01:30:37   And I could imagine some system existing outside of the control of developers or Apple

01:30:44   that would encourage users to

01:30:47   Sort of show their their

01:30:50   And maybe this would be gaming in an appropriate way

01:30:54   I don't know but expect if it were framed towards showing your love for the apps that you love

01:30:58   I think that could be something I think that could

01:31:01   affect

01:31:03   You know the same kind of results that the people the developers are looking for without being so disrespectful of the users, right?

01:31:12   Interrupting them. Yep, that's it. Exactly. And if you I mean the funny thing is a lot of these users would be happy

01:31:17   To give five or ten minutes of their time voluntarily in service of the developer

01:31:23   But are outraged to have to give ten seconds in voluntarily

01:31:28   Right. Right. Because it's not just the 10 seconds, it's the interruption.

01:31:31   And it's like the cartoons, you know, there's a bunch of them who made the rounds.

01:31:34   But like, you know, why it's bad to interrupt a programmer.

01:31:37   And it's, you know, it's because it's...

01:31:40   You may only be taking two seconds of their time, but you're effectively like popping a bubble.

01:31:44   Yep.

01:31:45   That has taken a while to build up to get their, you know, head around a problem.

01:31:49   You know. And like you said, you know, right at the beginning that

01:31:53   The whole reason that they're in the app in the first place is to do whatever it is that the app does.

01:31:58   You know, let you take a picture or let you read your tweets or let you play a game.

01:32:05   Which is why it's especially terrible, this behavior on mobile devices,

01:32:11   because the whole thing about the time you spend in a mobile app is so much shorter than on a desktop app, right?

01:32:17   So interrupting is that much more egregious.

01:32:20   Right. Exactly.

01:32:22   Well where can people find out more from you Daniel?

01:32:24   Where do you want to send people?

01:32:25   Oh well I'm @DanielPunkAss on Twitter and I have a blog at bitsplitting.org and my software

01:32:33   is wonderful and you should rate it.

01:32:35   Please take a moment now to stop, pause this podcast, go directly to iTunes or to the App

01:32:40   Store and rate my software.

01:32:42   Mars Edit.

01:32:43   Mars Edit is on the Mac App Store and on my site at red-sweater.com.

01:32:48   And don't forget to rate the talk show in the podcast listings.

01:32:51   Wait, wait, wait.

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01:32:55   Pause it right now before we finish.

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01:32:58   Go to the App Store and give it a rating.

01:33:00   Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

01:33:02   First of all, think to yourself, "Am I going to rate this show four stars or five stars?"

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01:33:10   Do not proceed directly to the iTunes store.