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# 100959 21-Apr-2012 15:16
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Stuff news story - An app that provides details on emergency routes for schools, ERO reports about the school, and a couple of other things  (http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/6784773/Marks-missing-from-smartphone-schools-app)

I know the app fad is still in its "prime" but seriously is this a worthy spend of $20,000 NZ tax dollars, especially from a ministry that always seems to be so dam short on funding.

My annoyance with a product like this is

1) It is not essential
2) There are better ways to provide this information (a website)
3) It limits the use down to people who own smart phones & have data connections (27% of the population 2011 study)
4) It is not essential
5) The emergency information - does it require an Internet connection, if so this would make it useless in a genuine emergency..
6) It is not essential

I would be surprised if there was very much market penetration, and if there was I would be super surprised if the app was used multiple times by the individuals.  Apps - seem cool, but seriously..

edit, sorry the hyperlink is no worky, maybe Opera

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  # 612860 21-Apr-2012 16:44
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itxtme: I know the app fad is still in its "prime" but seriously is this a worthy spend of $20,000 NZ tax dollars


I'm GENUINELY surprised that there are only 4 zeros there, even went to check the article to see if you had missed one, but you're right, $20,000.

Not that it surprises me that the app could be developed for $20,000, far from it, it's sounds fairly straight forward.  But I am surprised that the developers only charged the government $20,000 to do it.  Even if it was done in house... still surprising.







---
James Sleeman
I sell lots of stuff for electronic enthusiasts...


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  # 612865 21-Apr-2012 16:53
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What sleemanj said. I work for a company owned by a few DHBs, and we'd charge those same shareholding DHBs way more than $20K. They'd be lucky to pay less than $100K.

Most of the reason government departments do apps and the like is that it's the new in thing, and doing the in thing gets that department useless awards from Netguide once a year (you know, like how IRD gets the "most awesome at online stuff" award despite the fact that their website only allows you to do things based on paper they send you first, and seems to lag behind in the information it provides by up to several months).

 
 
 
 


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  # 612869 21-Apr-2012 17:02
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itxtme: Stuff news story?- An app that provides details on emergency routes for schools, ERO reports about the school, and a couple of other things ?(http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/6784773/Marks-missing-from-smartphone-schools-app)

I know the app fad is still in its "prime" but seriously is this a worthy spend of $20,000 NZ tax dollars, especially from a ministry that always seems to be so dam short on funding.

My annoyance with a product like this is

1) It is not essential
2) There are better ways to provide this information (a website)
3) It limits the use down to people who own smart phones & have data connections (27% of the population 2011 study)
4) It is not essential
5) The emergency information - does it require an Internet connection, if so this would make it useless in a genuine emergency..
6) It is not essential

I would be surprised if there was very much market penetration, and if there was I would be super surprised if the app was used multiple times by the individuals. ?Apps - seem cool, but seriously..

edit, sorry the hyperlink is no worky, maybe Opera


There is a lot of gov money, both national gov, and regional, wasted. And they say they can't afford to keep TVNZ 7. They can afford what they want to afford.



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  # 612996 21-Apr-2012 22:31
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Dont disagree Matt, hearing stories about the money spent on personal development confrences that the workers are then to busy to attend.. Back to the app, I hosnetly feel that investments of this scale for these reasons need a profesional to guide them, because with a 27% possible saturation market why are you providing this information in this medium!? Baffled

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  # 613003 21-Apr-2012 22:52
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I don't see it as a bad thing....how many of that 27% use smart devices, or would want this info?
Is that figure going to be 27% in 2012...2013??
Perhaps it just seems odd because it's the first of perhaps many public service related apps.

The real question should be how much $$ does having the app out there save us from having public servants provide the same info through other (traditional?) channels?

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  # 613029 22-Apr-2012 01:50
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Is it such a bad thing making it easier for kids & parents to get their hands on ERO reports, wasn't there a case where one school tried to hide (I was going to say cover up, but maybe a little harsh) the fact that the ERO reviewers had little faith in the Board?

If the information is easier to obtain by the public (not that it was even that hard in 2003...) then there is more accountability, and hopefully more bang-for-buck in the school systems.

On the other hand, unless all the info is distributed with the app for the emergency part, isn't this like the ASB App (for the most part iirc) and many other apps which are just glorified front ends for their websites, spend the money on a "Your Government" app and link it all from that! 

Leave spending the big money for innovative apps and apps that really need all the fancy technology that smartphones provide... Like the Fisheries App (although they forgot to run their fact checker over it before release).   For people that don't know the MFish app, it's basically got quite detailed information of the NZ fishing areas, quotas size limits, other information (where you aren't allowed to fish etc), great app, but they never updated it (to my knowledge) to fix a couple of rather largeish flaws.

gzt

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  # 613108 22-Apr-2012 11:32
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nigelj: [...] isn't this like the ASB App (for the most part iirc) and many other apps which are just glorified front ends for their websites, [...]


They have something on the web at http://nzschools.tki.org.nz/.

That does not include ERO and historic places information - but given how accurate nz journalism is on anything remotely tech the article might be confused about exactly what is available from the current apps.

If 20K is an internal project costing - it is difficult to know what items and costs it might include or not.

IMHO it is a good thing if they are developing this capability in house - it will be needed a lot more in future - but is it really justiifed in this instance?

The article does not describe the business case.

 
 
 
 


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  # 613122 22-Apr-2012 12:18
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The govt wastes heaps more on that on an additional 50 - 80 mps that are just not needed, I don't think $20k on an app is really a big issue......

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  # 613147 22-Apr-2012 13:47
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Hi, not too sure if the info these apps present is something I care too much for (I am both a parent of high school teens and work on MoE IT contracts) but as others have said, apps are really something I prefer not to see for this type of stuff.

In my view websites that are desktop and mobile sensitive surely give much better value for money and at the end of the day more consistent user experience.

By example in the past few weeks Westpac (my banker) have released a mobile version of their banking website, this in my view is much more preferable than them offering me an app for my SGS, and the result is good and very welcome.

Cheers
Cyril



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  # 613175 22-Apr-2012 15:27
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sen8or: The govt wastes heaps more on that on an additional 50 - 80 mps that are just not needed, I don't think $20k on an app is really a big issue......


What a bizarre statement, what if a decile 1 school was given this 20K ??

I guess my big beef with it is the fact its a trend based investment, in a fad, the idea is "cool"; but practical use - Really?

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  # 613178 22-Apr-2012 15:33
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I guess my big beef with it is the fact its a trend based investment, in a fad, the idea is "cool"; but practical use - Really?


Exactly, hence my comments and if the information is useful then it should be on a website, and if that website is mobile sensitive and tuned then all well and good, but a dedicated app, nah

Cyril

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  # 613767 23-Apr-2012 15:59
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There are already apps around that do this exact thing anyway. We use one in-house called "Bamboo".

And when I say "we use" I mean "we have available, but no bugger installs it".





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  # 613773 23-Apr-2012 16:06
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itxtme:
sen8or: The govt wastes heaps more on that on an additional 50 - 80 mps that are just not needed, I don't think $20k on an app is really a big issue......


What a bizarre statement, what if a decile 1 school was given this 20K ??

I guess my big beef with it is the fact its a trend based investment, in a fad, the idea is "cool"; but practical use - Really?


That sort of thing happens everywhere with fads. Organizations setting up and running facebook and twiter accounts is another area of recent growth, becuase it is seen as popular and cool to use, but it can cost a lot to run. The one good thing about this is that they tend to be better staffed than conventional methods of contacting a company, so you can usually get things resolved very quickly.

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  # 613780 23-Apr-2012 16:17
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itxtme:I guess my big beef with it is the fact its a trend based investment, in a fad, the idea is "cool"; but practical use - Really?

Soo it's like a Tattoo, a sunroof, or a smart-phone then?

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  # 613784 23-Apr-2012 16:28
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itxtme: 
3) It limits the use down to people who own smart phones & have data connections (27% of the population 2011 study)


Slightly off topic, but last count in Q3 was 43% of the Australian market

Should be hopefully over 50% in Q1 2012.  But we shall have to wait for those stats.



I'm not sure how that will be affecting NZs 27%, but with the influx of cheap smartphones here, who knows




I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 

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