I've noticed recently that Feedly isn't doing a great job keeping what's read up to date across all of my devices, and there are a few. I read largely via browser when I take a break from work, on my iPad mini at home using the first-party Feedly app, and via Phonly on my Windows Phone, which I've been using to test apps and to bridge the time between when I sold my iPhone 5S and when I buy an iPhone 7*.

So lately I've seen things marked read reappearing on different devices. That's a pain. I wanted to tell Feedly, or at least see if that's more common recently on the forums.

Well, forget it. There's nothing. The "support" link gives you this...

... and that's completely fair. If you can't give $5.41 for support, what's the point? And for less than a fancy burger, I'm getting email and chat support for a month. That's crazy, you know?

Recently, I complained that I had too many podcast release announcements show up in my RSS feeds, and Jason Snell of Six Colors not only responded, but did something about it, dang it! An hour later, all the while telling me how useful the posts were, and how I was the only one complaining, he'd made me a custom RSS feed!

I wasn't planning on becoming a "patron", but when he requested it, it was difficult to say no. He'd wasted a cool hundred bucks, just to guess, of time on me. Couldn't I afford to give him half that back? Really tough to say no, even though the only thing I supported previously was Trace Ramsey, a great writer from NC.

(Now that said, I paid for Overcast back before it was patronware, tipped David Smith for Pedometer++, and purchased all sorts of podcast sponsor jive -- Fracture, Hover... something I forget... and eventually Linode, if I ever get off the tookus.)

The bottom line, though, is that Feedly is doing it right. I'm probably going to release the Markdown editor I'm writing as "serious" paidware ($5+) at first, even though -- no, precisely because -- it'll greatly reduce the number of users. I'd rather support 10 serious folks' feature requests than address 100 folks' pet peeves.

How invested are your customers, and which ones do you really need to help? If they aren't paying you peanuts, you'll lose more time === money replying to them in an email than you'll ever make back, more than likely. Build your core audience, and start by putting up a very conventional barrier to entry -- cash. It's sort of like the old, "Who is more committed to breakfast? The chicken or the pig?" bit. I want to listen to the pigs, to mix metaphors painfully.

Of course I still haven't paid Feedly so I can ask what's up. Or Phonly to get rid of the two banner ads it keeps running (its Twitter feed hasn't updated since 2014, fwiw). And that's the kind of user you don't want to waste your time placating#. ;^)

*I've got to say, going six and a half months without an iPhone has been more annoying than I'd thought. I mean, Windows Phone 8.1 is pretty good, much better than I'd expect. And now that it's got Crossy Road, I can't even complain much about games. But if I was a betting man (I'm not), I'd put some cash on me going for the iPhone 5se when it's released in a month. I'd like to think it's because I like the smaller phone (I think I do, especially with the mini to play GIANT phone when I'm at home), but it's probably, admittedly, partially due to impatience and partially to save a few hundred bucks. Still, I'd kinda hope I wait it out and get the "full" iPhone 7 experience.

Decisions, decisions, first-world decisions.

#Maybe. I mean, you never know how many of those folks will shell out after you help them, a la me and Snell. I used to email one developer about their app when I couldn't tell which to buy, and if they replied quickly, I'd buy theirs. Active support of any kind is worth something.

Labels: , , ,