In which I nAPPed

by Hannah Silvers

NEW YORK CITY — The headline will make sense in a second. Bear with me.

I attended a session about using mobile apps with student media. I know ELN has a new app, and with convergence coming up, I wanted to see what I could learn about the pros and cons of using a mobile app instead of just optimizing the website for mobile. I also wanted to learn a little about what it would take to get such an app off the ground and keep it running.

I learned … almost none of that. I did get a nice eyes-open nap though.

The speaker, Shawn Kaplan, spent the first fifteen minutes (at least, I think) convincing us that smartphone users are on their phones more than their laptops. That is, he explained in detail, with graphs and tables, to a room full of Millennial student journalists, that people use apps. Crying.

After that waste of breath, he kept going, and explained about how people who get too many push notifications delete the annoying app. Everyone in the room fell off their chairs in shock.

Maybe not. But you get the idea.

Kaplan showed us a few examples of other students publications’ apps (the ones hosted by the company he works for) and talked about some considerations for students deciding whether they want to launch an app. There were a few good ideas in there, but nothing I couldn’t have found out myself by downloading the apps and clicking around for a few minutes.

What I learned was that if I want to talk about the pros and cons of creating an app for Elon student media, I should consult a wider variety of experts.

Off to an alumni gathering with Courtney (and Colin) to have a #GTinNYC!


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