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SF Mobile App Development

Discussion in 'Forum News & Updates' started by JmpMster, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    We are going to start the process of building the SF mobile app by getting competitive quotes based on scoped design, and initiate development SF app. Overall this process is expected to take 3- 6 months from start to completing beta launch/ available for use. Obviously the app will be free for use for all members. Initial costs if up to $1500 are available to start development however we will need to rely on further donations to complete payment. We may start a fundraising campaign specifically for building this app, or simply just using any extra we receive in monthly donations towards it. A successful campaign would obviously speed the development, if there is adequate interest.

    We may be able to recoup some costs of development after itis completed by selling or licensing the app to other xenforo platform websites (there are a lot of them). It is really unclear how many would want or be interested in a mobile app with similar features if it allows for custom branding to other sites or how much we could realistically charge for this and still attract customers. Any money made would be used for other site improvements and for future app revisions and updates as well as to pay for any additional bandwidth app usage incurs.

    The app will be branded simply as “SF” and in appearance on device the app will have something like the sf logo without “We Care” wording. No place will the app itself visibly show “Suicide Forum”

    Primary features – will work similar to the “alerts” box on the forum home page-

    The app will initiate a notification on the display screen of your device if you get new private messages in your forum conversations, if somebody replies to one of your threads or to a thread or forum you are “watching”, if somebody likes a comment or post of yours, or if you get a new profile post/message on your profile wall.

    The notifications may be set to only when you open the app (use of pin/security feature will be required at all times to open actual app), or to always send push notifications to your device display in real time – for example to tell you “You have a new alert on SF” or if more than one, “You have 4 new alerts on SF”.

    To open app or see alerts user will need to use pin number or other device security feature so somebody picking up your device cannot go and look at alerts/ read messages. When you have opened the app the message displayed will be the same message as currently listed on the alerts screen, as if you signed into SF.

    To read the actual full message or go to the reply (or whatever feature that that alert was about) selecting that notification within the app will open the sf mobile website on the default browser in mobile device and go directly to that area of forum. If you are not logged into the forum then you will need to enter your login details to enter the forum area where you can see/ read the messages or post.

    Will list 10 post most recent post titles in “what’s new” area

    Will list your last 5-10 threads started or posts to enable easy access/ easier to find your other posts and threads to update them.

    Will allow you update your profile status message (when select this it will open mobile site on profile page to update status)

    Will allow to see “who’s online” from app (of members that have “show online status” turned “on” in their own preferences)

    Will have an area to self-define a safety plan for yourself

    Will have an area for listing distractions for self

    Initially at least WILL NOT include separate chat function. The chat we use you can use independently on a mobile device. It does have the occasional hiccup, but chat programs in general are either not very good or insanely expensive. We are using the best we can afford and adding a chat function would in fact mean development of a brand new mobile chat/online chat- which is unaffordable and duplicates what we have. We have had a lot of custom work done to improve the chat and still have another upgrade option for the current chat if needed which is letting chat run in a different manner on a different individual serve on pay per usage basis. That is the only real upgrade we can consider at this point to chat and are still trying to determine if needed or if cost effective.

    The purpose of the app is to allow timely notification when you receive messages or replies on the forum so you do not need to log into SF repeatedly to check if there are replies to your threads or if you have new private messages, allow members to see if other members they have made friends with are online/ available to chat with or just check up on friends, and to be more responsive to other members in their threads and thread replies. Hopefully it will alleviate the need to sit and watch SF waiting for replies to threads or conversations. In addition, it will include a small number of extra features like safety plans and distractions which may be helpful on particularly hard days.

    I am happy to consider / discuss any other features that members believe would increase the usability or effectiveness of the app. The key thigs that are “musts” are it must offer privacy and discretion of content from the casual observer and include safety features to prevent access of your SF account by just anybody that has or gets access to your mobile device.
    Lulabelle, missblack, EmB and 3 others like this.
  2. Walker

    Walker Everything Zen Staff Member Safety & Support SF Social Media SF Supporter

    I definitely vote to try to fund raise specifically for the app. Sometimes people forget that this place needs cash to run and might be more willing to pitch if there's a "necessary cause", so to speak, instead of just day to day functioning. And if we're kicking a thread that says "we need money for this app so fish out your wallet if you can" 10 times a day back to the top then people will see it instead of it being nonchalant at the top of the page.
    We've got a lot of active users here. This exact time of year might not be the best time for people to fork out cash but I bet over the next few months it'll all roll in and be there. (meaning: xmas time) This site means a great deal to some of us and as little as $15 from the people who show up every day would pretty much cover it. That's 100 of us. I feel like 100 people throwing down $15 is something that could be done. And whatever lands over that... well, upgrades. Let's do it.
    Struggling along, JmpMster and Badger like this.
  3. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    We have the $1500 to start development now in our account and are moving forward on starting. The total development costs to make our own in both iOS and Android should range from $4k-6K(some bids came in in the $15k-$20k range also- it is very much dependent on who is doing it- a developer or 2/small group, or a big agency- the big agencies are clearly out of our price range and I think are out of their minds).

    So the initial development and starting it is going to happen now. So far as when we will have enough to complete it - we have 8000 members active here each month- $1 each and we have an app and some upgrades- small donations add up very quickly if there are a lot of them. A typical month has 10-12 donations , last month we had 20 individuals donate. In all fairness most of us here have tight incomes so I completely understand- in years past there were many (most in fact) months (none for a while, thank you all) the admins paid the entire cost of the site from our own pockets. If people can afford to donate it will help, but ultimately I would prefer that people NOT donate if they cannot easily afford it and are certain it will not make their life harder. If they can afford it , even $3 or $5 helps and adds up quickly with as many members as we have.

    I am going to look into how we can set up and track just app donations then we will go from there in seeing how to promote it and maybe we can publicize it a little and get other groups/ people/charities to help even. The articles section of this site gets well over 100,000 visitors/ readers a month so ...
    Struggling along and Badger like this.
  4. nobodyknows71

    nobodyknows71 Forum Pro SF Supporter

    I'm with @walkerbait95
    To have a separate donation pot for the app I think would be great. If we have 8000 active members per month each donating $1 that's 8k right?
    That's enough to get it up and running.
    For me $1 is bargain for all you get here.
    Struggling along and JmpMster like this.
  5. Walker

    Walker Everything Zen Staff Member Safety & Support SF Social Media SF Supporter

    Seems this is a big selling point. If every person threw in a couple dollars and we could afford the app then pressing the issue that a couple dollars DOES help then that's a cool thing. Most people think that $3 isn't going to do anything at all. I probably wasted $3 today on something.
    Struggling along, Petal and JmpMster like this.
  6. Citizen Insane

    Citizen Insane Staff Member Safety & Support SF Author SF Supporter

    Awesome, :D Will donate towards this goal for sure, let me know when fundraising option is set up. Also place a notice maybe on the main forum or front page regarding this thread and idea? @NYJmpMaster
    Struggling along and JmpMster like this.
  7. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    I have set up the fundraising for the mobile app- this is expected to take a while -I set it to run from now til December 31st, if we need longer is fine. I am interviewing developers and have enough to start development now , this is to pay to complete development and through deployment of app. You can monitor how we are doing on the fundraising and I will try to update other information as I can here or on the tab for the mobile app that is at the top of the menu screen on the forum. Anything donated using that donate goes directly toward the mobile app. On the regular monthly donations section any donations above what is needed for monthly expenses will be added to the mobile app account at the end of each month.

    Please remember , it does not matter if it is only a few dollars - they all add up quickly with so many members if a lot of people work together so do not feel like you have to donate $20 or $50 dollars to count- $2/$3/$5 whatever is very comfortable for you will help us reach the goal. Take care of you and your family needs first and foremost. We will get to the goal and if takes an extra month or quarter it is not a big deal. If we get there sooner great- but ther eis still the development to be done which will take a few weeks and the beta testing where we will need volunteers.

    Thanks to all that have supported the mobile app development and that are looking forward to real time updates for when peopel reply to posts, send messages to you , etc so that you can be more connected to our support network and our community can respond better and faster.

    new tab.JPG
  8. Citizen Insane

    Citizen Insane Staff Member Safety & Support SF Author SF Supporter

  9. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

  10. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    To all that have donated already to the SF Mobile app fund - THANK YOU!! -
    When donating there it does not always automatically add the "SF Supporter" banner. If the system does not add the banner and you wanted it please message me letting me know you donated so that I can put on your banner. It is little enough for thanks as is and does not show how much it really is appreciated - I so apologize if it was missed. Just drop me a message and i will have it added for you. If it by chance added it and you do not want it, same applies- just let me know and I can remove it.
    Citizen Insane likes this.
  11. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    In reply to several queries about the goal of the fundraiser- it is set at $4000. We do not have an exact amount because at this point we are having a full API built for the platform and our site (apparently it basically maps our site and how everything works together so they can figure out the architecture of the app or any other adds we need) and when that is complete they will be able to figure out exactly how complex or difficult the app will be to build and give a real estimate of how many hours needed to complete. At that time we will get the binding bid to complete that should run between $4,000 and $6,000 going from the lower end of estimates for places that seem likely able to actually do the job and that will use an escrow acct so that we cannot get ripped off and pay for something that does not work. We started the fundraising now because the API will be done this month and then the only thing waiting on is enough money to pay for the build. The actual build will take 3-4 weeks once we have collected enough to have it started.
  12. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Thank you to,all that have donated. there is actually about 10% done already, just some was applied to the monthly based on what donate button was used. It does add up fast even in small amounts so thanks all that have donated.

    I am looking at project proposals from several developers and hope to have something to share for more details soon. The site map is being worked on (API) and when that is done at the end of week we should be able to have firm estimates on costs and timetable. Most seem to think 3 weeks development time to complete however obviously we have to milestone it as we collect money.
  13. Williamstuckinarut

    Williamstuckinarut SF Supporter

    Thank you for the wonderful work you put into this forum. I urge every user to make a small donation so that we can reach out to more people in the future.
  14. Unknown_111

    Unknown_111 Forum Buddy Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I will try my best to fund this project as much as I can so that we make good progress to get the application that is so much needed by others.
    JmpMster likes this.
  15. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    We now have a complete API done for the site that will allow developers to determine exactly how difficult / how much "development" work wil be involved in making a mobile app and what capabilities it can have without becoming astronomcally expensive. The good news is thta it may be a little easier/cheaper than first thought- at least that is the initial take from the 2 places that have seen the API and both said ther emay be a faster/easier (therefore cheaper) method of doing the mobile app.

    We cannot begin development of the app until we have $1250 in the app fund. That will be enough to allow us to ask for the first milestone of development to be completed and able to pay. Currently there is just over $500 - so we are nearly halfway to the first milestone. If can also have it done cheaper overall then our total progress will be significantly more than the 10-11% we are at now.I will update as soon as we have the final bids.

    Thank you to all that have donated. If you are able to donate without having a negative impact on your own life (even just $3 or$5 - donations do not need to be large to add up and count) it is appreciated. If you are not able to donate at this time it is completely understandable. The needs of you/your family must come first always- we do not want to be the cause of anybody struggling more in anyway.

    There are other ways to support SF besides financially. We are always in need of volunteers for staff roles as Pro's, assistance on the keeping the FB and Twitter accounts updated regularly (really have a need for that - and have had for a while - it would be posting as SF so not using your own name or information in any way), always need pictures with quotes as memes, and articles for the article section are just a few examples. The most important thing all can do is to reply to posts in support of other members when they post and offer support to others when in chat. Please feel free to ask for support with issues you are dealing with yourself on the forums and in chat as well- that is what we are here for. If you do not ask members do not know you need the extra support.
  16. Innocent Forever

    Innocent Forever Go as long as you can. And then take another step. Chat Pro SF Supporter

    I hope I'm not the only clueless one on here....
    What are meme's? just wondering what you mean by pictures with quotes, like what kinda pictures and what sort of quotes.
    How do you keep the FB/twitter account updated - what does it actually mean, and can it be done without your own FB/twitter account (for those like me who don't use social media much).
  17. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Meme are the pictures/ funnies you see all over Facebook/social media / the internet - for example -
    suffering and overcoming it.jpg

    We would like ot be posting the pictures, quotes, encouragement- just a small couple blurbs 1-2x a day at least 4-5 x a week. We actually have a LOT of visits to FB page and a fair amount of peopel find us from FB , so having that updated and active would help. Also is nice to have some extra words of support or encouragement in social media in general. Can post virtually identical things on FB and twitter.

    You do need an account to do it, but you would be posting as SF , not as yourself. We give editor rights to the page to somebody and they can then post on our page as SF , reply to messages, etc. You have to have an account to give the editor rights to.
  18. CodeX

    CodeX Controversial Figure SF Artist

    Looks very costly .. I think there surely will be a way to just push the alerts notification already existing on this website to phones rather then building a whole new api and building the app from scratch in my opinion
  19. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN


    Would be nice but nobody that does it thinks so. And just pishing an alert would have the front of phone saying ' Joe replied to thread. I want to die right now"
    Innocent Forever and Kira like this.
  20. Kira

    Kira SF Gelfling Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Is it inappropriate that that made me giggle?? Oh well, I found it amusing :D
    Harmony2, baywasp, Ash600 and 2 others like this.