Paper(less?)

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Rapido925M, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. Rapido925M

    Rapido925M Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    mid-Norfolk
    A recent thread about BritStops & France Passion sidetracked into "paper v electronic" data, so I'm offering this as an opportunity to air some thoughts.

    With a ZX80, ZX81, BBC "B"micro I was an early adapter of personal computing. I currently have 2 laptops, a desktop, Hudl2 and iPad mini so am fairly well served.

    I decided to tour "light" this year, with everything loaded on to the Hudl and got to the MonkeyHanger Rally in Hartlepool to discover a message: "Google Play Services has stopped working and needs updating". So while most folk enjoyed music in the pub I sat trying to fix my problem, using the WiFi and phone calls to my son, a computer engineer. Next day I went to my brother's office and did a hard reset then reloaded almost every app using his internet connection. It worked - for about 3 hours!

    I then had a 7-day tour of Northumberland with no access to my Caravan Club Apps, Camping Club Apps, CamperContact App, National Trust App, Banking Apps, etc. Fortunately I did have my old TomTom and my BritStops book. I even managed to locate a THS in Coldstream but more by good luck than anything else.

    Needless to say, we now carry paper copies at all times (and the Hudl has performed faultlessly since a second hard-reset!) - Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,447
    Likes Received:
    25,133
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Any many of say, "don't leave without a map that you have looked at".

    What you have experienced, just think what happens when Putin orders the internet wrecked globally !!
     
    • Like Like x 5
  3. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5,616
    Likes Received:
    9,811
    Location:
    East Sussex
    Personally I prefer to use an app than a book.
    Using Britstops as an example, I suspect that much of the £25 cost of membership goes towards printing and posting the book itself.
    The book as such is just a vehicle for carrying the directory information. In other words you'd probably not read it from cover to cover for the fun of it.
    I wonder how manny people have been put off joining Britstops purely because of the cost of the book?
    If there was an App I'm sure that the cost of membership could be dramatically reduced, which would encourage new members and retain existing ones. Plus the info they sell would be easier to use in an app form too.
    They could keep the book option for those who prefer the printed medium, however i suspect that over time it would dwindle in popularity - an example of this is Yellow Pages directory.


    Edit: France Passion is a nightmare to use, especially if you don't have a great knowledge of French geography.
    An app would make viewing sites on a map, or filtering those that suit your requirements considerably easier than the book.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Bobby22

    Bobby22 Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    3,172
    Location:
    Scotland
    The problem with an internet based Britstops would be that the info could be shared with non members and the whole idea would self destruct.

    I am a member of the ccc and much prefer to have the magazine, it lets you see sites and events that you may not 'search' for with the app.

    I also carry a map and sat nav. In some cases the sat nav would have you drive along A roads that are twisty narrow carraigeways rather than adding a few miles to get you there quicker by motorway, most notably in the lake district.
     
  5. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5,616
    Likes Received:
    9,811
    Location:
    East Sussex
    How would people share a paid for app?
     
  6. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,436
    Likes Received:
    11,128
    Location:
    Kettering
    I don't rely purely on digital for anything. All it takes is no signal or a device to fail and if you have no paper backup you're stuck.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. WillH

    WillH Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    1,288
    Location:
    SW Scotland
    On the paperless theme I have just renewed my wife's passport, the only paper involved was the envelope to post the old one to the Passport Office. Photo was taken with my phone. The whole exercise was simple, quick and very efficient compared to when I renewed mine several years ago. Top marks!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,436
    Likes Received:
    11,128
    Location:
    Kettering
    I can see other issues with having Britstop as an app only based service.

    Firstly it would have to be multi platform - iOS, Android and Windows Phone as a minimum. The cost of developing a proper, professional looking, genuinely secure, easily updatable app across three platforms would shock people who don't already have a rough idea of how much these things cost. It would be hugely more expensive than the cost of printing books.

    Secondly Steve and Mandy don't charge hosts to be in the book and don't sell advertising. Their only income from the scheme is from the charge for the book. So Mr C this:

    becomes an issue. What would you suggest as a reasonable cost for an app, one that you would happily pay? If it was much less than the current cost of the book then I doubt it would be worth the time they spend on the project unless there was a massive and immediate increase in membership which I can't see happening.

    Personally I think something like Britstops is always going to be a bit of a niche thing. There are relatively few motorhomers in this country and of those even less are interested in such a scheme.

    Take this site as a representative sample of motorhomers (Yes I know it probably isn't)

    How many of the members here honestly and truly believe that it is only possible to use their motorhomes on a full service club site with electric and "facilities" and would never dream of parking anywhere but on a campsite. Quite a few.

    Add the FLT brigade who refuse to pay for anything and are proud of never spending any money in the places they visit to that and the minority reduces even more.

    Paid apps are fine when they can be mass marketed. Sadly I don't think Britstops, or any of the similar schemes, are mass market.

    I'm sure someone will offer CamperContact as a counter to the above. Sorry but I don't accept that. It is aimed at a very different, much larger market.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5,616
    Likes Received:
    9,811
    Location:
    East Sussex
    But the set up cost is a one off Nick, which would be offset against printing costs which are incurred year after year. Furthermore I'm sure that an app would attract more foreign users, as different languages could be accommodated.
    I suspect that in time that unless Britstops invests in keeping pace with modern technology that they will sadly dwindle and die - having been replaced by a modern competitor, who is prepared to make the necessary investment in offering customers what they want and expect.

    ps - I'd happily pay £10 for a niche app, maybe more.
     
  10. Rapido925M

    Rapido925M Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    mid-Norfolk
    Sounds like you've just found yourself an opportunity to make your next fortune :LOL::LOL::LOL:.

    ALL of my apps were downloads - I would be very unhappy to rely on accessing the internet when away from home: my smartphone is on payg and I usually top up with £10 every 4-6 months.

    Gordon
     
  11. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5,616
    Likes Received:
    9,811
    Location:
    East Sussex
    Many a true word spoken in jest
    I can only imagine there are IT graduates everywhere looking for a tired offline business model to turn into an app.
    All it would take is them getting hold of a list of UK pub managers - a simple email asking them to sign up online and they're in business.
    It's only a matter of time.
     
  12. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,436
    Likes Received:
    11,128
    Location:
    Kettering
    The development cost is a one off. The hosting costs and either paying someone to update or CMS access depending on their IT skills area ongoing.

    Let's just assume for a minute that the overall the costs are the same. At £10 the membership would need to treble to keep the same income. I just don't think there are that many potential subscribers out there.

    If it would be so obviously better and more profitable as a digital service why is nobody doing it? Why don't you have a crack at it?
     
  13. chaser

    chaser Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    7,141
    Likes Received:
    7,734
    Location:
    uttoxeter
    Don't know if you have the currant France passion but they have now got the coordinates on the stops in the book, no more difficult than finding an aire, now but do agree there are not that many where you want to be.
     
  14. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,436
    Likes Received:
    11,128
    Location:
    Kettering
    You end up with people like that searchforsites moron who just go around scraping databases and put them online for free.

    Who would bother wasting time and money developing an online service only for something like that to happen.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5,616
    Likes Received:
    9,811
    Location:
    East Sussex
    It's finding the right page that I struggle with, not knowing which ' department' I need. Could be just me being thick
     
  16. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5,616
    Likes Received:
    9,811
    Location:
    East Sussex
    With a paid for app, and no poi downloads the data owner is probably quite secure.
     
  17. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,208
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    As I understand it the Britstop has to agree to only allow members to stay. The Book and sticker is a way that the owner checks you are members. So more like a CL/CS type arrangement. Different with the Aires - Campercontact has no dealings with them and they will let anybody on.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. chaser

    chaser Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    7,141
    Likes Received:
    7,734
    Location:
    uttoxeter
    @easy think you are on mate
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. easy

    easy Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2016
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    131
    Location:
    England
    no comment
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,436
    Likes Received:
    11,128
    Location:
    Kettering
    Exactly right.

    I wonder how many of the locations that are part of membership only organisations, i.e. CLs, CSs and Britstops, have been individually and personally contacted by the operator of this website for permission for their details to be made freely available to non members of the organisation concerned.

    I know for certain that several Britstop hosts, whose premises are listed on said website, only agreed to sign up for the scheme because they understood that their details would only be available to members. They specifically don't want non members turning up and I know that in at least one case if the owner finds out his details are published anywhere other than in the book he will withdraw from the scheme and not let anyone stay there.
     
Loading...

Share This Page