The Pellucid Perspective - April 2011 - (Page 10)
An app a day takes your money away
By Harvey Silverman
f you haven’t noticed, technology changes and advancements are moving faster than ever. The smartphone or tablet computer or laptop (or driver) you buy today seems to be obsolete in six months. And a visit to an online app store, be it for Apple, Blackberry or Android products, can leave you stunned and amazed at how many there are. It can also leave you with “app envy,” a serious affliction affecting those who must have the latest apps and are always left wondering a couple weeks later if indeed they have both the latest and best app for whatever it is they are apping about. Whew! So just when most golf course operators felt comfortable that they had established their homestead in the digital world with shiny new websites, along comes word that that is not enough. You need to have a Facebook page, and be on Twitter, and maybe have a texting program too. We’re not here to expound on whether a golf course or golf business needs any of these things. Rather, this article carries a theme we have used previously, caveat emptor, or buyer beware. We received a Legendary Marketing email this week promoting their “World’s First Facebook Tee Time App” which
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will “Increase Rounds and Revenue for Your Course.” This app, they say, “will revolutionize online tee times while tapping into an enormous new source of traffic - Facebook’s 600 Million (and growing fast) users!” Impressive, yes? And in typical Legendary fashion, “the first 100 customers to sign up for The Facebook Tee Time App before April 15, 2011 will be just $198 one-time setup plus $49 per month with no contract - you can cancel anytime if not delighted!” But our inquisitive mind started to fire up the synapses as we read further down, “Starting 4/15/2011, integration of The Facebook Tee Time App to your tee sheet (see full list of supported tee sheets in the Frequently Asked Quesionts section of the demo) will be available for a one-time investment of $497.” Let’s first dismiss whether there will be any pertinent “anwsers” in the “Frequently Asked Quesionts” section. Spelling has never been Legendary’s strong suit. But what about the math? As we read it, if you buy before April 15, you’ll pay $198 and $49/month in perpetuity. That’s $786 the first year and $588 every year after. But if you wait, you’ll pay a one-time investment of $497. We ran this by our accountant and he said, “Uh…I’d wait.” But the offer also prompted us to make some investigative phone calls. And what we learned is revealing and the reason for our “buyer beware” warning. First, two of the largest electronic tee sheet providers on Legendary’s list of 40 “leading” providers (if they are all leaders, who are the followers?) told us that they have no technical or programming integration with Legendary. In fact, one had their attorney fire off a cease and desist letter. That led us to call one of the major golf course website companies to ask how, if there was no direct programming integration, could a course place their tee time booking engine on their Facebook page. We spoke with Rob West, President and CEO of 1-2-1 Marketing. Rob told us that 1-2-1 has a tee time reservation application for Facebook also (whether he or Legendary is “the world’s first” makes no difference-the point is there are more than one). The application they built utilizes one of over 20,000 Facebook apps available to programmers. In essence, a fairly simple “iframe” takes an existing webpage URL and embeds that page within a customer’s Facebook page. There are ways to tailor the embedded page to avoid scroll bars, and to also make sure the embedded page is secure as an “https” URL. West claims that anyone with a programming background can figure this out in less than half a day. Here is link to a 1-2-1 client’s Facebook tee time booking page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Back-Creek-GolfClub/161959293859054?sk=app_156218351098324 EZLinks, one of the tee sheet companies on Legendary’s list, is also providing this service for their clients. Here is a link to an EZLinks client’s Facebook tee time booking page: http://www.facebook.com/falconsfire#!/falconsfiregolfclub? sk=app_101427866606477 APril 2011
10 The Pellucid PersPecTive
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - April 2011
The Pellucid Perspective
Cover Your Asset
NGCOA Ponders Becoming Southwest Airlines?
Is E-Mail Dead?
Foreclosures Opening New Avenues for Managers
Mar 2011 YtD Weather Impact, Feb 2011 YtD Utilization
An App a Day Takes Your Money Away
Comings & Goings
Golf Deals to Forget
Phoenix, AZ Core Business Statistical Area (CBSA)
Can’t Sell Your Home? Call Tullymore Resort
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2011