Last Tuesday our 1 month long campaign on Indiegogo has come to an end (link). For those of you who haven’t been following, it was a campaign to raise funds in order to pay for the development of an Android app for Tweet Your Prayers @TheKotel. Many thousands have installed the iPhone app, and prayers are flying in all the time from its users, so the next logical step is to develop an Android counterpart (for the non-techies reading this: Android is currently the most popular smartphone operating system out there. If you have a smartphone that’s not an iPhone, there’s a good chance it runs Android). Our mission here on Tweet Your Prayers @TheKotel is To Affect Change by Facilitating Prayer, and I believe facilitating prayer for the many millions of Android users is the next ground to conquer.
So the campaign ran for 30 days, and quite a few of you nice people have pledged to help make it happen. We raised $847, and after giving Indiegogo its share, we’re left with around $770, which should cover the fee an east European or Asian freelance developer would charge for a decent app (app development is crazy expensive anywhere else).
Indiegogo is a crowdfunding platform set to help people raise funds for their projects, and part of the game is to offer nifty perks to the people that help your campaign. So, friends who opened their hearts got (or will get in the mail in the next few weeks) nice things such as: a video of their prayer being placed in the Western-Wall, Star of David bracelets from Jerusalem, thank you letters with photos, being credited within the app, and more.
What I adore about the people who helped this campaign is that the vast majority of them don’t even have an Android phone. Some of them own an iPhone and wanted other people to have the same app they have, others don’t have a smartphone at all. All of the kind people who contributed to this campaign, and the aforementioned people in particular, gave to this project not in order to benefit themselves, but in order to help others. That’s kind, noble, and definitely not something you see everyday, in a world consumed with a “what’s in it for me?” attitude. I am humbled by this behavior, and cherish these people. Thank you.
Initially I had hoped to have an early version of the app ready for launch by Rosh HaShana (the Jewish new year, coming this Wednesday!), as my gift to you. I don’t know if you remember, but the iPhone app was released as a Passover present a year and a half ago. I found a freelance developer who agreed to be paid only when the campaign ends, and we started working on the app. Alas, things didn’t work out, and we had to call it off. This was, however, a blessing in disguise, as I have gained some important experience from working with him. I believe this experience will help me make the app better than it would have been had that developer and I kept working together.
One of the lessons I learned is that there’s no way to get a fully functional app out there in such a short period of time. So, now that the campaign is over and the funds are waiting, I’m going to set a more realistic time frame: Hanukkah! By then, I sincerely hope to have the app built, bug fixed and tested by users on multiple devices. I would of course be delighted to have it available before then, but I believe it’s a reasonable time frame and want to do things right.
So, what’s coming next?
Well, first of all I have to send people who contributed to the app what they are entitled to. These people should expect nifty things from Jerusalem to hit their mailboxes soon!
Other than that, I’m going to start looking for a new developer to work on the app (interested? Drop me a line).
I’m also going to revise the app description and specifications to see what features I can add to it and how to make it as user-friendly as possible. If you have any ideas for the app, any features you’d like to see, any usability advice, or pretty much anything – drop me a line in the comments below (it will go straight to my mail box, won’t be published) and let me know. This is especially true for the iPhone app users who are reading this – let me know what I can do better for your friends that have Android phones!
After the description is revised and a talented developer is on board – we’ll go into building the app full force!
You can still help this project
See that orange button on the sidebar? It’s up there on the right. It has “Donate” on it. Yea.. that’s the one. Click it .
You can check out the list of perks other people got by looking at the sidebar on the campaign page, and apply for the perks by donating the sum associated with each perk (or more). Drop a line in the donation notes section and ask for the perk.
How to be the first to know
Please go to www.birdofprayer.org and register there to be the first to know when the app is launched! Also, please tell all your friends about it. I’m counting on you .
Anyway, I’ll keep you all posted as things progress and in the meanwhile thank everyone that’s been a part of this campaign and helped in any way.
I’d also like to wish you all a Shana Tova .
Blessings from the Holy Land,
Tags: @theKotel, android, app, bird of prayer, campaign, Chanukkah, crowdfunding, donation, Hanuka, Hanukkah, indiegogo, iPhone, Jerusalem, kickstarter, perks, prayer, prayers, rosh hashana, smartphone