Where did we come from?
FisherMate was born from an idea that we can use catch reports to help build up some remarkable analytical results such as best times to go fishing, best baits to use in certain areas, number of fish being reported throughout the months as well as monthly competitions and giveaways via our facebook page. We had big dreams and high hopes that this app could change fishing fornthe better so we got in touch with some large facebook groups, began sponsoring a few pages and getting feedback. We invested thousands into advertising within the largest fishing publications as well as online advertising and seeking reviews and building all of the feedback into new versions of fishermate. We launched on iOS in 2016 and afte rhitting 1000 downloads we decided to look at the data and to be honest, it was dissapointing. No one was reporting the catches but they were all using the data available which kinda felt a bit reduntant as it wasnt a true represenation of the users catch reports. We even had some of our day 1 users splinter off and attempt there own app which did quite poorly sadly.
We asked our users why and no one felt comfortable sharing there favourite fishing locations with the community through fear of them stealing there catches…I know, i know, I assumed fellow fishermen would want to help each other out by sharing tips on where to fish and spreading the love of the sport but apparently not. So we took this advice on board and removed the exact location features from the app and included a ‘close to’ feature where users could post a report and the location would get randomised to within half a mile to help keep the locations a bit more private. This somewhat helped with the issue but the next part was getting new users on board which is where I made a discovery after chatting with more users.
Like I said we were sponsoring some fishing groups which gave us access to over 50k possible members of fishermate and after exhausting the budget on advertising and competition prizes, we looked at using our current user base and expanding on that which is where the penny dropped. we may have had access to over 50k people, but because of half a dozen people who made a lot of noise within these certain communitys, The app was seen as a no go due to association. This surprised me that a group of adults could be so easily swayed by some key members but it also taught us a lot about anglers and habits. you see with our app we had analytics and we could track where app installtions were taking place and using this data alongside our social media data we can tell exactly what posts were closely linked to a large amount of uninstalls. My background is in data and analytics so this stuff I can read like a book. it made very interesting reading. We actually done some experiements to see if we can prompt a similar reaction by posting certain posts at certain times of the day and seeing the reaction across our userbase. it was interesting.
We decided to walk away from these groups and save face by cutting association with these groups but the damage was done. FisherMate for iOS was pulled from the market for a little under a year to allow this phase to pass.
what came next?
What came next was a a big data mining session using the data we already had, looking at other available apps which are doing alright for themselves and what they have in common and what they do right. It turns outthe competion against fishermate was a multi million pound company with a large nordic development team being funded by key players in the US, Fishermate, being crafted by a single developer, had little to no chance of competing with this giant within the fishing app sector. SO do we give up? do we attack? do we team up? what do we do next? well, it took us some revisions and feedback to ge tot hwere we are now but after looking at social media platforms for fishing and seeing what is available and where they go wrong etc, we decided to come up with FisherMate Social. no app, no fuss, no thousands in advertising. Just a plain and simple website offering every angler a voice which isn’t being managed by an admin with a grudge or silly threats over private messages or rigged competitions to keep certain members happy, or else. trust me, I have seen it, I was amongst it and I will never be in a position again where I even want that in my life. I dont want to be messaged at 3am with silly threats because I liked a certain post or forced to do a competion because “We have members threatening to leave or else” and other silly reasons.
It can't have been that bad!
This is only the tip of the iceberg. But it taught us a lot about social media and what is wrong and right about it. We have learned a lot on our journey, we have learned where we fit within the community, and what we do well and what we do not so well. It hasnt been an easy ride, it hasnt made me a millionaire, but its been fun and thats what matters. It takes a lot fo rme to admit where I have failed but its an important learning step to know why you failed and what you can do make it better next time. I never want to be forced to do something i dont want to again whilst running FisherMate. So I can promise to you that this website will be ran in accordance with our community guidelines, We will never side with any one person or be biased in anything we say. We will not remove, delete or edit any posts which we dont agree with to keep someone else happy. This is FisherMate Social, The free speech community site and as long as your nice, you will always be welcome here.
So whats next for fisherMate?
I have a few plans for this old girl, but lets keep it simple at first and grow a healthy community. This is the foundation we need ot build on, last time i know where we went wrong. We tried to use an exisiting community to help grow our one, which although looking back on it doesnt seem like a great idea, it was th ebest w ehad at the time. But this time round we want you to help with this. we can only push FisherMate so far without a healthy community. we can pile money into it but if no one is listening then whats the point? I have some big plans for us but we need ot get th ebasics right first so join up, join in and let u sknow what we do wrong or right, tell us off or pat our back, its up to you, we will never retaliate to you as this is all about a community grown by yourselves. its as active as you are. the more active we begin, the more features and things I can begin to bring in to help us grow and have more fun.