A lot has been said over the last few days. Rumors have become fact, leaks have become official, and more rumors have begun. We’ve seen our little community fragment. I have seen those that I have nothing but respect for, reacting in ways that I would never have imagined. I’ve wanted to take to Twitter, BBM Channels, and BBM groups and respond to each person, yet I know that my responses are as emotional as theirs, and in all but the UTB BBM group, I’ve kept pretty quiet. This is highly unusual for me, and shouldn’t be taken to hold any deep meaning. If anything, it was forced. In times like these, people tend to react, and those reactions can often times lead to us saying and doing things that we cannot take back.
My quiet time is now over.
BlackBerry 10 is not gone. It’s not dead. But it would be a lie for me to say I don’t see the possibility, a very real and likely possibility of that taking place. I admit that I see the end of BlackBerry 10 as the most likely situation. However, I don’t see this ending as a result of the release of a BlackBerry Android phone. I don’t even see this as a result of BlackBerry’s strategy. I see this as a result of the reaction of the community which I hold so dear, and those that surround our community, and take part, with or without invitation. So here is my letter to you.
To you the internet troll,
You’ve made it a point for the last few years to bother us at every turn. You attack in forums, you attack on Twitter, you attack on fan sites and mainstream media. It is nearly impossible to get away from you. We had to start our own home on the web so that we would ensure that we could have a positive discussion without you interfering. I still don’t know your motivation, why you want BlackBerry dead so bad. Was there financial gain in it for you? Were you afraid that the superior BlackBerry 10 would overshadow your platform of choice? What are you thinking now? Do you think you’ve won? Do you think that BlackBerry won’t put out a superior Android device? I have news for you, whatever OS BlackBerry is running, it will be better than what’s in your pocket. You might think you have won, but in the end, BlackBerry, and us that remain with BlackBerry, will be laughing at you, as a distant memory of someone who once thought they mattered.
To you the fake fan,
You built your name on BlackBerry. The only reason your name is known by any is because of your participation in our community. And when BlackBerry had rough times, you turned your back on it. Using titillating headlines, you sacrificed BlackBerry to get ahead. You have shown you would have been more than happy to stand on BlackBerry’s corpse to get a little bigger. But BlackBrry didn’t die, and you tried to walk away from it. You are now discovering you’re no longer a big fish in a little pond. As you gloat on social media, pretending you knew this all along, have you begun to realize what those of us still here can already see? That the only place you ever had a voice isn’t listening anymore? Welcome to insignificance.
To you the weak fan,
We know you’re a fan, you’ve been in this community all along. You’ve held on while your partners left you alone. But why didn’t you make a stand? You know what is right, what is wrong. You sat by, and gave the trolls the run of the land. You allowed the trolls to take over what was once the gathering place of BlackBerry fans. We know the trolls are loud, we know they work the system, but you allowed it to happen. You allowed non-BlackBerry users to police BlackBerry users, and they policed harshly. To the outside world, it appeared that BlackBerry users were denouncing BlackBerry, why else did they infest that place? If BlackBerry 10 disappears, and BlackBerry becomes only an Android device, what then? That once great home of BlackBerry fans becomes redundant. After all, by your own design, there’s already a home for Android fans, and it’s not brand specific. Will you finally regret your actions then? Are you hoping the Androidians will accept you?
To you, the angered fan,
I get it, I really do. I’ve spoke to many that are in the same mindset as you. Only seeing one possible outcome, you’re lashing out at BlackBerry. And I ask you, plead with you, to stop. I’ve seen more than once, an angered fan state that they are so angry with BlackBerry for going Android, that they are going to get a Samsung, or Nexus, or any other brand of Android phone. Where is the logic there? We need you back. There’s more to this community than the OS that is on the phone. We’ve made it through the transition of BBOS to BB10. If we must, we can make it through the transition to BlackBerry Android. We will be there to guide the newcomers. We shall see the community grow in numbers, and we would like you there to help guide them. At the end of the day, the BlackBerry community is a much better place than that of the competitors, and we’d like to keep it that way.
To you, the silent fan,
We know you’re there. You subscribe to BlackBerry Channels, you read the various fan sites, but you don’t participate. Perhaps you feel you have nothing to add? You’d be wrong. Perhaps you don’t want to enter the fray that some forums and comments devolve to, I can’t say I blame you. Perhaps taking that first step, signing in to a site for the first time, and making that first comment, just seems like too much effort? I’m asking you to make that effort. I’m asking you to stop being a silent fan, and start being a true fan.
To you, the true fan,
We’ve been through a lot. We’ve seen the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 fail. We’ve seen the company we love approach the brink of no return, and we fought to save it. We saw a for sale sign on the front door, and we promoted with every ounce of energy we had. We’ve fought trolls together. We have overrun polls on cross platform sites. We’ve fought carriers, just ask John Legere what kind of fans BlackBerry has. Tired of what was happening in our former homes, we’ve created our own, and I’m not just talking about UTB, there are several new places on the net for BlackBerry fans to congregate. We, more than any other group of fans in the mobile space, are battle hardened. We’ve fought strong and steady for over two years, together.
It’s time to continue that fight.
BlackBerry 10 is not gone… yet. We have time. As a community, we can make a difference. For a BlackBerry 10 fan, there are frightening times ahead, yet we faced worse. At the time that BlackBerry was “for sale” we faced a reality where BlackBerry could have closed the doors, at any given time. Had that happened, of course we would have seen the end of BB10, with no hope of ever seeing it again, or any other BlackBerry device for that matter. These times are different. Chen is righting the ship. BlackBerry is making strong acquisitions. No longer are we waiting to hear the news of BlackBerry being bought, now we are waiting to see what company they are buying next. I believe we are on the verge of seeing more BlackBerry devices being sold than we’ve seen in years. Yes, it will be an Android device, but finally, we should stop hearing those annoying words, “they still make phones?”
For two years we have not given up. And now is not the time to start. Now is the time to let people know that #iChooseBB10. It is time to let BlackBerry know that while we want nothing but success for BlackBerry with the Android phone, there is still a community that wants BlackBerry 10. It’s time to promote the amazing things that BlackBerry 10 can do, outside of security. Just remember, Android and iPhone users like things that light up and make noise, lets show them that BlackBerry 10 does it better. It’s time that the real fans stand together, and make our voices heard.
This community has never been one to give up without a fight. Now is not the time to start.
And to the trolls, the fakes, and the weak, shove off and get out of our way. We have work to do.