This is a story highlighting the power and reach of BBM groups, channels and chats. Several months ago I found myself disenchanted by the various so called BlackBerry fan sites. Not only for their lack of good and relevant information but also for allowing themselves to be overrun by trolls of all kinds and abandoning the fans who made them who they are. I found myself looking for alternatives where I could discuss the company and product I loved so much in peace while exchanging views and ideas with like minded people. To my amazement, I could not find such a place. I finally found a channel on BBM called Under the Bridge that was started by someone who was having the same frustrations as me. This channel quickly became my “happy place”. Many of the posters were in the same position as I was. At one point, I decided to message the channel owner to discuss something I was hoping he would post. We chatted for several minutes when he let me know that he recognized my display name from a forum we both were members of at one time. We were a few of the select people who were fighting a losing battle in that forum that had been overrun by trolls and detractors. He then asked me if I would like to join a BBM Group that consisted of other former members of that forum. Prior to this, I was not much of a BBM group type but agreed non the less. To my surprise, I noticed that this group included many people that I recognized from the past forums I now disliked so much. There was people from all over the world with varying view points and perspectives. One thing was constant however, and that was the fact that everyone loved BlackBerry. It was a place to call home. A place that I could say what I want, ask what I want and know that I would neither be ridiculed nor bashed for having a preference that isn’t the norm. Yes that’s right, I could now openly state that I love my BlackBerry without fear of backlash.
Over time, I found that I could not pull myself away from these discussions. We had this group. we had the channel that was originally started and I was content. The more and more we all chatted, the more we realized that something was missing. Yes it was nice to be able to share experiences and news about BlackBerry with each other…but what about others? What was stopping us from spreading the good word? This is when UTBblogs.com was born. It was the brain child of Brad, the original founder of the UTB channel as well as several others in the group…many of whom are now contributors to this blog and forums. This group started the #ichooseBlackBerry10 campaign, the #BlackBerryworks campaign and was also responsible for shedding light on the T-Mobile debacle with a direct twitter campaign aimed at the T-Mobile CEO. These campaigns began to grow. So much so that other sites were reporting on them and taking credit. Its clear that what we started was making an impact. Slowly but surely we kept the momentum going with blog posts including news, opinion pieces as well as guides to BB10 and much more. We are now to the point that not only were other sites noticing but so are their readers. We are now being quoted in their forums as a source for certain new stories that we broke due to the hard work of the dedicated members of this blog….all of whom met in a BBM group that started as a safe haven from trolls and bashers. We may not be professional bloggers (yet) but you can rest assured that you will never be steered in the wrong direction. We have a diverse like minded team of individuals from all over the globe after the same thing…and that is to report accurate information and discuss what we love most…our BlackBerry.
So what started out as a seemingly hopeless search for refuge from the hate has turned into a wonderful home for me and the rest in this group. All of this would have not been possible without BBM channels and groups (none of us would have been giving out our phone numbers to each other so BBM is the ONLY way this happened). We will not stop here. We have made an impact. We have built the only place for BlackBerry fans to come without distractions, hate and ulterior motives. For this, we have BlackBerry to thank.
BlackBerry…bringing the world to YOU.