I remember not to long ago, arguing in forums about the marketing, or lack of marketing performed by BlackBerry at the debut of BlackBerry 10. Those of us that were pro-BlackBerry were stating that BB10 was a great platform, but that people just simply didn’t know about it. Those lovely BB10 naysayers were stating that the ‘general consumer’ did know about BB10, but that they just didn’t want it because… well, whatever their reasons were at that time. Those that like to troll BlackBerry sites to bash BlackBerry tend to change their arguments daily to something even more ridiculous than the last. But one thing remained consistent. Their determination that the ‘general consumer’ knew all about BB10 and that BB10 was lacking.
I know on a nearly daily basis, I run across people that are surprised at my BlackBerry devices. I’ve had a range of questions from ‘BlackBerry still makes phones?’ to ‘those are just old keyboard phones’ to the classic ‘That’s not a BlackBerry!’ so I’m still fairly certain that one of the big struggles BlackBerry has faced is just a lack of knowledge.
And perhaps we found some verifiable proof! Although it’s not the ‘general consumer’, it’s something better. How about a tech writer? Someone who makes a living writing and knowing about tech? How about if we find a tech professional that has seemingly never heard of BB10?
Nicole Lee over at Engadget wrote a post entitled “Messaging’s Mission Impossible: One Inbox To Rule Them All”
My phone buzzes. I glance at it and see a text message from my husband, who wants to know if I can pick him up from work. Later that day, my phone buzzes again. This time, it’s a Facebook Messenger notification from my mother, who wants to chat about an upcoming trip. At the same time, a friend pings me using Twitter’s Direct Messages. Next, a colleague strikes up a conversation on Google Hangouts. Realizing it would be easier to handle all of these with a computer, I flip open my laptop so I can chat with everyone simultaneously. Within the span of a few hours, I’ve chatted with four different people on four completely different messaging platforms. And the juggling doesn’t stop there.
You see, Nicole has TMSM. It’s a dreadful disease. If not treated correctly, it leads to lack of loss of time, loss of productivity, sore thumb joints, and anti-social behavior. Yes, Nicole, Too Much Social Media can be extremely harmful. On an Android or iOS device, the constant clicking of the home buttons, the bouncing from app to app, it really steals your life away. And how many of us have got to the point where it was just too much, and walked away from it just to get a moment to ourselves, leading our cyber-friends wondering where we have gone?
Several years ago, there was a similar problem with too many instant-messaging protocols. I used all of them — AOL, Yahoo, MSN, GChat and, yes, even ICQ. I remember installing all of these apps on my computer and keeping them all logged in at the same time because, for some reason, my friends and coworkers just couldn’t agree on the same IM platform. Then, something wonderful happened. All-in-one apps like Trillian and Adium came along to unite most of the disparate IM services under one program. At last, I could launch just one app to chat with everyone.
What we need, then, is an equivalent universal inbox for messaging. No, not just for all your email and text messages. For everything. We need a smart inbox that’ll sort messages by service, label them appropriately and will let you continue conversations within just one app.
And this is why we are not able to write our own prescriptions for medications. Poor Nicole seems to have diagnosed herself correctly, but alas, her treatment is all wrong! She’s wishing solve her app problem, with more apps! Someone stop her before she overdoses herself with apps!
Oh wait! Someone did. A lot of someones. When you read below inthe comments, you see person after person saying the same thing. BB10 and the Hub. Good samaritans have stepped in to help save Nicole. But as we see all to often in people with denial, even when confronted with the truth, they justify their continued problem.
BlackBerry’s Hub comes the closest to being that universal inbox, and after numerous emails and comments from users, I agree that the Hub does do a lot of what I’m asking for. But not every messaging app is available for the BlackBerry OS and it doesn’t quite fit the model of a Trillian or an Adium — I don’t need to buy a specific phone to use them. Ideally a real universal inbox would be a solution that would work with all platforms and with all apps, regardless of what phone you have. Which is, sad to say, probably more fantasy than reality. Not only because most of these apps are walled gardens, but also because some, like Snapchat and Slingshot, are based around messages that are meant to disappear after you’ve read them. Further, new messaging features and apps crop up all the time, making it tough to keep something like a universal inbox up-to-date.
Nicole! Stop the addiction!
In all seriousness though, this is obvious proof of people’s lack of knowledge about BB10. This is a tech writer, who decided to take the time to sit and write a post about a need she sees on the mobile landscape. A need that was fulfilled when BB10 was first released. And no, I don’t believe Nicole was simply out trolling BlackBerry as is often the case with many of the posts I feature here. In this case, after many people commented informing her about BlackBerry Hub, Endgadget didn’t delete the comments, (as usually happens on trolling articles right xBurk?), and she actually went back and added information about the Hub to her article. Thanks for that Nicole. We at UTB appreciate it.
This shines a spotlight on a need. The BlackBerry Passport is getting quite a bit of positive press right now, but it’s not enough. Not yet. BlackBerry needs to market this phone. We have seen marketing of the Z3 at it’s multiple release locations, that was so much greater than any marketing ever given to first class of BlackBerry 10 devices. Now let’s see how BlackBerry does at Marketing a large release super phone. BlackBerry, shout out the arrival of the BlackBerry Passport so no one misses it!