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It’s probably too early in our run to be doing a site ‘biography’, but it occurred to me the other day that this is not only a BlackBerry fan site – it’s a BlackBerry created site. No, we are not in any way affiliated with BlackBerry, we wish we were, but we’re not. Instead, I mean we would not be here if not for BlackBerry. Well, we would definitely not be in this together anyway. Also, looking at some of the concerns voiced by our new members in the forums, I thought it might be a good idea for you all to know where we came from.

Hop on in the way back machine with me for a bit. My first BlackBerry was a Curve. It was my first smartphone, and I was extremely excited. But I didn’t know how to use it, I didn’t know what I could do with it, so what did I do? I jumped on the internet and Googled, no, that’s not right, I jumped on the internet and Yahooed.. Yahoo-ed…Yahooyhooyed? Oh well, I searched for BlackBerry Curve, and ended up at a website and forum that I frequented for the next 6 years. And I loved it. I rarely posted, if at all, but I read almost everything that was on it. I truly enjoyed it. Until around the time of the arrival of BB10. The place which had always been so enjoyable stopped being friendly.  It started being confrontational. It started being…. troll-infested. I read, and I listened to what was being said. Even though I wanted one of these new BlackBerry 10 devices, and had been ready to buy one when it was released, I held off because the people on this site were telling me it was horrible.

Well, I finally bit the bullet, and bought my Z10. And looking back on it, it was rough. There was a lot that was missing, a lot to come, but I loved it. It was the best phone I had ever owned. I’ve always been a gadget junkie, and I had iPods and Android tablets. When I got the first draft of BB10 (which when compared to today’s BB10 was absolutely horrible) I found I no longer needed that iPod or Android tablet. This “half baked, not ready for primetime” Z10 already ran circles around my other devices.

And now I looked at what these people were saying on these forums, and it angered me. I started posting, regularly, excessively even. I fought these trolls lies with truths about my chosen platform. And in doing so, I met several awesome people. There were many people doing the same thing I was, and to be honest, most of them were doing it much better than I was. We started a BBM group, and a twitter campaign. #iChooseBlackBerry10 was born. And this group became the center of our BlackBerry world. We would promote BlackBerry, we would join forces to fight trolls, we would spend entirely too much time poking fun at each other. During this time, I started a BBM channel, called Under The Bridge, where we would have a bit of fun at the expense of the trolls that made our forums no longer fun. The channel gained a bit of a following, and caught the attention of some of the higher-ups at the site we frequented, to the point that we were able to get a bit of access to a few. And in doing so, we discovered we were no longer welcome or wanted. We fans were no longer the target demographic.

So now, we still had our group, but our home on the web was no longer ours. We decided to play Oregon Trail and migrate to a new home. Somehow this band of posters – who had no real name outside of the forums which we had left – managed to get access to the people that ran another site, and tried to organize a migration. We treated it as we did our prior BlackBerry 10 campaign, and started promoting the site, trying to bring those we knew with us. But that turned out to be not so different from the original site. And so this site – utbblogs.com –  was born.

Now this is where it gets a bit interesting. That original BBM group had grown and changed. We have lost a few members over time, and gained many more new ones. This group is made up of BlackBerry fans. And not just consumers that bought a brand, but consumers that promoted the brand, and fought against those that were working to destroy the brand. This bunch of people, we only know each other because of BlackBerry. We’ve become friends through BBM. We speak every day and we have handled every aspect of this site through BBM. And that’s the coolest part – without BBM, none of us would know each other. We are spread out throughout the world. If you were to look at our group, you would probably laugh at this random batch of people. We range in age from 18 to fifty something. Some are well off, some not so much. We live in the US, Canada, the UK, Puerto Rico, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, etc.  There is no way most of us would have ever met. Even now, I don’t believe any of us have met in real life. But we share a few things: our passion is BlackBerry, we somehow manage to work extremely well together… and we don’t like trolls. You might see us talking about other platforms, but when we do, it will probably be just to clarify how BB10 is better.

So, new members, you now know where we came from, and that our priorities are to promote the brand (not damage it), to bring BlackBerry news to our subscribers, and to build a community that is fan-friendly and intolerant of trolls. We are United Through BlackBerry, and Powered By BBM.

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Brad

Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs. Former BlackBerry Elite. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.

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