Between the hair and moustache, things are getting creepy... but can you name that BB?!
I'm normally a pretty busy guy, but this past week was busier and crazier than normal, with sooo many different things going on at the same. It appears the craziness is going to continue this week -- and I only have 10 minutes to write this -- so am going to cheat and dump my thoughts in bullet point form below. Enjoy!
Apologies in advance for grammar... I'm typing this as fast as I can...
- Hurricane Sandy Update: Our own Adam Zeis is still without power, though he managed to make an appearance on the blogs today. He made the trek to his bro-in-law's place who's power and internet are both running again. I also had an unplanned visitor for the weekend in the form of Daniel Rubino, our Editor in Chief of Windows Phone Central. Dan got out of NY just before Sandy hit so he could attend the Windows Phone 8 launch in California and then went to Seattle for Microsoft's developer conference. His power was still out when he was set to fly home, so instead he flew to Winnipeg where he was prepared to stay and work until his power came back online. He got word over the weekend that his power is up again, so I just dropped him off at airport and he's homeward bound. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by Sandy.
- Movember Kicks Off: We really wanted to get Movember going this year, and that we did! We pulled it all together a little last minute, but we got it announced on the blogs and the pickup has been fantastic, with over 80 participants growing out their moustaches to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer. I was thinking we'd maybe get 15 people to join in, so 80+ is MOTASTIC! On November 1st I hit up a local Movember kick off event with Tom Kaminski (our lead community webmaster on the tech team) and James Falconer and we all got our clean shaves on. Between my long hair (which I'm growing out until I can buy a BlackBerry 10 phone) and the moustache... I'm looking pretty creepy these days. I'd love you forever if you donate to the Movember cause... hit up my MoBro page here.
- James Falconer makes his return: If you're a long time member of CrackBerry or have ever read our Crack Team Story (which probably is due for an update), you'll know the name James Falconer. James is one of CrackBerry's founding fathers and used to write for CrackBerry and also worked behind the scenes on graphics and the forums. James has now made a triumphant return and is back on board with the Mobile Nations team. We'll do a more proper introduction of him across our sites soon, but lets just say his primary focus will be on helping to make sure our users are happy and our forum communities are the absolute best they can be.
- Getting ready to role out Mobile Nations Passport: We're getting close to launching our highly-anticipated single user profile / login for Mobile Nations sites. This has been a crazy complicated project to work through, but we're almost ready to pull the trigger. It's really a HUGE thing for us and its going to allow us to do a lot of things going forward that just wouldn't be possible otherwise. Exciting stuff. Expect to learn more soon.
- Mobile Nations World Tour... Windows Phone 8 Edition: My ongoing education of the other mobile platforms continues. This past week I spent a ton of time on Windows Phone Central, helping work through our site revamp there. The homepage/blogs have been updated to a new CMS with a new look, and we've pushed out an updated version of their site app as well. This week we'll be upgrading their forums. While my focus on the site has been from a tech perspective, from a content perspective they were busy last week on all the Windows Phone 8 launch stuff, so it was fun to read all that and then play with Dan's Lumia 920 and HTC 8X this weekend while he was visiting. While I'm pretty up and up on Android and iOS, I have a lot less experience with Windows Phone, so Dan gave me a crash course (I even picked up an Xbox on Saturday just so I could experience a bit more of the Microsoft ecosystem and how it's starting to pull together). Windows Phone 8 is definitely a different mobile experience. There are some things I really like about it, and a few things I'm questioning (and there are a lot of things I still need to learn / try). I'll definitely pick up a Lumia 920 on Rogers as soon as I can get my hands on one just so I can really become an expert on it. When BlackBerry 10 hits and I write the BB10 review, I want to come at it with expert experience of all the mobile platforms, not just BB. We're planning on doing some cross-site, cross-platform podcasts this month, so expect to hear more on my thoughts of all these platforms when we get that done.
- CrackBerry Updates - If you visit more than just CrackBerry on our Mobile Nations network, you'll see that we've been steadily rolling out site updates over the past several months throughout our communities. Behind the scenes I'm involved with all of this work, so I'm happy that my attention is now focused on our CrackBerry revamp, in preparation for the launch of BB10. Expect a better CrackBerry experience across the board!
- Time to Buy RIM Stock? - I keep getting phone calls from people -- friends, family, old college school mates, etc. -- asking me if it's the time to buy shares of RIM. Rewind six months and every article written about BlackBerry proclaimed the company's demise. But now that BB10 is closer to launch, as confirmed last week by Thorsten Heins with his statement that BB10 has gone to carrier labs for certification, we're seeing starting to see things turn around. The stock has been climbing back up a bit, and the media sentiment is becoming less negative and a lot more neutral/positive. Obviously this message is hitting mainstream people, who are now wondering if now is the time to get in on owning a bit of BlackBerry. RIM stock is still extremely "cheap" right now - the valuation is essentially equal to cash and assets, so if BB10 is a success the stock can really only go up. We don't give stock advice around here, but I've asked Umi to do up a post this week that'll dive into some of the discussion and key points around this topic. Stay tuned for that. I think I might run a poll on CB asking how many of our readers if they own stock. It's a question I've never asked, but am curious about.
- Bangkok Bound - It's official, I will be heading to Bangkok, Thailand at the end of November for BlackBerry Jam Asia! AWESOME.