It's been an exciting few days for BlackBerry fans and we're closing off the week with some exciting CrackBerry news of our own. I've been pondering shaking things up here for a while now, and today I'm happy to officially pull the trigger and announce some exciting changes to our editorial team.
I say officially, as behind the scenes we've already been beta testing the revised team structure since I sought out the community's feedback a week ago in the forums (we also talked about it in detail on Thursday's CrackBerry podcast). The changes have been well received and nothing has blown up yet, so we're going to make them stick!
Crack Team Changes
Here's what's changing:
- We're promoting Bla1ze up to the position of CrackBerry's Editor in Chief. CrackBerry will be his life 24/7/365. Heck, we're even looking at moving Bla1ze to Waterloo so he can live in BlackBerry's back yard (I have him 99% convinced at this point... be sure to apply a little peer pressure in the comments!).
- Adam Zeis is saying farewell to CrackBerry and will be transitioning the time he spends here over to Connectedly, our newly-launched site dedicated to wearables, smart devices and the Internet of Things. Adam will still drop by for CrackBerry visits on occasion, but by and large he'll be 100% focused on Connectedly. If you haven't visited the site lately, you definitely should — they've been putting out some great stories lately — and be sure to give Adam your love.
- As for me, I'm not leaving or abandoning CrackBerry, but I will be taking a back seat and letting Bla1ze drive things here on a daily basis. To use an analogy, it's similar to when a company Founder / CEO puts in a new CEO to run the day to day but he keeps on being the Chairman of the Board.
I'll still be weighing in with my opinions from time to time on the blogs, helping out Bla1ze when he needs it or asks for advice (and yelling at him if he screws anything up!) and you shouldn't be surprised when you see me in the article comments and forums... I love participating in the CrackBerry community, even when things get a little crazy, it's always fun. Best community ever!
As for what prompted the change, it's really about giving the CrackBerry community what it needs, and in my opinion that's a passionate ringmaster who can dedicate 100% of their time to the site and the community (click here for my ringmaster theory explained). For many years, that absolutely was me - I pretty much lived on CrackBerry 20 hours a day from 2007 to 2011. In 2011, my responsibilities within Mobile Nations grew as I also became Chief Media Officer, a role which requires wearing a lot of hats and takes up a lot of time. Luckily, by that point CrackBerry was running like a well-oiled machine and I could lean on Adam and Bla1ze to pickup on the time I could no longer put into CrackBerry.
For the launch of BlackBerry 10 in 2013, the biggest launch in BlackBerry's history, I pretty much put my life (and all my other responsibilities) on hold as we covered it like no tech site has covered anything before. The craziness began by moving CrackBerry HQ to Toronto for a month in January, then we re-launched the CrackBerry website (a huge task), moved the office to NYC for two months, launched Talk Mobile (a huge undertaking, sponsored by BlackBerry) and finally finished off our BB10 Launch Campaign with our insanely awesome CrackBerry Live coverage in Orlando at BlackBerry Live. It was awesome. It was exhausting, but moreso exhilarating - six months of my life that I'll never forget.
I eventually had to return to normal workflow and again split my focus, splitting it up even more than usual at this point as I had neglected a lot of things for over a half a year. And with a big list of things to get done across Mobile Nations, we also put more on Bla1ze's plate. He began helping out more on the forums across all our sites alongside our Community Manager, James Falconer. As the year wound down Adam really expressed an interest in getting Smartwatch Fans (now Connectedly) off the ground. So coming into 2014, these past six months the three of us have had half focus on CrackBerry, half focus on other endeavours. Things still ran OK during this time, but maybe not quite as cracky as I'd ideally like to them to be. Following a little Breaking Bad wisdom, I don't like half measures.
For more back story, you can read through the I vote Bla1ze for EiC of CrackBerry forum discussion and jump to 51 minutes in the podcast video below, where we spend some time talking about the changes in detail.
Realizing the need to bring that 100% focus back to the site, and knowing that I can't put in the 20 hour CrackBerry days like I used to, it really was a no-brainer to decide that Bla1ze should now be that person. Bla1ze has been here since 2007. He's worked alongside Adam and I since the early years of CrackBerry. He knows his sh!t. He's a respected member of the CrackBerry community and #TEAMBLACKBERRY. He's paid his dues. He knows what to do. And maybe most importantly, he knows how to get by with no sleep (instead of blood he pumps Full Throttle through his veins). Bla1ze spends a lot of time in CrackBerry's forums and he knows our members and community well, which is incredibility important.
So with that, help me in welcoming Bla1ze into the roll of Editor in Chief of CrackBerry!! Or more specifically for now, Interim Editor in Chief! We figured we'd follow the precedent set by John Chen and throw in the Interim tag at the start (gives Bla1ze a chance to screw up a few times and get away with it. Lol). Once he makes the move and has a Waterloo address, we'll drop the Interim!
I've spent a lot of time brainstorming with Bla1ze this week and I'm excited to see what more Bla1ze can do as we unleash him at the helm of CrackBerry. He has a lot of great ideas and I think you're going all going to appreciate that pure BlackBerry focus he's going to bring to the blogs (we already decided there will be no homepage post announcing iMore's iPhone 6 coverage!). And I'm sure as the excitement continues to heat up towards the launch of the BlackBerry Classic and Passport that we'll see him bring in some new passionate voices to the CrackBerry blogs as well. Exciting times for CrackBerry lie ahead!
Light it up, Bla1ze!!!
PS. Yes, Bla1ze will continue to be known as Bla1ze. Possibly the first EiC to have a number in his name?!