Editor's Desk: There's a new CrackBerry Chief in town... it's time for Bla1ze to light it up!

There's a new chief in town!
By Kevin Michaluk on 22 Jun 2014 03:55 pm EDT
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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!

The Backstory

Blogging

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.

Welcome Bla1ze!!

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?!

Reader comments

Editor's Desk: There's a new CrackBerry Chief in town... it's time for Bla1ze to light it up!

360 Comments

Of course. But we're going to deduct from him a dollar for every typo and/or grammatical error that appears on the homepage articles. Sooo.... probably will work out the same. :p

That you have sir! It's been a great week of very active postings! Looking forward to your reign as EIC.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Since you are getting the Porsche. May I have your red Z10? Please!

Posted by me. Just now. With my Z10!

Congratulations Bla1ze! You're a great editor and as Kevin has said, I've seen you all around the forums in full contact with the community, so I think you'll do just fine ;)

On the other hand I'm sorry to see Adam leaving, I always enjoyed his articles and calm objective opinions.

You da man! Congratulations brother!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  ) new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The Thor's Hammer of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! #longestsignatureeverthatishortenedabit

Hmm, Bla1ze's new roll!? Cooool. I hope it is cinnamon. Hee.

Congrats to the coolest guy on CrackBerry, by the by. Kevin, you made an excellent choice.

Yessir. Now we can blaze some chronic up in this b1atch! #420berry everyday and all day.

Posted via CB10 on my Z mfk'n 10!

Good point. The benefit of writing it? I did at least wait for the story to be live. Technically could always post a comment before publishing the story. :)

Congratulations Bla1ze. Love the podcasts; however, I have a hard time understanding you. With you leading the podcasts now, I hope it will become more natural to you. Just a friendly observation.

Congratulations again Bla1ze. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication.

Poetry in Motion

Yay Bla1ze!! I'll miss you, but really not so much. CrackBerry 4 eva!

So many good memories, but still excited for whats ahead. CB is in very capable hands!

Wish you lots of success, Adam in your endeavors!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  ) new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The Thor's Hammer of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! #longestsignatureeverthatishortenedabit

Congratulations Bla1ze. Make this your own mate! And Kevin, although we appreciate the years of sacrifice, don't be a stranger now.

Posted via CB10

Haha! Seeing you without the hat is like when my brother shaved off his moustache for the first time in 25 years... he didn't look like himself anymore. Freaked me out! lol

Seriously, Bla1ze almost looks like my brother, he's going bald, too. I wish he'd allow me to post a pic.

My bro doesn't look quite the same as me though (same genetics, it's confirmed!), my hair still like a jungle, ... growing in all directions, like that famous Einstein pic...

Makes me realize, everybody's different, nobody's alike and nobody's perfect, so let's not judge each other and wear unusual appearances with pride...

Wouldn't it be boring if everyone looked the same?

Pasted via CB chen

Congratulations and good luck to BLA1ZE! He's a guy who's paid his dues and maintained an edge and attitude and enthusiasm over the long haul here and it seems like a good time for a move with the sudden spike in interest in the new handsets.

And thanks, of course, to KM for keeping the fires lit for so long. It hasn't always been comfortable, particularly over the last few years when loyalty to BB has been so sorely tested. With KM being so brand-identified, the unofficial face of BB, the ultimate passionate, loyalist, rational outsider, the dissonance has at times been palpable. I do think KM did a remarkable job of treading the line of objective honesty and rooting interest. And for a long time really, I've had the sense that he'd outgrown that role. He had, in a sense, gotten bigger than BB. Not that he was or is more important than the devices, the company, its people and its customers, but instead that he was obviously capable of speaking to and being identified with a wider range of brands and issues. I hope this works all around and I'm looking forward to the transition!

Can't be without mentioning this, bla1ze is the reason I got addicted to Dr Who. So, to a site that I'm already addicted to, I'm sure he's gonna make it even more tempting!!

Congrats Bla1ze!!

Posted via CB10

So now the regeneration is complete, is Bla1ze going to change his baseball hat for a fez?

Posted via CB10

Bla1ze keep up the good work bro, all the way in jamaica and everyday it's a pleasure waking up to your articles. Kevin you have done a excellent job over the few years. you guys Rock:)

BlackBerry lover since 1940

Congrats!! I am sure everything will keep running smoothly. I look forward to a great crackberry team moving forward.

Congratulations, Bla1ze!!! Very excited to see how CB flourishes under your leadership!

See you around the forums, Kevin! :-)

Perhaps because of his love for all things Doctor Who'ey (if there is such a word) perhaps Bla1ze should be know as Crackberry Lord, rather than editor in chief! Hehe! ; )

Careful! Z10....er..... BlackDroid in action!

I hope you(Kevin) and Adam will still be paying close attention to BlackBerry.... Otherwise who is Bla1ze supposed to have podcasts with? Will the next one just be Bla1ze talking to himself for an hour and a half? lol :)

From the older generation in this forum I would like to say congratulations to B1aze. I always liked your comments in the forums and your first page stories have been spot on. Kevin thanks for getting us were we are today. Again don't be a stranger. Adam congrats on your new adventure sounds like it going to be fun.
Thanks to all the behind the scenes members who also help make Crackberry what it is today

Posted via CB10

AMEN - So many moderators and ambassadors over the years, today and in the future that help keep CrackBerry running and make it awesome. They deserve thanks every single day!

Congrats! And I hope Crackberry only continues to grow. I gave up reading novels in my spare time a few years ago and read Cb pretty much exclusively. Keep the postings coming. This is my favorite online pass time. Again congrats!

Via My z10 and CB10

This is the first time I saw a better picture of bla1ze and apparently his name is Chris. Well I respect his work and I'll hang in here long enough because he's done a fantastic job recently with kevin's slacking... speaking of which

Kevin since 2012 that I joined as a playbook user confused, I've enjoyed this site and appreciate your work 100%. Sometimes I've felt you were entered committed as much but how could you? Your role was infinitely expanding and that calls for more stress, travelling, focus and so on.. good leadership on your part to promote Chris so that this community keeps getting 100% devoted attention and you aren't worn to pieces.

Long live the source of Crack! Good luck Kevin and I hope you drop bye often. Goodluck congrats Chris

Posted via CB10

Congratulations, Bla1ze. Maybe I'll have the pleasure of actually meeting the CB team in person. I'm looking forward to CB's bright future, continuing to report on BlackBerry's bright future.

Posted via CB10

Congrats to Bla1ze(i mean Chris...nice to have a name to go with the face lol). as a longtime CB member under diff screen names, I have enjoyed the last 7 years watching the site grow under Kevin's steady hand(and those working along side him as well). I understand the need for change, and i look forward to what comes next for the site.

To Kevin, I say "Thank You" for your years of stewardship. You have the thanks and respect from all the Crackberry members. We will miss your day to day hands on operation, but we look forward to having you pop in from time to time.

Qapla'...(klingon for success)

I am sorry to point out but Kevin wasn't coming off as interested in BlackBerry as he was before. All the best to Bla1ze.

Posted via the BlackBerry Z-Ton

I'm relatively new to CB and BlackBerry but I'm here several times a day now! I certainly look forward to all the changes in the CB community and upcoming new product launches.

Posted by CB10 via Z30

I can't say thanks to all these posts individually, so I'll just say thanks here. Thanks everyone for the congrats and support, I really appreciate it.

Here's hoping you'll be in charge of CrackBerry's BlackBerry Channels, wow that was a mouth full. I'd love to see more CB post on Channels, I find myself using Channels as one of my primary sources for all things BlackBerry.

Congratulations, Bla1ze! I know we all know you to some degree on here, but I still hope to see you do an introductory piece about yourself and your new position here... maybe a peek into what you hope to accomplish(if different than the current path). Anyhoo, good luck!

Congratulations Bla1ze...well deserved.
And CB Kevin, don't be a stranger!!

Best site ever!!

Posted via CB10

From the outside looking in, this is a welcomed move!
Bring on the change!

Posted via CrackBerry App

Congratulations Bla1ze! Please make the first order of business to increase the marketing budget and give everybody Z30's!

Posted via CB10

Congratulations to Bla1ze - New EiC, new direction. Always enjoy reading your front page stories and Forum comments. Having only been a BlackBerry user since 2012, Since having to abandon Nokia and their quest to be different with the OS that never made it "Maemo" I moved to blackberry with the 9900 being my first BlackBerry device.

Crackberry was immediately my go to place, the forums, the help, the advice and guidance from KM, was how I got familiar with my BlackBerry. The community that had been built and developed under your leadership, will thrive as long as there is a BlackBerry device in existence. Thank you and the whole of the Crackberry nation for becoming my new home when it comes to the world of smart phones.

Look forward to what this change brings.. :)

Posted via CB10

Welcome Blaize, 24/7 BlackBerry Jam. I just gave you your first task, get UMI back ASAP before he Voxers out for good !!

Z30 : posted via CB10 app

I concur with Kevin. Bla1ze, it's time to move to Waterloo. Also, you'll need to keep a close eye on John Chen. Do not let him out of your sight. We, the community, must know if there's new devices, new strategy, etc. the moment it happens. Perhaps you can create a new identity, find your way in as an employee to BlackBerry, and then keep us all informed ;).

In all seriousness, congratulations on your new role. I'm sure you'll do very well. Does that mean Bla1ze gets control of https://twitter.com/BlackBerryCEO now? Those are some big shoes to fill ;).

All the best to both you and Kevin!

Dave

YAY Bla1ze!!!! Congratulations!!! VERY happy for you! Best wishes for some fantastic successes ahead.

And thank you Kevin for creating such an addictive site. Can't walk away from it. You brought us all together and I owe you my appreciation for helping me forge so many friendships over the last five years. Wish you the best in all you do.

Posted from my awesome Q10 via CB10.

Congratulations bla1ze and good luck with you're new position

Posted via CB10 on my awesome black Q10 or my white sexy Z10

congrats Bla1ze! ..maybe your first job should be fixing my Avatar. ;) Don't know why it's not visible while posting with my BlackBerry. When I post with my computer it's there.

Posted with my Z10 or Z30! ..mostly on my Q10. ..while I wait for a BB slider.

Pull top down in the CB10 app to get into Settings, then "empty cache".

If that doesn't do the trick, make sure you got your password, and simply uninstall and reinstall the app.

You will see, a lot of avatars will have changed in the meantime, some will not be visible, and some that haven't been there will now be visible. A bit of a bug in the app, maybe something that could be addressed. It's the caching mode that the app apparently uses.

Did that reinstall thing again yesterday, ...

Pasted via CB chen

clearing the cache was it! THX a lot!!!

Posted with my Z10 or Z30! ..mostly on my Q10. ..while I wait for a BB slider.

Bla1ze, if you move to Waterloo I will personally treat you to dinner and drinks as a thankyou!

Posted via CB10 via the BlackBerry Q10!

So this is really happening? 

Congratulations Bla1ze. I remember when we all started; and look at you now, all grown up. Keep up the good work... 

 

Good luck in your new position Bla1ze (Jim) and am looking forward to the continuing adventures of Crackberry.com

Sent from my Q10

Congratulations Bla1ze
I work long and hard and make plenty more typos than you. My grammer really sucks. One day I may write for Crackberry.

All typos are from my Z30 BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

Congratulations Bla1ze! I've been following your work for many years. I know you will find a great job.

Posted via CB10

If you do a good job I'll send you some Dr Who bits and bobs from the the Cardiff Bay Dr Who exhibition centre :) it's just down the road from me.

Z10STL100-2/10.2.1.3175

Congratulations Bka1ze, no offense intended, but I don't understand this move, I have read the explanation, but I don't get it. I consider B one of the most knowledgeable guys on the site, just don't see him as running the show kind of guy. Sure he will prove me wrong and hope he does. Obviously Adam has other shit to do with the new site but to just leave, scratching my head again.

Posted via CB10

No offense taken. We actually addressed some of that on the podcast. In any case though, I don't mind being 'underestimated' either, gives me more incentive to prove it as being wrong lol. I still think there's a disconnect as well about the role. Long story short, I'm not taking on EVERYTHING Kevin previously did.

We'll always be putting the best foot forward, meaning the chances of you seeing me on Bloomberg or whatever talking about BlackBerry is going to be pretty slim, we have better people for that such as Kevin and Simon Sage who are more experienced in such things. I have a face for radio anyway. :P

It's more about the day-today, the content being produced, the focus on what needs to be covered and the BlackBerry message we're delivering to people who are interested as readers of the site and members of the community. CrackBerry needs someone to focus on what's important and ignore the BS and the timing is right.

We're coming up on some new device releases, new things coming from BlackBerry and direct focus is more important now than ever and I'm all for that and if I can help, then that's what I will be doing relentlessly.

I hope that adds a bit more context for you.

Congrats Bla1ze! I am new to the community coming from iPhone and Windows Phone, and to my surprise I am loving my BlackBerry and may get the Classic instead of iPhone 6! Love this website and the community.

Posted via CB10

Congrats Bla1ze!!

If I may, I suggest you dropping 10.3.720 as your first move as Editor in chief :-)

What do you think? Lol

Posted via CB10

Will Bla1ze have chats times via BlackBerry channel? I hope so. Will Kevin still do BlackBerry channel chats on Mondays and Wednesdays?

Posted via CB10

Fantastic Bla1ze.. I am really happy for you and very well deserved! Congrats!

I have to admit I've gotten used to the 3 amigos on CB .. Kev, Adam and Bla1ze.. Adam I hate to see you go and Kevin .. I hope the backseat doesn't mean too far rearward in the CB bus :)

However, as a parent, I know that things must change (that's what I keep telling my kids) and in the end it always seems to work out for the better..

Here's looking to bigger and better things at CB in the future as Blackberry continues to right the ship..

Onward and upward CB!!!!!!!!

Congrats, Bla1ze!
You know, the secret of a good manager is to successfully delegate... If you find some good mods/admins to run each sub forum, you can lean back as Kevin did!

BlackBerry*Q10, T-Mobile Germany - SQN100-3, Running OS 10.2.1.2941

Congrats Bla1ze and Kevin you did a great job building this dream of a site. I have not checked out any other BlackBerry fan sites and couldn't care to.

3 random questions for Bla1ze.

1.) Where are conducting your work from now? (I don't need an exact address :P

2.) will you make the move to Waterloo or at least give it a shot? Great Place and right next to Guelph which is a great nightlife.

3.) do you promote Crackberry / BlackBerry on your daily driver vehicle?

Again good Job!

Posted via CB10

1) Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

2) I'm down for a year, we'll take it from there. Who knows? Could be the best decision of my life or possibly the worst. In any case, I have a family who supports me and should it end up weird, I can always come 'home'. If I don't try, I'll never know and not knowing would be worse than not trying. YOLO! lol

3) I use a Z30 as my daily driver everyday. For transparency sake, I do still use a HTC One but it's mostly relegated to a media device when I run errands or am riding the bus. Rdio does not currently work on the Android runtime (Maybe 10.3 will fix that?) and that's what I use for music outside of SiriusXM which does work on the Android Runtime.

Congratulations Bla1ze. Seems to me that you live in Halifax currently, so I would recommend staying there. It is a beautiful place!

Posted via CB10

Congrats Bla1ze! Well earned. I'm curious to see the things you'll change. The atmosphere, focus, etc. Good luck!

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

Congrats Bla1ze and of course Michelle! I wish you all the best.

#CB10BELIEVE!

Posted via CB10

Congratulations Bla1ze. This is very good move I think.
Kevin don't use BlackBerry as much as he does before I guess and don't even feel he is focusing on CB as we know him before so maybe its good for him and CB for little changes.

Wouldn't now be a great time for a leak of 10.3. (wink wink nudge nudge. You know what to do)

Z10 on T-mobile running 10.2.1.2947

Congratulations Bla1ze!!! Congratulatory Crackberry Community party at Bla1ze 's new Waterloo address!!!!!!

Tim Smith from my Z10 on Rogers

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