I survived my first scheduled BBM Channel Chat... Barely!

BBM Channel Chat Survivor!
By Kevin Michaluk on 26 May 2014 04:36 pm EDT

Hoh. Lee. Shi. Te. I feel like the BBM team should give me a medal or something for surviving my first scheduled BBM Channel Chat. My frick'n thumbs hurt right now.

From the moment my BBM status automatically updated to "Available to Chat" I was typing non-stop as fast as I could trying to reply to everybody who was messaging me. And when the status automatically updated 30 minutes later to end my chat session, I spent the next 30 minutes typing replies to everybody I had yet not responded to. It was simply impossible to keep up with. I didn't count how many people were chatting with me, but it was a lot. When we do it again on Wednesday, I'll try and get somebody here to help me shoot some video of it, so you can get a perspective of what it looks like on my end.

Before we do the next one, here are some quick reactions and observations based on today's first go at running a hyper-busy BBM Channel Chat:

  • From my perspective as the channel owner, this was basically the equivalent of doing a BBM Stress Test (when I publicly post my pin and have tons of people adding me to BBM and chatting with me at once). Having that many people message you all at once is basically insane. It's almost impossible to keep up with who is who when trying to talk to that many people at once.
  • A lot of the people talking to me were expecting the channel chat to be more of a group thing. They were surprised that it was actually them talking to me one on one in a regular BBM chat-like conversation. They were thinking it would be more along the lines of a group broadcast - where they could see everything that I was typing to everyone in a stream, with some commenting popping in. Almost like how we do live blogs on CrackBerry, where the blogger has center stage on the feed, but people can ask questions in the sidebar and some of those questions get promoted into the main stream. Clearly there is some further education to be done around how BBM Channel Chats work.
  • On the point above, I actually think that could be a better way to conduct this particular type of chat. It would be easier on the channel owner and less boring for the participants if it was more of a live blog platform, at least when you know there are going to be a lot of participants all on at once. The problem with a really active chat like the one we did today is that once I reply to one person, I need to go reply to the next one and the next one and the next one. So people are waiting a LONG time before getting another message from me. If it was more a stream with comments from other chatters getting promoted, people would always have content flowing in. That said, the current implementation of BBM Channel Chat is great for something like customer support, where you want to be accessible at certain hours and know you'll never have more than a few people to be messaging with at a time.
  • I'm glad I used the Q10 today for the chat vs. a Z30 or Z10. The physical keyboard gives me typo-free messaging and the ability to QUICKLY inject a lot of my personality into the replies. That said, I'd love to be able to run a BBM Channel Chat through the web console - especially if they built an optimized view that allowed me to see more of what's going on as it happens.
  • Rather than asking questions, a lot of people simply thanked me for all the hard work we do at CrackBerry. Thanks back to all of you for making the site awesome!!
  • I spent a lot of time just saying hello to participants who said hello first - I think for the next one the hello will be implied. Get right down to what you want to talk about as it'll save us a step (vs. me sending my greetings over and over again to each individual). I guess when juggling that many conversations, efficiency matters.
  • Once the Channel Chat is over, it's a bit of a pain in the butt to close down all the open one on one conversations. I'm still waiting for that BBM option to close all chats vs. having to select and tap and scroll and tap and scroll and tap and scroll and tap tap tap tap tap and scroll and tap and End Chats. Especially on the Q10's not so tall screen, took me a while just to close out the chats once I was all done. :)

I'm sure I have more thoughts than than, but I'm still too frazzled to think straight. So we'll save it for after the next one.

HUGE thanks to everybody who joined in on today's chat. Besides being insane for me, it was FUN. I hope you enjoyed it too.

The next chat happens on Wednesday at 1:30pm EST / 6:30pm GMT. Hope to see you there! And if you're not part of my channel yet, you can subscribe below!

Reader comments

I survived my first scheduled BBM Channel Chat... Barely!


Kevin, did you ever do a BBM stress test with BB10? I remember it being on hold but never recalled it ever happening...

Posted via CB10

Yep. Did one with a T-Mobile Z10. It survived pretty well!

What's hilarious is I actually ended up lending that Z10 to my brother. To this day if you turn it on, he still gets a few BBM requests a day coming through. Too funny.

We need a 10.3 stress test when that comes out, and do it on the z3 just to show how strong the platform is.

I totally missed it! Got busy at work, let us know when your fingers are rested so we can go for round 2 Kev :) lol

Posted via CB10

You shouldn't have posted it on CB, just to gauge how many people actually pay attention to your channel... and to have a sort of "soft opening"... lol

Posted via CB10

I would guess he was talking to at least 150 people at once. I got about 5 questions answered.

Posted via Z30

Just happy to see Kevin more visibly involved in bbm and crackberry.. even though we know he's working hard behind the scenes.

Posted via CB10

Maybe also super busy because holiday in US so more people available than normal to chat during the day?

Posted via CB10

You honestly believe he could have kept up with that kind of uhmm, call it a ... keyboard?

(and the Typo is broken, right? )

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

You should get familiar with the app ClipMan and you will see big increases from event to event in replying speed and how fast you get able to answer to recurring questions which still needs some more details to answer. ;)

Good luck for the next event... have you btw ever considered to simply connect a Bluetooth keyboard to your device? :D

Posted via CB10

Thanks for the response Kevin, my question was pretty insignificant but it was cool that you answered

Posted via CB10

I am interested in your thoughts on how the format could be improved by the team. Maybe the chat could be gated to only allow 10 or so people to access it at any one time and have a specific time limit to how long people can be in the active zone. It seems to be somewhat unworkable now in its current format for the channel owner.

Setting a limit on a chat session to like 10 or 15 people would be good. Good thought.

Will need to do a couple more chats to get all the ideas fleshed out.

Early in my Channel career (which is still in its infancy), I tried the whole "I'm available from this time to that time" open chat. It resulted in just what your experienced (though much smaller since I only had a 1000 subs at the time). And I disliked that everyone felt the need to drop there two cents in asap before the chat closed.

So, now, I just leave it open all the time. People ask questions or make comments as they feel the need to, and it makes for a steady stream of chat, rather than an overwhelming wave.

If you opened your chat all the time, initially it would be crazy since you have so many subs, but I believe things would settle in, the novelty would wear off, and I think you'd find a much more rewarding, relaxed chat with the world.

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I was thinking the same thing. If there probably wasn't a half hour window today I probably wouldn't have joined in today

I also think this would be a better experience for the channel owner on desktop/laptop with big screen and full keyboard to make it more manageable. BBM team get cracking!

Meanwhile, I was alone on BBM, waiting for friends request... life is unequal !

Posted via my French Q10

I missed it too due to work! I was gonna ask why Blackberry has taken out certain camera editing filters and frames?
The filters missing are Grain & Age photo and theres a few frames missing??? These were 100% there when I got my Q10 last year and since the os updates Blackberry have removed them? Will we ever get these back in a future update?

Posted via CB10

+1. Think about dictating your replies next time, Kev. You'll also get some material for your next feature review.

Congratulations Kevin, although I didn't participate in your first BBM Live Channel Chat, I'm a little surprised you did not use your Z30 with Miracast at the helm, and a regular mouse and keyboard on board to boot! I think it would make it easier. I for one can type much faster using a regular keyboard than on a BB10 device. Much, much FASTER! All the best to you, on this new journey/project, or whatever it is. :)

Started the event at 95%... I'm now at 68%, but it's been a couple hours. Will pay more attention to battery life on Wednesday!

Thanks again Kevin, it was great to have a question answered straight from the "Head Honcho". BlackBerry dots decals, hotcakes I'm telling ya!

Posted via CB10

I have to check out this group thing. Never really gave it Time. Maybe I'll start by adding the pin posted in this article lol

Posted via CB10

Thank you Kevin for sparing us the few hours from your busy, busy schedule, even though wasn't a part of it, feels good that someone is there to listen at the top levels, directly that too :)

Posted via CB10

Ha, nothing like getting in touch with all the rabbit BlackBerry fans...you are our Yoda and a voice of reason in the wilderness of the tech world...and your midichlorian count is really high...since you survived this open chat and then made this posting!!!

May the Force be with you!

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

You can close all chats at once already, just go to the BBM settings then choose Delete Chat History button.

Posted via CB10

CBK - make sure your Auto Text is properly set up : think about your frequently used responses, phrases, etc and make an entry for them.

Posted via CB10

Very cool of you. I hope I can get. Around to participating in one soon.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

Kevin, you need to use word substitution to provide standard answers... save those button presses for the real stuff.

Posted via CB10

you can go to the Hub next time, if you want to delete a lot of messages, instead of the long press and delete each individual message in the activity

Maybe keep a spare second device running for CB admin stuff like this 24-7 and jump in when ya can! We know Mobile Nations can afford it. See you at CrackBerry Live in the T-dawt OH this summer!!! Cheers

I missed out on the chat but am glad it worked out well.

As to your point of the one on one chats. Perhaps once once the desktop version of BBM is available the chats could be spread across multiple devices so that more than one person can respond to multiple conversations at a time. Reducing the thumb fatigue.

Tim Smith from my Z10 on Rogers

Anyone seen that ridiculous NCIS episode where they are getting hacked and missus has both hands on keyboard like it's Mozart. If that wasn't stupid enough, another dude ALSO puts both hands on the keyboard, going nuts as well. 4 hands all typing on same keyboard, as if they are defending the attack like it's a video game and whoever taps A fastest wins.

Posted via CB10

Thats where bbm desktop should come. So we coud tile up bbm chats and chat with all of them at once in cases like yours.

Posted via CB10

Get it Kevin!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL! #longestsignatureever

You should work closely with BlackBerry to make the group chat better... so that we can... or rather you can have an even more enjoyable experience! :)

Posted via CB10... and my awesome Z10

Sounds like a good way for BlackBerry to monetize BBM channels for celebs, athletes, political figures, etc. Imagine a scheduled BBM channel one on one with a movie star about an upcoming film. A means for fans to communicate directly with the actor and get a legitimate response. BBM would get fans closer to people of interest better than what twitter does which is typically one sided. You follow someone and watch what they say. Never directly talking to you personally. But having a BBM PIN of an A-lister in your pocket is the next best thing to their telephone number.

Posted via CB10

I read the first four words of this article and pictured John Belushi in "Animal House"!

Post by 9of13's Q

If I was you I would connect a big bluetooth keyboard to your Q10. Add a hdmi connected monitor and you've got a nice chat-machine.

Posted via CB10

Be honest Kevin, you enjoyed every minute of it and you can bear with the sore thumbs. You know you're popular with this crowd, it's a lot better than when no one would have joined the chat and you would have sat there waiting. Maybe I'll join the chat next time, just to see how 'crowded' it is. :p

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

Just 30 min chatting and sore thumps, ugh u should have used a nice Logitech illuminated K810 keyboard. Then 24hours no problem, I can do

RedBerry Z10 #00167 OS10.2.1.2947 /2235

I was hoping it would truly be a 'group' chat where everyone who was there was able to view the activity of everyone else. This was a disappointment to me. I wonder how many times similar questions were asked, and if it had been a true group chat for everyone, and not just for Kevin, everyone could have seen benefit, and the conversation could theoretically have gotten further while better utilising everyone's time and being more inclusive. Or perhaps I just don't get it...

Posted via CB10

You need a dictation app... Voice to chat App... Can any DEVELOPER HELP KEV' here??
Best is a "mind to chat" App... Or, more realistic an app that reads your lips through the front cam, writes without delay and as soon you make an upside-down move with your head, the sentense is posted!

Posted via my BlackBerry*Q10, Germany - SQN100-3, Running OS

Hi,I am just wondering when you are hosting the next Chat via your crackberry channel? I missed both from this week but am very eager to get involved for the next one.
Thanks a lot!!
Ps: Great work on crackberry

Posted via CB10

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