BBM Channel Chat Survivor!

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!