Strangely, these folks are singing RIM’s praises

BlackBerry 10 Jam
By Chris Umiastowski on 8 Jun 2012 12:13 pm EDT
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This morning a friend of mine hit me up on BBM with a link to summarizing views from RIM developers at yesterday's BlackBerry Jam tour.

It's noteworthy to see these kinds of comments coming out of a California audience. RIM has been working on its presence in the valley for a while, but most people don't associate BlackBerry with Silicon Valley. This region tends to be so much more iOS and Android focused.

The quick version of what she wrote? Developers say RIM actually "gets it". They're listening to requests and delivering great tools. They believe BlackBerry 10 holds immense promise for RIM and its developers. RIM seems to actually have a cohesive vision.

Dolcourt specifically pointed out that the press doesn't actually "get" what RIM is doing behind closed doors, because they aren't being invited to attend. I think that's a damn shame, quite frankly.

Just look at the positive press RIM is getting from CNET for standing on the outside, interviewing developers? Imagine the huge amplification of positive press they'd get if they actually invited the media inside and hand-held people while encouraging conversations with developers?

RIM still needs to "get" the idea that good press is good for the company. I asked them on Twitter if I could attend the Toronto date of BlackBerry Jam. So far no official answer.

So, RIM ... show us you understand the power of positive media.

Reader comments

Strangely, these folks are singing RIM’s praises

49 Comments

of course they get it. Now can they deliver a top notch piece of hardware (like dev alpha) running top notch software (OS2 or BB10 - which might be late) polished and complete AT LAUNCH with decent marketing?

If RIM actually got it; they would be more proactive in correcting erroneous media reports these past few days that have insinuated that the RIM has given up, entirely, on the Playbook.

All of this stems from the discontinuation of the 16 gig version; yet all we have seen is a "email" from someone at RIM indicating that they are still going forward with the 32/64 gig version.

That's not getting it at all. RIM needs to be much more proactive in correcting poor journalism and defending it's products in the marketplace.

They may be getting it when it comes to tools for BB10 - they are far from getting it when it comes to media control.

best way to defend PB is to come up with an upgraded version.
Which they havent done yet. Long overdue with the overall market 1y update cycle

You can't correct someone who won't listen.

As for the comment RIM has given up on the playbook. RIM has stated they are still commented to the tablet space. But again, no one is listening...

@Chris Umi - Rookie... lol. You don't make formal media attendee requests by twitter. I'll make sure your request goes through proper channels.

I think that sounds like a challenge! 'Proper channel' Kevin vs. 'social media' Chris. If Kevin get his response first, Chris buys Kevin a beer. If Chris gets his answer before Kevin, Kevin buys. Let us know how it goes. :)

Then send the message through proper channels, fearless leader, and get him to attend.

Actually, pass along the message that the media, not only good Chris, should attend.

They listen to you now. Help them!

"@Chris Umi - Rookie... lol. You don't make formal media attendee requests by twitter. I'll make sure your request goes through proper channels."

This from a guy that had to pay for his first BB World event. I guess we are all rookies at one time or another.

Power of positive media? For some reason the media loves negative media when it comes to RIM. Guess what? The stock is up over $11 today. I know not that significant when you consider where it was, but every time when it goes down a little, the media seems to love reporting it and rehashing history to the point where it is nauseating. You talk of Apple loving CNET. Just yesterday they reported that RIM stated that BB10 could be a game changer. The author then tweeted sarcastically "stop us if you've heard this before." Anything from CNET has to be taken with a grain of salt because of their strong Apple bias. They are more concerned with some minor change in the "I" world then they are with innovation at RIM.

Clearly Chris missed those twitter headlines. Especially the ones about us devs, "but they would, wouldn't they."

@Chris Why didn't you just register as a dev? Would have been in a lot quicker and without any issues. ;)

RIM totally gets it. They may have gotten their timing wrong, and rested on their laurels a little too long - but there is no denying they understand what they need to do. That is very clear from their M&A strategy. The QNX operating system is a REAL operating system. As with any of these things - it takes time to make it truly user friendly. Anyone who as ever tried making a consumer product knows - very tough, lots of trial and error, and lots of continual improvement.

The question is "can RIM execute?". They have all the assets and the tech. What they need is to get it to market, time to iterate, and a model to entice developers. If they could get the mainstream apps to come on board, even a dearth of Apps would be ok for a time. My fear is that BB10 will have worse app compatibility than 7.1 . There is no time for that.

Unfortunately, the best outcome would be to produce BB10, AND get bought by someone who had ecosystem generating power (Amazon, Facebook, etc). Someone who can compel an audience, and entice developers. The BB10 platform will be great. The question is if anyone will want to use it.

To bad they could not make it compatible with the 7.1 devices. That would have been good to jumpstart the numbers....

"Unfortunately, the best outcome would be to produce BB10, AND get bought by someone who had ecosystem generating power (Amazon, Facebook, etc). Someone who can compel an audience, and entice developers. "

Unfortunately, RIM isn't going to be bought out or sold.

rim has never had good press relations, theres no need for it. they just need to deliver. just show up on game day and knock it out of the park, the press will have no option to be report how well they do that.

These are technical sessions for developers, not media. Of course they shouldn't be invited. 90% of the reporters wouldn't know what was being discussed and what the ramifications are of what's being discussed.
It makes perfect sense for them to get feedback from developers. They understand what RIM is doing and can convey the message to the media in something the media understands; "Developers are loving what RIM is doing with BB10!" and "Developers say RIM gets it'". This is what readers understand.

I think RIM is doing fine, they are focusing on what important, which is getting developers what they need to make OS 10 the best in the world. The press and other stuff will come later, it's not as important as substantial progress. So i think RIM's head is in the right place, press will just have to wait, until glorious OS 10 is finished to make their judgments.

I am sorry Chris Umiastowski, but I can disagree with you more.

"Dolcourt specifically pointed out that the press doesn't actually "get" what RIM is doing behind closed doors, because they aren't being invited to attend. I think that's a damn shame, quite frankly"

This is a conference for developers about technical aspects. Usually you find that it is more of a demo of code rather the end result.

You will get demo's of user interface controls by themselves, and how registered event clicks etc. (Lost you yet? :D). They will not have a fully polished form when demoing this because it a difference audience. The media will want to see it with the polish, I just want to see that I can register to a change event and how to. A button with a piece of text in the background with "Hello World" is find by me!

I attended a Microsoft Azure user group event recently. The presentation was how you can port your application to the Windows cloud. A media guy was there and his comments were more about comparisons, why don't you have this functionality etc.

If he wanted that information, he should have talked to sales rep or product expert.

I don't call into RIM's financial conference call and ask the question "well with your next Playbook OS 2.x release, will you support ffmpeg in the Android runtime".

+1000

I liked this, "I don't call into RIM's financial conference call and ask the question "well with your next Playbook OS 2.x release, will you support ffmpeg in the Android runtime"."

Chris,
I love reading your articles and can appreciate your point of view in this. Although i enjoyed reading it, i do not agree with you here-with regards letting any "general media" in on these events. I do not agree simply because right now the press only wants to report RIMs shortcomings. Not being developers themselves, they would surely view these events as "more unfinished products" in their ignorance of the fact that it IS unfinished. They will see and report on it like they did Cascades (ala-will it ever come out).

When hey can put something together that they will execute on in a short period of time and is polished, hey can invite the media. It will be a while before the general media will WANT to report on the good that RIM is doing. Until then, they will be forced to report any good that is obvious (or just lie -looking at you BGR and a newspaper that i will not name).

I do agree that they need to let in those FEW media that do promote RIM, so I sure hope that you're able to get in to he event that you wish to attend.

Keep up the good work guys!

PS congrats to Adam!

I agree with RIM, there's no point. I've been quite a few developer sessions (though not for Blackberry) and they are NOT for media. It's all "hard core" engineering stuff, any media types would have no idea what it all means.

The best way is actually to linger outside the doors and solicit the opinions of the engineers that walk out of the session.

Good to hear something positive. The real test will be how RIM's new CMO grabs this positive bit of sunlight and begins spinning it out to the wider media. Marketing isn't just about commercials.

Read the NYT article on the selling of The Hunger Games, studios worked on marketing a year in advance of the first commerical.

Rim is not doomed. In the global cell phone oem/os industry there is apple, Samsung, htc, and Motorola. 3/4 of them making essentially the same phones running essentially the same os. Consumers have 2 choices: iPhone or android. There is room for both a third and a fourth. The only question for rim is will they be 4 th behind windows phone or 3rd. They won't be number one or number two, but global 3rd or 4 th ain't to shabby. Plenty of consumers for rim to stay in business. What complicates the matter is the beanie wearing money lovers who speculate, because in their world there is no 3rd only 1st and 2nd. Don't be a money lover, stay optimistic my friends.

Chris, this is for developers by developers jam session and not something which is of an interest to the media

the media has a way of nit picking on stupid details and blowing them way out of proportion, i can see why RIM is only inviting developers, it is more to get developers working on apps for the OS.

the media also has a way of leaking info to competing companies which is also not good.

CNET has it right, they interview developers and hear their praise, if other media sources were smart and wanted info they would do the same.

i have a Playbook and i have seen the power of the QNX based OS so i se real promise in RIMs development of BB10 and since i saw the videos regarding the few features of it i have been sold and have seen the light which has made me want to buy shares. this small drop it has hit has put their stock in a good place where money making will be huge

Media and the developers have to be handled differently. Let the nerds talk to the developers and let the marketing team (in time) have work with the media. As others have stated you don't want the media nitpicking on certain things and killing the excitement for BB10 before she has a chance to drop.

I think there is a bit of over-simplification going on in relation to Chris' comments about "the press" attending developer-focused events.

I think the point is really that TECHNICAL journalists, who would understand what is being discussed and the ramifications of that should be more aggressively courted than RIM is actually doing.

So, imagine someone like David Pogue from the New York Times being pursued to come to the RIM developer event, and should he accept, he'd see first hand the Cascades GUI and so on... not because the event was tailored to "the press" or investors, but he'd see the deep-down tech, be able to talk to actual developers and then, using his "abilities", translate what he learned into positive press for RIM that laypersons and investors could understand.

You don't have to be a developer to understand the capabilities of the OS and the APIs, nor do you have to sit in on 2 hour sessions pouring over the details of the "video rendering capabilities" to get that there are powerful and readily-available video processing capabilities.

It's more in-depth than a brochure, and frankly, the fact that MORE of the tech / investor press isn't represented at these events says just about as much about the media "phoning it in" instead of going where there's a good story... and face it, whether in the long run RIM succeeds or fails with the OS 10 rollout, RIM is a good story (a better story than "Samsung / HTC / Motorola / LG launches the latest even larger even faster Android phone"). In my opinion, there's a lot of good in the technology, which could be a lot of positive press for RIM, so it's a BIG WIN if the media actually scrutinizes BB10 technology even closer, rather than dwelling on the underperforming BB7.1 devices in the market.

RIM has to foster MORE media scrutiny of BB10 technology to as part of their pro-active BB10 success plan.

...and I was about to edit my post, but will reply here instead, to add

1) do you BLAME them for keeping the unwashed masses of journalists out of developer events? History shows that many of those so-called "journalists" would just run back to their Underwood typewriters, put in a fresh piece of carbon paper and write something to the effect of "it's unfinished" or "rough around the edges", without understanding what they were seeing.

2) They should hand-pick the journalists they invite, not for their pro-RIM bias, but for their record in even-handed fact-based analysis and journalism. Yes, keep a lot of the riff-raff out... maybe make the journalist attendees "by invitation only" and then absolutely have handlers to follow up with technical RIM staff should questions arise that need follow-up interview or clarification.

RIM's current "No jernalistz allowed" approach is too extreme.

unfinished the same way that they did with the playbook. hardware wise it was on top of the world, OS wise same thing. they focused on its lack of a native email and a blackberry with no BBM spread nothing but crap about it. it was a little poo that the playbook didn't have a native email but it had all the other stuffand the ability to go to your emails web server to read.

i've stated before that RIMs enemy has been the media. since apple released the iphone the media has bought into apples marketing tactics, the fact that product recognition is in all major movies and tv shows, makes RIM look like an inferior product compared to apple. it also didn't help that their previous generation of phones where nothing but different looking and poorer quality. my first berry was a pearl which never had a data plan, then i bought a curve 8900, i sat on it 1.5 years later and cracked the LCD,. a cousin of mine is head of manufacturing and shipping of RIM products so he got me a 8500, which i hated compared to my 8900, screen resolution was crap, camera was crap, processor was the same but with less ram. then he gave my mom a refurbished 8900 which i took and replaced the screen from my original 8900 and gave my mom the 8500.

moral of the story my girlfriends purple curve 8500s side buttons cracked and feel off so i gave her my 3 year old 8900 and its still kicking.

same thing goes for the bold 9000, had few issues with heat before OS updates, then became a great phone with the same chipset as the 9700 in a much more comfortable package, which RIM eventually went back to in the 9900, that i have been nothing but happy with

For the record. RIM stated it was a game changer NOT CNET.

Note the "parentheses".

Not that it wasn't a positive vibe on the article, but the only ones declaring this a game changer right now are RIM.

The rest of us will have to wait and see.

No Offense Chris but seeing as so many Toronto devs are having to go to Montreal and New York to attend Jam sessions because the Toronto BBJam filled up in a few hours, you have ZERO business being allowed to attend, they should let more devs Attend because RIM needs devs, sure good press would be nice, but Good devs are more important until launch.

I'm sorry, I have to agree... Chris is becoming more of an iSheep than he is a brave BlackBerry leader if you had read his blog posts...

i dunno, i saw it a little different - the tweet linking to the article read:

"BlackBerry developers say RIM is energized and on track. But they would, wouldn't they?"

the whole "they would, wouldn't they" is pretty insulting. i couldn't find any other tweets on the cnetNews feed that offered inline editorial opinion in their "news headline" like this one does.

It depends how you look at it. Unfortunately most will not look at in the right sense. Especially when the developers are being referred to as BlackBerry developers, which to some can be interpreted as RIMs developers vs the more accurate-those that develop on the BlackBerry Platform.

Again ! It is not a "good" review by Cnet ! They are just quoting RIM : "Blackberry 10 is a game changer " ! They go on : " RIM paints a cheery picture of future sucess despite the enormous challanges it faces. What choice does it have "?

This story feels like a plant. There's no indication that RIM gets it at all.

They're going to release a me-too touchscreen phone in September with barely any of the features consumers now expect to be standard, and with an app store that's going to be devoid of content.

I wish it weren't the case - I have a BB 9900 and love it for what it does. BB should have gone further and refined and made this type of device even better.

Copying everything else on the market will only show how far behind RIM is. It's 3-4 years late to the party, and it will be painfully obvious.