If you've been around the online BlackBerry world for any amount of time, you'll be familiar with the 'handle' of the founder of In addition to being a Forum Moderator (he joined the site shortly after it launched!), John Kleinschmidt, aka Audit, has been keeping himself extremely busy over the past year thanks to a project born out of necessity... A non-profit site, supported by a team of dedicated volunteers, keeps those of us "not on the inside" up to date with the status of our BlackBerry's data. Full Interview after the jump!

Interview with John Kleinschmidt, Founder of

You must be a CrackBerry Addict... Can You Tell Us About Your BlackBerry History?
I've been using a BlackBerry for about 4-6 years give or take as I was swapping back and forth at a old company based on what I was told to use. My current job duties involving BES include supporting 2 sites and 2 servers right now and I don't even want to count the users. I've consulted for multiple companies when BES first came out and that's when I first started getting my hands dirty with it and learning the different tricks you could do with it. 4.1 was my first blessing as that's when it became really addictive to me and now I'm really excited to see what 4.1+sp5 and OS 4.5 will allow us to do when the new OS comes out for the devices that I support which are mostly AT&T Curves.

How/When did you come up with the idea to start a BlackBerry Outage site?
I first tried to start the BB-Outage mail list about 4 years ago but it never really took off for some reason and I believe that's because it was still not really a regular everyday person device and more business oriented. I started the list back up again at the beginning of the major outage that we had back in 2007 and the list really took off from there. Then we decided to separate it and get it on it's own domain name so we registered a few different ones so we have more freedom to do different types of lists under other names. 

Who should visit this site and what can they expect to find there?
First off, the site is totally a NON-Profit site, any money that is donated or raised goes right back into the cost of running it such as bandwidth, hardware, etc. We do offer advertising on the site with banners and companies can choose to sponsor a particular list if they choose.

The site should really appeal to anyone that uses a BlackBerry device more then anything else but we also don't just report on RIM outages but also carrier outages such as AT&T's latest issues just after the iPhone was released.

We have RSS feeds of all out mail lists for people so they can have their favorite reader setup to get the latest reports. Our archives are public so people can go back and look at past issues. We've been told that many companies have a RSS feed app setup on their companies help desk so they are aware of any outages or issues which in time saves them time.

We have 5 moderators from around the globe so we have someone available 24/7 to approve posts to the list since the primary bb-outage list is fully moderated except for a very select few people. The people that help run the lists are very knowledgeable and respected people in the BlackBerry community.

All of our lists are public and info on each one can be found at

How has the site been received? Lots of subscribers?
So far we've had great feedback from the community and regular consumers. Our traffic rate is nice and out subscriber base grows daily. We are known more for the Outage list then anything else although since the release of SP5 last week, the BES-Admins list seems to have kicked up a notch or to as far as traffic and subscribers. Each time there seems to be a issue with a carrier or RIM has a scheduled outage, our subscribers grow at a much more rapid pace as I'm sure you can imagine which in turn makes a little more work for out mods as we need to look at each message and make sure that it's revenant to the issue at hand. We really don't want a lot of people replying back saying they are working fine and don't see an issue as that just really doesn't help all the time but at the same time it does help us determine if it's a carrier outage or if it's a regional outage such as the one last Friday.

Thanks for the interview Audit! 

Be sure to visit and sign up for their mailing list to stay on top of the data game. Of course we hope another big RIM outage won't happen, but there's a saying I like to quote from one of my favorite books, The Alchemist: "Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time." At least with you'll have the inside scoop - especially if I by chance sleep in that day and am slow to report it in the blogs!