Thursday, 28 June 2012

RIM posts first loss in 7 years, considers splitting firm

So I have been and continue to be a very avid Blackberry user, and have happily used a BlackBerry for almost 5 years now. So when I saw the latest news that RIM have posted a loss and are on the brink of splitting their company I thought, that is so not the right thing to do. That brings us to this blog post.

OK so RIM  are taking a battering from other handsets, particularly Apple and Android handsets with profits falling to the brink of staff cuts, almost 5000 at the time of writing.

What I find funny and quite annoying is that RIM hired JP Morgan to come up wth strategy to save the company, and what did they come up with, yes you guessed it staff cuts and possbly splitting the firm in two. One for the handsets and one for messaging. This advice is so far from what RIM need to do its laughable.

Remember RIM you need to spend money to make money, making your company smaller is not the way to go to increase profits.

Now here is what is wrong and what should be done, well kinda.
  1. Firstly the problem is that RIM have failed to keep up to date with the continued move into applications, and that has left the Blackberry OS too far behind the competition. So people like myself who use a blackberry are in a position where we can not get the same amount applications for our handsets. Answer open up the development of applications for the Blackberry OS, but dont go too far as to make it opensource. 
  2. On the apps front, dont just port old apps to your new operating sytem, develop new applications to keep up with the times, porting is good but you need new innovations.
  3. Now it appears to me that RIM are totally missing the spot when it comes to keeping up to date with their market, the mobile phone market has changed since they first came around and although messaging has moved on, RIM and the Blackberry handsets have not, and are still targeting older users with enterprise solutions, however alot of handset sold are to young people, and in some cases mid to late teens if not younger. This is the market that RIM is missing out on, although alot of people use BBM their overal handset use is limited to this and this alone, and as this is where the RIM story began they need to focus more on how this can be utilised.
  4. Email, simple really RIM are not fully pushing the fact that their handsets are still the best for Email as they operate true push email, no other handset offer this type of email with the service and experience that RIM does. So as the world is continuing to move towards mobile workers, I dont see how they can be making such huge losses. This market would allow RIM to kinda burn the candle at both ends, by targeting people who want to use mobile email.
Splitting the Company. Dont Do It!!

Ok word of warning to RIM, don't split your company into two, as you cannot have Blackberry Messaging and Email without the handset, so in splitting the company and lets say selling the handset side will only lead to problems, due to the loss of control of the one thing that makes RIM and Blackberry unique the "Blackberry" handset. This will also lead to increased costs in the future as who ever did buy the handset side, will either expect payment for RIM to use Blackberry services on their handset, or and this is more likely they will pay a license fee for the use of Blackberry service, this fee will be less that the current income RIM makes from handset and messagin licensing to service providers.

So in short RIM dont split up your company, as you cannot have Blackberry messaging without the handsets.

In Closing

OK so I have loads of ideas that could save RIM, and before you go saying "what do I know" I have worked with some of the largest companies on the planet, Orange, Microsoft, Google to name but a few and have always been able and continue to spot opportunities and bring saving and improvement to companies, and not by cutting staff.

In a nutshell RIM needs to give up the idea of splitting the company, and look to add a better offering of applications to its arsenal, and finally broaden the target market, push the likes of BBM and its benefits, mainly cost compared to SMS, to the younger generation and push the benefits of a true push email experience to the slightly olders users, also make people aware that in order to use Blackberry email you dont need to have enterprise architecture to support it.

So Thorsten Heins if your reading this and want to save RIM, you know where I am and only have to ask. I dont even charge anywhere near as much as JP Morgan, but always get results.

Thanks
Sean J Connolly

 FaceBook Me
Follow Me @potissimus

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

FaceBook Develops Inbuilt SPAM System aka Gives Users Personal Email Addresses

You may or may not have seen that FaceBook recently issued all users with their own FaceBook email address.

What does this mean?

What in essence it means is that you now have an email address you can use with the FaceBook messaging system, the email takes the form of {username}@facebook.com and any email sent to that email will appear in your FaceBook messages, just like direct messages sent via FaceBook.

This does means that now your FaceBook account is freely open to receive SPAM from people who are not your facebook friends, so get ready for the marketing material.

Why?

This email is an attempt by FaceBook to further get people to use the website and become more relient on FaceBook, by bringing use of the website into your main stream life. So no longer will you ust use FaceBook to keep up to date with your friends, but you will now use it for direct communications with people that may not be your FaceBook friends.

It is a direct attempt by FaceBook to increase the user numbers and use of the website, as they continue to face an uphill struggle to define exactly what FaceBook is and where it fits into peoples lives. This now takes a direct attack on GMail and other email systems, but just on a different style and a direct attempt to increase user engagement on FaceBook.

Its not so bad though as it does mean that you can use FaceBook as your messaging system and not get stuff you dont want to your main account.

What if I dont like this?

First off you have the email address no matter what, and as its free so I would just leave it at that and either use it or not, its your choice.

The only thing I would say is that your FaceBook email will now be shown on your profile as your default email, so if you dont want to use it you need to change this back to your original email address, which is straight forward, just do the following.
  1. Go to your profile page on FaceBook i.e facebook.com/you, either go to your private facebook url directly or just click your name on the right of the facebook screen.
  2. Click on the about section, the bit with your work, education, location, etc on the left handside under your name and profile pic.
  3. Scroll down to to the Contact info section, just on the right below your basic info, click on Edit.
  4. You should now see a popup with all your emails listed at the top.
  5. Next to the FaceBook email click next to the circle and change the option in the drop down to hidden from timeline, then if you want an email shown on your timeline, next to the one you want click next to the circle with a line through it and select shown on timeline.
  6. Then just scroll down and click save.
Thats it you are now showing your original email rather than your FaceBook one.

SPAM

Now here is my prediction for the FaceBook email future, in one word SPAM. by using peoples usernames means that anyone can create a huge email list of facebook users, and anyone with any development skill at all and using the FaceBook Open Graph API can now harvest a vast amount of email addresses, to which they can send spam, in fact just by spending sometime on FaceBook can turn up usernames and thus email addresses.

What this means is that unlike normal email systems with inbuilt SPAM filters the email system is an open door to crap, and the most you get is a small yellow triangle warning you of the inability to authenticate the sender. But you still get the SPAM. You dont have to be friends with people to send them FaceBook email, so lets open the FaceBook SPAM floodgates.

Thanks
Sean J Connolly
 FaceBook Me
Follow Me @Potissimus

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Twitter, Celebrities and Not Following

I love twitter and have been using it for years. I find it better to use than other social media sites, it my short sharp shock of update for the people I am interested in.

If you want to follow me please do http://twitter.com/SeanJC

First off I am going to talk about what I think is wrong with Twitter.

My Thoughts for Twitter Followers and Following Rules

You may or may not know that Twitter has rules about how many people you are allowed to follow based on the amount of people that follow you, the ratio is basically 200% you can follow twice as many people that follow you. For example if you have 10 followers you can follow 20 people.

Now in my view this is just wrong, I think you should be able to follow as many people as you like, after all Twitter is all about keeping up to date with people that you are interested in, just like a bit of mini news if you like, and you should be able to follow 1 million people is you wish.

I think these rules need to change and what I think should happen is that, as Twitter is about following and followers, I think that you should only be able to have people follow you if you follow people. Now I am not saying that you should be forced to follow everyone back, but I think that in order to allow new followers you should be first following a percentage of your followers.

Lets say in order to get new followers you need to be following at least 10% of the amount of people that follow you. For example if you have 100 people following you, you should not be able to get any more new followers until you follow 10 people or 10% of your followers.

I also think that in order to keep your Twitter account active you must be made to Tweet often, say every 30 days. After all Twitter is about a live interaction and social news feed and if your feed gets of out date it becomes a bit pointless, or if your feed is empty that is also a bit useless. This could be slightly modified to say you have to at least tweeted once and then maybe just log in to your account ever month.

Now after using twitter for quite a while I have noticed that there are a few things that I dont understand, these are

1. Celebrities

Now love em or hate em they are part of our life and they use twitter, well most of them do. The thing I dont like or understand for that matter is that why do some celebrities only follow fellow celebs, and all their tweets are directed at fellow celebs. Whats the point in that? I mean do they really think that their fellow celeb is going to buy their album? probably not. This excludes everyone else as Twitter is the ideal platform to get your message out, so just make sure you get it to all you followers and don't annoy most of them by excluding them in your tweets.

Another think I hate is Z listers, you know the type the TV personalities who think they are actually A list celebrities, if you ever tweet them they ignore you and again only follow other celebs, and all tweets are between them and other celebs. Twitter is not your personal little communication tool, I mean if they really knew other celebs personally they would be able to SMS them or even call them on the phone.

Seems the only time you see celebrities talking to non celebrities is when someone throws some abuse at them and they will respond, but if you send a message of well done or something similar it gets ignored. Reminds me of Rolf Harris, he was part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in the UK, and I sent him a tweet saying well done, did I get a reply, no, but someone who throw some abuse at him got into a full conversation on Twitter with him.

So my advise to celebrities on twitter is simple, first off use Twitter yourselves, dont farm it out to your PR person and secondly respond to your followers, even if you get a million @'s a day these people are your bread and butter so don't annoy them.

I have to say a big thank you to @SuziPerry (Gadget Show Presenter) she takes the time to respond to her followers and is a lesson to other celebrities, it only takes a few seconds to say thanks.

2. Constant Promotion

Now celebrities are not the only ones guilty of this, I find on Twitter there is nothing worse than people that only tweet stuff about themselves, by this I mean such as links to their website, or shouting about their latest album coming out. Twitter is a great way for everyone no matter where you are in life to connect, so I wish people would stop using it as an advertising tool and nothing else.

Dont get me wrong, people follow you for a reason, and they will be interested in your latest blog post, website, album or whatever, but this must be mixed with other tweets, stuff in general about what you are doing and alike.

3. Not following Anyone

Now this is where the whole world of Twitter really goes bad, the people on Twitter who don't follow anyone or only follow a few people. This totally defeats the point in Twitter, the idea of Twitter is to keep up to date with other people and share your world, if you are not following anyone that only means you are only interested in yourself and self promotion.

In my experience celebrities are the biggest people to do this, off the top of my head Stephen Colbert @StephenAtHome (who presents the Colbert Report) is following no one, another one of the top of my head is JK Rowling @JK_Rowling (the Harry Potter Author) she is only following one other Twitter user, her Harry Potter account. I think you get the picture these people need to wake up and stop being so arrogant, if they are not interested in others people will stop being interested in them.

Thanks for Reading
Sean J Connolly
 FaceBook Me

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