5 Forms of Apple Link Bait

Apple iPhone 4s 3rd August 2012 12:09.53pm
Image by dennoir

Everyone wants to talk about tomorrow’s iPhone 5 announcement. Why bother trying to compete?

Instead, let’s “newsjack” the iPhone 5 reveal with a fun post lampooning the most common forms of Apple link bait! Here we go:

1) Find a “Lost” iPhone/iPad Prototype

“We found this prototype iPhone in the restroom of a Palo Alto bowling alley.”

Come on! Does anybody believe these iPhones find stories anymore?
Continue reading “5 Forms of Apple Link Bait”

2012 Trend Spotting: Grieving Blackberry

Chart ws stock researchinmotionltd 20111216123240 top
Image by CNN

By all accounts, 2012 will be the year that Blackberry’s decline dramatically increases. Most analysts and even parent company Research In Motion’s SEC filings see Blackberry dropping out of the top tier of smartphones, surrendering the market to the Apple iPhone and the many Google Android operating system-based phones.

Because Blackberry has been a very strong brand, one that basically brought the Internet to phones in the form of email and casual web browsing, expect to hear a lot of complaining. People love their Blackberries!

But unfortunately, the company was never able to respond to tactile input technology and the subsequent mobile application revolution created by Apple and then Google. Users have little choice with Blackberry’s increasingly obsolete operating systems if they want a modern smartphone with the best technology.

The decline has been an ugly one. When the iPhone first launched, Blackberry was slow to react, chugging along with its 1.0 email monster.

BlackBerry Storm
Image by StrebKR

Finally, after the phone took off, Blackberry began to evolve towards touch screen interfaces. By then Android had launched. While Android is often considered an iPhone knock off, it was extremely competitive from an innovation standpoint and cost effective. It became the iPhone answer instead of a touch Blackberry.

Research In Motion responded by cutting costs to incredibly low levels, which buoyed sales into 2011. However, low costs, a revamped operating system and attempts to build a Blackberry only mobile social network and application marketplace have failed to stem the iPhone Android tide.

The final blow appears to be the failure to deliver yet another new operating system — Blackberry 10 — until late 2012. With market share rapidly deteriorating, Blackberry needed a turn around now, not in nine to 12 months. And so it seems apparent that in 2012 we will be hearing a lot about Research In Motion and Blackberry’s fall from grace, and their desperate last attempt to stay relevant.

Grieving Blackberry

Personally, I have never really liked the Blackberry platform. Instead, I preferred a Palm or Windows phone during the 1.0 era, and the iPhone and Android phones in the 2.0 era.

RIM Bullfrog

However, as a wireless reporter in the late 90s, I remember Research In Motion when it launched. The original Research in Motion device, a Bullfrog, was this innovative clam shell pager with a QWERTY keyboard. It was the size of a Big Mac!

Soon after they added voice capability, and became a start-up legend offering a phone that beat the big boys like Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung. The Blackberry revolutionized telecommunications, just as its current nemesis the iPhone has. It’s place in history should not be forgotten.

What are your memories of the Blackberry?

Evolving with an Independent Fifth Estate

Colours [Explored 2008-05-26   #451]

Organizations can experience success within their social communities, and feel like they have arrived (colors image by cjnzja). They have mastered the crowd. Given how difficult building a community can be, it’s easy to fall into this trap.

Consider how Nokia built the very successful Mosh social community for third party phone platform development. Then Mosh became a community for the phone company’s online store and the excitement died down quickly.

People — including those that comprise the vociferous Fifth Estate — are complex. No one person has a singular area of interest in a particular subject matter. People like or don’t like the arts, sports, civic activity, working, parenting, family, etc., etc. To assume that as an organization we can capture their interest and own it is, well, short sighted at best.

In reality, the Fifth Estate may become aligned with an organization for a period of time, then they move on. As Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff noted in their book Groundswell, the community’s support can rise and fall with the moment. Engaging interested Fifth Estate members in a conversation about a cause or a company’s products & services over a long period of time is extraordinarily difficult.


The summer of 2010 saw a viral success with the Old Spice Guy, a series of advertisements mixed with social media that featured a shirtless buff actor making witty quips about manliness towards ladies. The Internet was awash in buzz and discussion with people eager to get a response from the Old Spice guy in video or on Twitter. By the autumn, the buzz started dying down as the concept aged and then Old Spice switched the ad campaign targeted towards men with football spokespersons.

In the U.S. cause space, more than 2.5 million charities compete for volunteers. According to the National Conference on Citizenship, 62 million Americans volunteered with a nonprofit between 2007 and 2009. Yet, 18.6 million people took action with their neighbors independent of a 501c3 to fix a community problem (29% of the larger 501c3 volunteer base). Even with an overcrowded nonprofit sector, causes cannot convince a great majority of Americans to seek out and/or stay with them as their volunteering vehicle.

In the 2009 movie, George Clooney as Ryan Bingham said, “There’s nothing cheap about loyalty.” Building and then keeping a community engaged requires dedication, a commitment to serve, with an eye on moving with the community’s interests. There’s no better example than online communities that sustain interest over years of time, and even more impressive are those that crowdsource for sustained periods of time.

The above is draft material for my next book, Welcome to the Fifth Estate (the follow up to Now Is Gone, which is almost out of print). Comments may be used in the final edition. You can download the first drafted chapter of the new edition — Welcome to the Fifth Estate — for free.