I am here to tell you that RIM did a bang up job on the BlackBerry WES party. With the drinks flying and the music of Will.I.am blaring, you can imagine the stories would be flying. Yeah, I’ll say. But I am not here to talk about this girl dancing. (See pic above) I am here to talk about a man and a video. Nan Palmero is one of the best guys you will meet. We share alot of the same business philosophies and zeal for life.. Now with all that being said, why is he meriting his own post? Him and I were chatting and raving about the good energy that was in the room tonight. Here is how I remember the conversation.
Nan ” Will I am is putting on quite the show”
Me: “Yeah man. Although I do miss Fergie.”
Nan:” You know, I got this press pass and I wanna see how far this will get me. I am gonna try and get on stage.””
Me: “Never gonna happen. (Although in my mind I’m thinking – this dude has balls the size of church bells)
Nan: “Why not? I’m going up. I will probably get shut down but why not!”
Me: (thinking to myself. Dude you’re done. I got $20 on the big Jesse “the Body” Ventura grabbing him by his throat.) Alright go!
Next thing I know, he is walking toward the stage. I grab our trusty camera and I see him talking to the stage bouncer (FAIL) The bouncer looks at him and says “go ahead.” And he did and he never looked back. (Smart move) Now, I am mentally navigating him on where he should go. He is first stopping at the drummer. He is taking pure video and good quality. Ok, it’s been fun right? Shows over. I mean he can’t be actually thinking about going to film Will.i.am right? Oh snap! He walks over to Will and starts filming him. Will looks at him and gets back to business on the turntables. Nan tells him to keep working. At this point, I see the po-po waiting for Nan to come off the stage because they got a special prize for him. They stop him and completely are ready to yank him and his video but somehow he wiggles his way out of their midst. He looks at me and I am rooting for him like he is a special olympic hurdler winning his first goal. He is noyt interested in my salutations. He is beelined for the door. All he says is, Chad I gotta go. Follow me to the door. Now, I realize what is going on. He can’t stop or they may strip him for his film. I am happy to say he is a free man and I have the video of his stage presence with Will i am.
The new BlackBerry Tour was recently released for Verizon and Sprint and this August, RIM is launching the BlackBerry Curve 8520 on T-Mobile. If you’re lucky enough to have picked up a new device or you haven’t done these tweaks to your current BlackBerry, give them a look. They’ll certainly make you look like a BlackBerry genius at the office and potentially more attractive to the opposite sex.
1. BlackBerrys have a built in dictionary called Autotext. If you go to the Options (wrench icon) and select Autotext, you can add to the list. You can add shortcuts such as having the BlackBerry replace “ty” to “thank you” or “yw” to “you’re welcome.” Doing this will make you incredibly fast in your email and text responses.
2. The camera on your BlackBerry has keyboard shortcuts that allow you change options without going into the menu.
a. Spacebar – Cycle between automatic flash, turning it off or forcing the flash with the spacebar
b. Volume buttons – let you zoom in and out
c. SYM button – toggles the full screen view
3. There are a number of Twitter applications that you can pick up for your BlackBerry. Typically, you’ll find people using TwitterBerry, one of the first good Twitter apps. Now, I prefer the following applications because they’re much faster and they have additional functionality:
a. UberTwitter (free) – this is my current Twitter application. It’s fast, allows for re-tweets, allows you to look at trending topics and allows you add locations to your tweets and photos. Use your phone’s browser to get it from http://www.ubertwitter.com
b. SocialScope (free) – SocialScope is another great free BlackBerry Twitter app that has tabs for Twitter and Facebook and allows for re-tweets. Get more information at http://www.SocialScope.net
c. TweetGenius ($5) – TweetGenius is the best looking BlackBerry Twitter application from Boy Genius. TweetGenius lets you track users and perform Twitter searches, among other features. You can see screenshots and purchase at http://www.thetweetgenius.com
4. Do you want to read your news feeds, check the weather, sports and flight status all from one place? Do you think free applications are the best ones? If you answered yes to these questions, then you should check out Viigo at http://www.getviigo.com/nan through your BlackBerry Browser.
5. Your BlackBerry is capable of streaming internet radio and again, it’s free! Point your BlackBerry Browser to Pandora http://www.pandora.com or my favorite, Slacker at http://www.slacker.com. You can set up your station on your computer, and then login with the same credentials on your BlackBerry for the same experience. Additionally, Slacker allows you to save the stations to your memory card for listening when your phone isn’t able to connect to the network, such as flying in a plane.
Keep an eye out on this blog for more BlackBerry tips and applications to help you maximize your device at little to no cost to you. Enjoy your new knowledge and ask questions in the comments or on Twitter.
Welcome to the first installment of Nan the Power User. You’ll see me pop in from time to time with reviews, tips, tricks and ideas with a business twist. I’m the Chief Inspiration Officer at Salesby5, a marketing and consulting group in San Antonio, TX, where we dramatically increase sales for companies and organizations. Additionally, I am quite the BlackBerry fanboy/evangelist. I’ll welcome feedback and new ideas; I always like to try new things! One of my weapons of choice in connecting with others is to use Twitter.
Connecting with People
In the recent past, there have been small windows of accessibility to the people you aspire to connect with. If you think back, sending a letter was a great way to connect with someone. Then, we evolved into sending these letters via fax because it was more time efficient. Now, looking back, faxes seem ancient compared to sending an email. Those that led the way on using these technologies were able to cut through the noise and connect with the right people. Today, the new window to access people is Twitter. I call it a window because, like the previously named methods of communication, it’ll be ruined by the noise of too many people and will close as a great way to connect.
For those of you that haven’t heard, Twitter allows you to talk to your friends and strangers, 140 characters at a time. This medium requires you to be to the point, which is important since the average human is hit with over 3,000 messages per day. It isn’t that we are too dumb to process information, it is merely a matter of scarcity – there is not enough time to deal with so many words!
Due to Twitter being hip to API’s and allowing people to develop applications to attach to their service, we have so many ways to access Twitter. Although this isn’t close to an exhaustive list, some of the BlackBerry Twitter clients include TinyTwitter, Twibble and TwitterBerry. Each of these applications allows you to post, check out your timeline and the public timeline, send direct messages and more. Some people prefer the location aware Twibble, while others prefer TinyTwitter’s ability to hide ultra chatty-friends from time to time (yeah, I’m looking at you @guykawasaki). My personal favorite is TwitterBerry. I like the layout of the screen for the timeline because the pictures aren’t too big and the font size is just right to be able to fit more tweets on the screen. Additionally, @jaschroe is working on auto-updating feeds and notifications. I would also love to see the ability to temporarily hide friends.
Today, on Twitter, you can meet new vendors, CEOs, CIOs, authors, bloggers, techies, freaks and geeks. During the course of my day, I am able to ping new folks to connect for a drink or a quick meeting. To date, I have developed relationships with world class thought leaders because I spent the time to send a “tweet” that was genuine.
Sharing Your Life
As I mentioned, I live in Texas. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to see rattlesnakes, armadillos, or Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs. Using TwitterBerry lets me share those experiences with people all around the world who would likely be fascinated by such occurrences. Just because it’s everyday life for me, doesn’t mean that it is for you as well. When I share these sights and sounds on Twitter via TwitterBerry or Twitpic, it weaves my existence more tightly into yours and gives us a bond that we didn’t have before. Recently, I attended CTIA. From there, I tweeted the keynote highlights as they were spoken. Later, I decided to walk from my hotel to the famous Lombard St. I tweeted my progress and supplemented the walk with photos via Twitpic, a service that lets me post pictures to Twitter. My Twitter followers were ecstatic. They basically felt as if they were riding along on my shoulder learning new information from CTIA as it was announced (before the media was able to do so), and later, they received a photo tour of my walk. This scenario would not have been possible without TwitterBerry and its abilities to receive replies and direct messages. Standard texting would have been a hassle due to the number of text messages I would receive in reply.
Bottom line: You don’t necessarily have to be important, powerful or good looking. Being authentic and slightly ahead of the curve—in this instance via Twitter/TwitterBerry—is allowing me to share my life with more people, connect with people who I would not be able to reach in a different mode and find new people who are an asset to my life. I’d say that’s a great use of technology!
Welcome back to Nan the Power User, where I blend my passion for BlackBerry use with a bit of a business twist. Today, we’re going to talk about a mashup that I use to minimize my email clutter by using Viigo, my RSS reader of choice. If you are confused about what RSS means to you, look no further than the excellent video explanation from Common Craft. No time? Here’s the quick rundown. Similar to push email on your BlackBerry, instead of you going out to your favorite websites to see if there is new information, the data is pushed to you from your choices. Even though many of us in the BlackBerry Nation love using Viigo, there are still those companies and organizations that send out email newsletters and updates. What I’m excited about is being able to dump those email updates and newsletters into Viigo, so I can minimize the clutter in my inbox. To do so, I use a website called Mailbucket.org. Mailbucket allows me to convert standard email newsletters (actually just about any email) into an RSS feed. I then plug in the RSS (XML) feed into Viigo. So now I not only receive newsletters, but I have also chosen to receive Google Alerts on myself and my clients via Viigo. If you haven’t set up Google Alerts for yourself and your clients, you are missing out on a great opportunity to be a more important part of their lives. When new articles appear for each of your clients, drop them a line to congratulate them on their hard work and achievements; you’ll be surprised at how often you’ll be the first or the only one. This type of honest appreciation for their work can mean the difference you need to beat out your competitor, because you’ve branded yourself as an asset. You should know what information is available about you on the Internet. It gives you a great opportunity to quickly fix any information that may be incorrect.
Another benefit of using Viigo is the timely coverage of important events that it provides. Some of the coverage that Viigo provides includes election coverage, WES and BBDC. These special additions allow attendees of these events to better schedule their conference sessions. Typically, these updates are available with a special download from Viigo. How to create an RSS feed via mailbucket.org Say Ashley would like to set up Google Alerts for herself as an RSS feed. She would do the following:
• Come up with an original name for her email that others might not use such as firstname.lastname@example.org (it will always be @mailbucket.org) • Go to Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts), fill out the form and enter the email address as email@example.com • Now, she would go to Viigo > Add Channel > Enter URL > then she would enter http://mailbucket.org/ashley1019.xml (she could also enter a custom title, such as Google Alerts – Ashley)
One more thing, don’t lose all the feeds you have set up and customized. Your feeds are portable and will come with you as long as you set up a user name and password. Not sure how? Go to the Menu > Options > Account and complete the registration there. As a special treat for all you Power Users out there, here’s a look at how Viigo will look on the upcoming BlackBerry Storm.
Do you have a great way you use your BlackBerry for business that others may not have thought about? Is there a better way of doing what I did? Drop me a line, I might love it and write it up!
Welcome back, BlackBerry Nation, to Nan the Power User! Today, we are going to check out Momentem from Redwood Technologies. Momentem is time tracking software that helps you squeeze every last drop of billable time from your BlackBerry. Let me start by disclosing that I typically don’t purchase software for my BlackBerry. I’m a deal hunter who looks for free apps or beta tests to slide in for free. Further, monthly subscriptions scare me more than rattlesnakes in the floorboard of the Jeep at the ranch. (Everyone else is folksy these days; I wanted to take a stab at it.) So when I was asked to check out Momentem at $9.99 per month, I was prepared not to like it.
As a business consultant, I am bombarded with emails and phone calls throughout the day. Many of them are read and answered via my BlackBerry. Whether you realize it or not, this can be a parasitic loss to you when you bill for your time. Sure, you think you just fired off that email in a moment or two, but over the course of a day, week, month and year, these little increments of time add up.
How Momentem Works:
Once you have installed Momentem, it sits quietly, running in the background. You enter the minimum time that a call and email message should be to be considered billable, as well as what you charge for an hourly rate. You can also go back and edit this if you want to raise the threshold for the software.
When you either have a call or an email, regardless of whether it is inbound or outbound, Momentem jumps into action asking you if you want to Tag It, Not Now, Dismiss or Add to the Ignore List. “Tag It” allows you to assign a contact, project cost and time to that call or email address. The duration is calculated for you automatically both on calls and emails. Emails are timed on how long you read the message and how long it took you to respond. You can even add notes to the charge. “Not Now” lets you procrastinate and tag it later. “Dismiss” removes it from the Not Now list, say for a personal call or email, and “Add to the Ignore List” is perfect for when you’re in touch with your significant other, as they are not usually the type of people you bill.
I was worried about potential crashes, and that my BlackBerry might experience slowdowns due to the software. I also feared an overall sense of annoyance by having the software on my device. Fortunately, none of those issues were true at all. It is easy to close the pop up window if I am hammering out calls or emails, simply by pressing the back or end key again. Momentem took the brush off gracefully each time by putting that activity in the Not Now list for me to process later. And process later I did. At my leisure, I was able to hit up Momentem and go through my Not Now list and file those calls and emails into the proper place. It was as if the software said, “I know you’re busy and important, so I’ll put these aside for now and we can do the dirty work later.” After you’re finished processing, Momentem provides the option to run a report and check your progress at any point in the month or you may export your time sheet as an Excel spreadsheet via email. Very cool.
Momentem does have some quirks that deserve a mention. At present, Momentem allows you to attach a project to a client, but it does not create a universal project list that can be selected for each new contact. So if I am working on a project with multiple people in an organization, the Project list does not provide a drop down to select that project name, and I have to enter it over again for each contact I am working with at that particular company. Also, Momentem does not synchronize your BlackBerry contacts directly into its contact list. Instead, it will only show you the phone number or email address (this is coming very soon in a future release, ed.). Then, when you choose to add that person as a Momentem contact, it will populate it for you from your BlackBerry contact list. It seems to me that the program should be able to connect these two address books in your device, but maybe there are technical challenges that RIM has placed. One other issue was that while calls would indicate whether they were incoming or outgoing, emails did not specify.
That would be a nice touch.
The Bottom Line:
These small frustrations aside, I am pleased to recommend Momentem. It is a rock solid piece of software that ensures that I am able to bill to the maximum of my abilities while using my BlackBerry. The integration is excellent overall. It makes my billing easier at the end of the month because the accountability level is very high. Additionally, it never became an annoyance; instead it became better every time I used it. I can say that this is the first piece of software on my BlackBerry that I’ve used which quickly pays for itself. Here’s some quick breakeven math with a few billable rate options:
$100 per hour = 6 minutes of calls or emails to break even in a month
$75 per hour = 8 minutes of calls or emails to break even in a month
$50 per hour = 12 minutes of calls or emails to break even in a month
$25 per hour = 24 minutes of calls or emails to break even in a month
Do yourself a favor and see what you’re missing. Momentem is the way to go for people that bill for their time. Congratulations Redwood, you broke me of my distaste for monthly subscriptions; I’m a believer.
As an extra bonus, I have a small wish list that I would like to send over to the folks at Redwood Technologies. If you are using Momentem, leave us a comment on what you might want to see in the next release.
– Provide the Excel script to allow people who bill in increments that are smaller than an hour so they can maximize their time, instead of aggregating their time at the end of the month (thanks, Ralph).
– Add keyboard shortcuts
– Add BES integration, so time is also tracked when you’re on your computer
– Add a link on your website with tips and tricks instead of only allowing it on the device
Today I received my Sprint BlackBerry Tour and it’s amazing. But, you’re not here for a review, you’re here because you want to unlock your Sprint BlackBerry Tour. Here’s what you do. Thanks to my friend at CIO.com, Al Sacco, I knew the steps to unlocking it. Fortunately, the good folks at Sprint will walk you through the process as well. Here’s what I did to unlock the SIM slot on the Sprint BlackBerry Tour.
Call Sprint International Support – (817) 698-4199, prompt #2
Ask them if they’d kindly unlock your SIM slot on your BlackBerry Tour
Turn off your wireless network connection on the Tour (yes, you’ll have to call from another phone)
Click on Options > Advanced Options > SIM Card
The representative should give you a 16-digit code
Thank the representative for their help
Reboot your phone and you’re ready to go
There you have it! It took me about 5 minutes to get my phone unlocked. I tested my Sprint BlackBerry Tour with a T-Mobile SIM card and was able to access the web, use BlackBerry Messenger and send and receive messages.
You’ve spent time building up your Autotext entries to make it really easy to fire off a “thank you” or “you’re welcome.” You’ve invested time in building up your Password Keeper with entries for the Jonas Brothers Fan Club and you’ve got 50+ friends on your BlackBerry Messenger. Life is good, especially because you’re on a BES and your contacts, calendars, tasks and notes are being synced back to the server. Now, a new OS pops up and you want to update. You get IT’s blessing to do this, but then you remember those parts of your BlackBerry that are going to be wiped out. When you plug your phone into your computer, fire up Desktop Manager and try to back up certain parts of your device, you get this: