You made the mistake again. You’ve commented on some jerk’s status update that is getting a gazillion responses or you wrote “Congratulations!” after someone posted their first baby photo (you’ll be bored of their baby pictures in a week). Now you’re stuck because your stupid phone is exploding from all the follow up congratulatory nonsense making you regret your decision, but you’re away from a computer. As you watch your battery drain from the beating it’s taking from Facebook notifications, you swear that you’ll NEVER.COMMENT.AGAIN. I’m here to save your (battery) life.
Facebook offers the option to “Unfollow Post” so you stop getting harassed with follow up notifications you don’t care about on their website. It’s easy to do on your computer but it hasn’t been integrated into the mobile site yet.
Good news! There’s a magical link that Facebook stashes away deep deep in the internet that lets you access the full desktop version of Facebook from your phone. It works on Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and probably anything else. Except Symbian. Even Jesus hates Symbian. Save this link on your phone or tablet for full desktop access of Facebook: http://bit.ly/fullfacebook Hitting this link on your computer is just going to take you to Facebook, there won’t be anything special. Be sure you do this on your phone.
When you need to unfollow a facebook post or untag a stupid photo that your terrible friend tagged you in, hit the link above from your mobile device and correct the situation. Share this with your friends and happy facebooking.
I’m a lucky guy. People contact me regularly because they need someone to talk to about changing jobs. These are people from all walks of life – older, younger, educated and not, those with “dream jobs” and those looking for a better life. We sit down either face-to-face, via phone or Skype and talk about their dreams and how they can take another step in achieving them. Dave Peckens and I have never met in person, but we’ve been in close contact for about a year or so where we share life. Dave’s outside of Detroit and remains a big dreamer – I see him as a super dad, a person that cares about the rebirth of Detroit and a passionate guy about his career. I asked Dave to share his progress with me and how he’s moved the needle.
What do you do to pay the bills?
I have been doing some form of technology support for over 15 years. Although this is not what I went to college for, it has always paid the bills nicely. In the past I’ve done everything from professional acting to pizza maker.
What happened a year ago to change your mind about who you wanted to be when you grew up?
When I grow up? I doubt that will ever happen, but since you’ve asked …
I’ve always been chasing the “what I want to be when I grow up” idea. As a child I never had any “active” support from my family, so I never pushed ambitions very far. Taking my years of tech support knowledge and flipping that into a freelance business was a natural progression. Plus it helps me spend more time doing what I love… being with my wife and children. And I still plan to open a pizzeria/bar restaurant some day.
What steps did you take to change your life?
I simply reached out to my network and asked “What do you see the Dave Peckens brand as”? And for years I’ve had multiple side projects in the wings waiting for some spotlight. The majority of the feedback received pointed to the BlackBerry and my flair for sharing mobile technology tips and tricks with people. So I took the corporate class I had been leading called the “BlackBerry Users Group” and took it public. The response has certainly kept me and my BlackBerryology business hopping.
What were some of the struggles that you faced in making this change?
When I started booking more consulting work it not only interfered with family time, but also my day job. What I have learned from this is how to best manage my time, to clearly understand the client’s needs, and to over-deliver on what is expected. Getting the word out and actually keeping freelance work consistent was also a challenge, but over time the positive testimonials and referrals have helped push this project forward.
What are some successes you’ve encountered?
I’m presently in the final round of the CrackBerry Idol competition on CrackBerry.com, an American Idol-type of contest where the contestants are voted on by the public, but here, instead of singing, we are writing BlackBerry review blog posts. Also, in terms of direct mobile technology consultation, I have repeatedly booked the same clients and that list continues to grow. It seems there is a thirst for this type of knowledge and delivery. (Dave won CrackBerry Idol)
How are things progressing?
I expect to have a new website launching soon. It will be more directly focused on marketing the services I offer.
What’s next for you?
Bottom line is to continue helping clients when and where I can, all while supporting my family both financially and emotionally. It’s a continual balancing act.
How can people support your continued path to success?
Winning that contest would be killer! (a good thing). Also, as I enjoy sharing knowledge and solving tough mobile tech issues, feel free to contact me (http://davepeckens.com) with your troublesome experiences. And when I finally open the doors to “Dave’s Pizza Emporium” come on down to enjoy a slice and beer!
A big thank you to Dave!
You may think you’re too far into your career, too far in debt or just too far gone to work towards what you want. I hope sharing Dave’s story will help you reconsider this position. If you take small steps daily, you can see exciting new things in your life, too. The first thing you need to do is decide that it is true.
Being an avid @foursquare player, I was tinkering on the website when I stumbled onto the page with a foursquare party, 16 new badges, foursquare swag and temporary tattoos. Track down the right people at the Sobe Lounge, Microsoft Bing Booth, IFC Crossroads House and SXSW Web Awards. Needless to say, I can’t wait to unlock these goodies and hopefully meet the folks from foursquare in Austin. Just a few more days, so we’ll see you in the ATX!
Yesterday, BlackBerry and I experienced a little turmoil in our relationship. I want to go on record right here, right now and apologize to the millions of people that experienced an outage due to my foolish mistake. Yesterday, BlackBerry came to me wearing a new pair of jeans that she had seen Lady Gaga wearing. For the record, @LadyGaga haunts my nightmares, she is often there, stealing my organs after @Pink has cold clocked me. Anyhow, BlackBerry came by the office to show me her new jeans and asked me the question every man dreads hearing “do I look fat in these jeans?” Not thinking clearly and having my truthful and analytical hat on, I slowly drew my eyes away from my computer screen, she turned around, I turned my head sideways like my dog Clunkers does when he’s confused and responded “yes, yes you do.” STUPID MISTAKE. She looked at me with fire in her eyes, the way she does from time to time (studies show she’s happy about 99% of the time) and said “you’re paying for this one and all your nerdy friends will too.” CRAP. I knew what that meant. Shortly there after I started receiving tweets, text messages, Facebook messages and even phone calls (GASP!) asking me what I had done. People were clearly upset. I felt like Tiger Woods as my four words turned into a trending topic on Twitter. Although the weather was warm in San Antonio, it was an icy night for me. BlackBerry asked me “How could you say such a thing!? Are you some kind of IDIOT!?” My slip of the tongue costs millions of you your addiction yesterday, causing massive withdrawals and anger, all due to me. I. AM. SORRY. I must have apologized to BlackBerry a thousand times. So what did I do to fix it? A home made dinner, a massage, I scrubbed toilets, read to her and was compassionate. I tried to speak as many love languages to her as I could… and it worked. This morning, she was as chipper as could be. She tried those jeans on again and asked me “so how do I look?” “Sweetie, you look beautiful.” So BlackBerry addicts, there you have it. That’s why your device didn’t work yesterday, I’ve now publicly apologized to you (she made me do that) and now all is well with the world. Welcome back to your addiction and Merry Christmas.
As you may (if you’re a nerd) or may not (not a nerd) have heard, RIM has rolled out BlackBerry Internet Service aka BIS 2.8. One of the features that has been added to this release is the ability to synchronize Gmail contacts to your device. Unfortunately, providers oftentimes don’t give you any notice that they’ve updated and finding the version of the BIS that you’re on can be a pain. Fortunately, I’ve dug up a way for you to be able to tell whether it’s been updated to BIS 2.8. Thanks to RIM’s help section, it explains where you can turn the contact synchronization on and off, via the menu system.
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 email@example.com (it will always be @mailbucket.org) • Go to Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts), fill out the form and enter the email address as firstname.lastname@example.org • 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!
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.