Despite doing all this blogging, tweeting, Facebooking malarkey, I remain something of a technophobe. Though I am regularly introduced when speaking as being ‘at the cutting edge of communication’ I am likely to be using scribbled notes, and have never used Power Point. ‘Power corrupts, Power Point corrupts absolutely’ usually raises a chuckle.
As Patrick Kielty discovered when he interviewed me about my phone at the Cheltenham Festival, it is an old Nokia held together by a rubber band. I use it for calls and texts. That’s it. I also have a Blackberry. I use it for email, photos and twitter. That’s it.
No doubt one day I will catch up with the App thing, but for now Research in Motion’s offer of a hundred dollars’ worth of Apps as recompense for last week’s Blackberry ‘outage’ serves merely to confirm I am not as modern and up-to-date technologically as may sometimes appear to be the case.
An aside: did the word ‘outage’ exist before? Who coined it? In what context? It is a nice word. It makes me think of gays outing themselves, and being happy about it. Might Harvey Milk have been a leader of the ‘outage movement’? … It certainly sounds a lot less serious than the collapse of a system that prevented millions of people from doing their business.
I was in the Balkans doing a couple of seminars on strategic communications and crisis management when the ‘outage’ was at its height. On the one hand I was grateful to have a real live example of how not to do crisis management. On the other, I was sharing the frustration of a room full of Blackberry users not sure what messages and opportunities they were missing. I tweeted ‘free advice’ to Blackberry – ‘explain while fixing, apologise when fixed, then think of recompense’.
The explanation hovered somewhere between non-existant and woeful (or woefuk as I typo’d on my ipad, from which I can also tweet). The apologies were late and lacking in impact. And now the recompense rather leaves me cold. Somehow the ability to play poker on my Blackberry doesn’t win back my heart.
Coincidentally, I am hosting the Software Satisfaction Awards tonight. I may throw in an extra one for Hardware Dissatisfaction. My brutal side may come out.
And yet, and yet … I will not be following the advice of all those tweeters who urged me to ditch the Blackberry for an iphone. I might, when the Nokia finally dies, and I need a new device for phone calls. But for email, I really don’t like the iphone or ipad keypad. Woefuk may have raised a few laughs, but it was just one of many typos I make when i-keypadding.
Blackberry have tested my patience to the limit through the ‘outage’, the lack of explanation, the mishandling, and the irrelevant recompense. There is also a pretty devastating assessment of it in the FT today by the editor in chief of Technology Review.
But I prefer the keypad. Simple as …
The bastards … they’ve got me.