When millions of BlackBerry subscribers in the Western hemisphere realized their addictive little devices weren't sending or receiving e-mail last night, ths stage was set for a somewhat eventful day.
Step 1: My phone rings as I'm dropping the kids off at school. Business News Network (formerly Report On Business Television) wants to change the focus of an interview that had already been scheduled for later that morning. BlackBerry is now the top topic. Can do. I was interviewed by Lisa Oake on the Market Morning show. The interview can be seen here.
And because one TV hit is never enough, CTV Toronto pulls a clip from the BNN interview and drops it into a report by John Musselman. They misspell my name as "Karmi" because, well, I'm not quite sure. I guess the lack of BlackBerry service affected the old fact-checking desk. Or something like that. But it gave my friends in Toronto a serious laugh, so it was worth it in the end.
Step 2: My phone rings again. It's our PR team at the office. We're sending out a press release. From the school's parking lot, we confirm talking points as I get ready to drive back to the house to set up a command post on my kitchen table. It's shaping up to be a fun day.
Step 3: Pat the dog in the back seat for being such a good boy. We brought him in the car with us this morning, part of our strategy to get him used to being out and about. Open the sunroof, plug the iPod into the stereo and crank some Delerium (yeah, I'm odd) and kick the wondervan into drive. I've got my priorities, after all.
Step 4: Arrive home. The press release is out (News Brief: Service outage for BlackBerry email a rude awakening for users today.) E-mail and voicemail are already waiting for me from reporters eager to get my take on what this means to the future of the world (short answer: it's still spinning at the same rotational velocity, and the sun seems to be setting in the same place it did last night, so it certainly wasn't catastrophic.) Our daughter woke up looking as green as the just-awakening lawn outside our front door. So she hung out with me while I fielded enough journo inquiries to fill my beloved old Truman Show popcorn bowl. It's yellow and I'm never giving it up. But I digress.
Step 5: Look at my watch. It's well after 5. The wreckage of an insane day of BlackBerry jam hunting is strewn throughout the kitchen. I'm strangely at peace, likely because my own BlackBerry is powered off and stuffed deep in the bottom of my camera bag. I fetch the dog and take him for a walk. Priorities, again.
When all was said and done, I ended up being quoted in another bunch of incredibly cool places. Here are some highlights:
- Wojtek Dabrowski from the Toronto Reuters office interviewed me for his piece, RIM gets N.America BlackBerry email working again. As it's a wire service, it ran far and wide: Washington Post, National Post, San Diego Union-Tribune, Epoch Times, Ireland, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters India, Scientific American, eWEEK, Baseline.
- I spoke to InformationWeek senior editor Rick Martin for this piece: BlackBerry Shutdown Sends Danger Signal For RIM.
- The Globe and Mail included two pieces with my input:
1 - BlackBerry service restored, RIM says. Byline Tavia Grant
2 - What went wrong? I wrote this Q&A on what caused the outage and potential consequences.
Oh, and I think they're running a graphic that I helped create in tomorrow's paper. Fingers crossed.
- Canadian Press (CP) reporter David Friend interviewed me for the following piece: BlackBerry addicts all thumbs again: service restored after 12-hour outage. It ran in a bunch of places: CBC, The Ottawa Citizen, The Vancouver Sun, The Montreal Gazette, The Edmonton Journal, The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, 570News Kitchener, 680News Toronto, CJAD News Montreal (funny anecdote on this last one: I used to work there.)
- Daniel Del'Re from Investor's Business Daily interviewed me for his piece, Investors Dismiss BlackBerry Glitch.
- I spoke to Jeff Jedras for the ITbusiness.ca article, BlackBerry outage suggests IT infrastructure weakness: Analyst says RIM should reconsider centralized NOC model.
- Other electronic media hits included live radio interviews with Jeff Allan of 570News in Kitchener-Waterloo (this is notable because it's an hour up the road from my office, and this is the hometown of Research In Motion. RIM-related stories take on an added significance to local media, and it's always a special treat to be interviewed by K-W media. I also did a live hit with Mike Stafford from 640News in Toronto.
Your turn: So, what do you think about the BlackBerry outage? Big deal or not? Should I work from my kitchen table more often?