Thursday, April 19, 2007

More BlackBerry jam

In yesterday's entry on my latest BlackBerry/media adventure, I touched on the fact that our daughter was home sick from school. This added another layer of uniqueness to the day.

She's 9, so leaving her home alone while I zinged off to a television studio to be interviewed simply wasn't an option. Besides, our puppy hasn't taken the babysitting certification course yet. So, late in the morning, I sealed my nomination for the all-time parenting hall of fame by dragging her nauseous self out of the house and forcing her to sit quietly off to the side while I spoke into a camera.

OK, it wasn't that bad. By then she had had time to eat some toast, nap on the couch and play with the furball. She was looking a little more herself by the time we were ready to head to the studio.

Quick aside about the studio: It's a state-of-the-art facility that belongs to the journalism department at the University of Western Ontario. When it isn't being used to train the next generation of media wizards, it's used for remote feeds for BNN, CTV, and a bunch of American networks. It's the main remote site for pretty much anyone in London who's asked to do live television.

The usual routine when you get there is simple: you sit down in the chair, they hook you all up, test for sound levels and then, when the time comes, you speak into a disembodied camera to an anchor located hundreds of miles away. It truly is a fascinating experience.

My daughter sat quietly on the far wall, watching the producer/cameraman get her dad ready for his brief moment in the media spotlight. I kept looking back to her to ensure she was fine - thankfully, she was. My initial fears that she'd inadvertently share her breakfast with the floor faded as I saw the child's wonder in her eyes. She silently took it all in, blue eyes as wide as saucers.

As we got closer to go-live time, I continued to steal glances back at her, asking her whether or not I looked like a doofus, making sure she didn't want to do the interview instead of me. We gave each other a quick thumbs-up as the producer in faraway Toronto counted down in my ear.

In the end, our too-sick-to-go-to-school daughter had a unique experience hanging around with me, and I suspect she ended up with images that, like those from my childhood when the pleasantly unexpected happened and I got to spend bonus time with my parents, she'll carry forward with her. I hope she remembers the moment as happily as I do.

In related news: There's more media fallout from yesterday's frenzy. Major stuff...

USA Today - allow me to pause, calmly, as I contemplate its circulation of 2.6 million. There, I feel at peace now. Let us continue...

Michelle Kessler interviewed me and wrote this article: BlackBerry outage exposes RIM's 'soft underbelly'. The paper used my quote for the headline - how cool is that? This is my first time appearing in USA Today, and it's a significant milestone because of its sheer size and reach. Fingers crossed that I somehow make it onto their reporters' speed dials.

(Oh, one more thing: if you've got a copy of today's - April 19 - USA Today, would you mind holding onto it for me? I wasn't able to find it in London. Weird!)

The Los Angeles Times - I spoke with Times Staff Writer James Granelli for this piece: BlackBerry outage leaves users thumb-founded. The article also carries Alex Pham's byline. Here's what I said:
Some customers might well have "dodged the bullet," said Carmi Levy, an analyst at Info-Tech Research Group in London, Canada.

The root cause of the outage, he said, was in the core network near Research in Motion's Waterloo headquarters in the province of Ontario. It caused a backup in e-mail that left the system unable to handle even the diminished traffic at that late hour.

"It raises questions about the robustness of the system," Levy said.
I spoke to David Friend from the Canadian Press for his followup piece, RIM keeps quiet as BlackBerry system appears to be returning to normal. I was a little on the judgmental side in this one:
Meanwhile, Internet message boards were buzzing with talk that some users still weren't receiving full service. Some were still reporting that old e-mails were trickling into the system because the outage was so large, according to Carmi Levy, senior research analyst at InfoTech Research Group.

"The company that provides proactive, real-time communications through its leading-edge smart phone devices seems to have dropped the ball," Levy said.

"This is the time you want to get in front of the media... to share your perspective with the world. They need to manage that messaging stream more effectively than they have."
This was also picked up by Newsday.

The Globe and Mail ran another story, RIM gets message from e-mail outage, in today's print edition (that's three separate hits in one paper, in case you're keeping score...happy dance time!) Catherine McLean got the byline, and what's cool about it is the graphic that accompanied it. I worked iteratively with Tara Perkins, and in the end she and her team on the business desk produced a unique illustration of how the service works. It's on the page that I've linked to above, and you can view it directly by clicking here. The full roundup from today's paper can be found here.

I think this covers most of the major hits. Over the next couple of days, I'll add links to any others in today's and yesterday's entries. If you're really curious, click here to see real-time search results on my name from Google News.

Your turn: A daughter's adventure with her dad. Please discuss why kids need to get a glimpse into their parents' work world every once in a while.

15 comments:

kenju said...

Michele sent me to say that we suspect your daughter will acrry that memory with her forever! And you have gone up a notch or two in her estimation, I am sure!

srp said...

Some professions are more conducive to "take the daughter to work day" than others. Yours is and that is great. Mine isn't. HIPPA and exposures and all that stuff.

She now has a wonderful "private" memory with her dad... no one else can share it... it will forever remain hers alone.. that in itself is a gift.

Jef said...

Congrats, Carmi! I'm doing the happy dance with you.

Reading about your daughter's experience with you at the studio reminded me a friend who has traveled the world doing missions work. He explained that the purpose is not to proseltyze, but to demonstrate beliefs and principles in action. It's not a dog & pony show. There's something powerful about watching our parents in action in environments we normally don't have the opportunity to see them in. It's like taking a candid snapshot of someone who doesn't realize a photographer is watching them.

Awareness said...

Hey there! Great coverage!

When my daughter started middle school in grade 6, she was only a couple of blocks away from her Dad's office. He works at the University Library. (UNB is MUCH smaller than Western) So, afterschool, she would walk over to his office and hang out doing homework etc until it was time to come home. At first I was reluctant to let her do this...walking on campus on her own etc, but it turned out several other kids were doing the same. She was rarely alone.
What it allowed her was a huge opportunity to feel right completely at home on campus and in the library, which I think will bode well when she is ready to make post secondary decisions. More importantly, she had an wide eye view of her Dad's work environment, and became quite close with some of his co-workers. My son will have the same opportunity in a year or so. He's really looking forward to it.
As well, both of my kids have "hung out" with me in my office (though never when I'm counselling), and have a very good idea of the kind of work I do. It has opened up their "world" so to speak to understand the breadth of need of others. They too have a comfort level with my co-workers, some of whom have known them since they were born and always take an interest in their lives.
As much as we need a picture in our heads of where they are, how they are, and who they are interacting with......they also need it.

caramaena said...

You're certainly getting a lot of media exposure lately!

I hope your daughter is feeling better now.

Blue Monkey Jammies said...

Hi Carmi.
Your daughter must've loved that. I have two daughters (11 & 8) and they had to tag along with me when they both had chicken pox at the same time. They drew flowers around the little pox marks all day.

Visiting via Michele today.

Heidi said...

Time with Dad... very cool. My pop worked in the school building where I went to junior high and high school. His office was an oasis for me. Helping him with different things made for some great experiences, privileges, and memories. Thankfully for some of the other staff, I knew his job (audio visual director) just well enough that when he had a heart attack and was out of work a while my senior year, I picked up the slack that I could.

Hope your daughter is feeling better. (You, too. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day.)

CG said...

I bet your daughter had a day she'll always remember.

MissMeliss said...

Carmi -

What a great experience for your daughter. I'm jealous though - I often had to stay home alone when I was her age. I think it was a slightly safer world then, though.

And wow - all this media you're doing. I almost feel like a fan-girl.

(Well, no, not really. Still, I think it's cool.)

Linda said...

How awesome that your daughter got to experience a little bit of what you do. How sad that it was through illness, though.

I'm thrilled that you're being quoted and published all over the place. Someday, I'll see you as the Sr. Analyst on NBC or something...and I can say - hey, that guy comments on my blog!!!!

tommiea said...

I bet your daughter thinks you are pretty cool....bank those cool points now!!

I am just a stay at home mom now, so in a way I guess my kids go to work with me everyday. Before kids I was a teacher/administrator. So basically I do the same thing now with no pay!

I hope your little girl is feeling better....happy friday.

Anna said...

I am sure the day with Daddy was just what the doctor ordered for her to start feeling better! I remember those times with my dad and they are some of my fondest memories...

Glad that work is going so well!
Good for you...

David said...

blackberries are not in season here in the mountains yet, so we were not affected.

David said...

here from michele - with NO tv, canadian or otherwise.

Gyrobo said...

Oh, kids don't need to go to work with their parents. I never went to work with my parents, and I turned out T.V.