BlackBerry Introduces: BlackBerry Fan of the Month, May 2012

Inside BlackBerry

Now that we’re into the month of May, TeamBlackBerry, it’s time once again to crown the most recent BlackBerry Fan of the Month!

This month’s FOTM is a self-proclaimed BlackBerry addict. He has been using BlackBerry® smartphones for 12 years and has encouraged many of his family members and friends to become BlackBerry users as well. He loves helping people learn how to get the most out of their BlackBerry devices and he created a blog dedicated to all things BlackBerry for that very purpose. We are honored to introduce Mark (@AllAboutMyBB) as the BlackBerry FOTM for May!

#TeamBlackBerry, meet Mark:

1. According to your blog you’ve been on #TeamBlackBerry since 2000 – amazing! How many BlackBerry devices have you had in total?

Including the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet, I think I’m up to about 15 in total. I’m a bit of a device nut – I get cravings for new devices.

2. Can you list them all out for us? What kind of BlackBerry smartphone do you have now? What has stood out in your mind about the evolution of BlackBerry devices?

I started with a 7510, then had a 7520, 7100i, 8700, 8100, 8310, 9000, 9530, 9550, 9800 (I had 2) and currently on a BlackBerry Torch 9860 (my second) and a 32GB BlackBerry PlayBook tablet!

The biggest thing for me is the touchscreen half of it. I can’t pick up a device without automatically trying to move the screen with my fingers. I really enjoy having the ability to use either touchscreen or keyboard. I love the idea of having both.

3. We also saw on your blog that you are “head tech support” for most of your BBM™ contacts – your contacts are so lucky! How many contacts do you have on BBM right now? How many chats do you currently have open?

It’s kind of funny. I actually have spare devices – I call them my loaner devices. I set them up for people who still have the older flip phones. When loaning out a device, I keep it unlocked and let them use it for a couple of weeks with no data. Once they’ve made that transition, I tell them to call their carrier and get put onto a data package to try it for a month or so. I don’t think there’s been one person that I’ve set up that hasn’t then gone out to get their own BlackBerry smartphone!

I have 130 people on BBM and 22 chats currently open. I pretty much know them all. It’s a hobby. I created my @AllAboutMyBB handle to help spread my thoughts that have come directly out of my conversations with other users. A lot of people don’t know how much they can do – even with BBM!

4. Do you have a favorite BBM emoticon?

My favorite is:

I use it all the time and even have an autotext for it. I found holding “alt” to get the characters for “:-P” was too much work, so I created the autotext to help me type faster. But sometimes I forget to press space after and it sends as “hup”. Now my BBM BFF calls me “hup”. :s

5. Tell us about the best BBM you’ve ever received. What did it say and who was it from?

I gave my mom a BlackBerry smartphone for her 70th birthday. My mom is not very technical, and she grew up without all this stuff. She always complained that she has difficulty sharing pictures; she has a digital camera, but she doesn’t know how to download the pictures and share them with relatives. I got her a BlackBerry® Curve™ 8900 with purple housing, hid all the icons and set it all up. I showed her how to use BBM, music player and email. I put all her contacts in there and filled up her address book. I showed her how to take a photograph and email the photo out of the camera application. She adapted to playing music and everything, and out of the blue, I even got a BBM from her saying, “Hi Mark love mom!” It didn’t say much, but it was awesome!

6. If you could BBM your BlackBerry smartphone, what would you say? How would your BlackBerry respond?

I would ask its location via BlackBerry® Protect and find out why it’s not on my hip where it belongs! It’s always with me — and if it’s not in the holster on my hip, it’s sitting right beside me charging.

7. What are your favorite BlackBerry smartphone applications? We’d love to hear your top 5!

BBM. That’s the one I use the most. Outside of BBM, I spend a lot of time on the social networks. I like SocialScope, a combination of Twitter® and Facebook® rolled into one. It’s very cool. I use that a lot. My @AllAboutMyBB stuff goes through Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones.

Music is my thing, so I’m a big supporter of BBM® Music. I’ve got tons of songs in BBM Music right now. I love the app, especially the randomness of it. If I’m not listening to BBM Music, I’m listening to the music I already have on my memory card. My next favorite one is Nobex Radio. If I’m not listening to BBM Music, that’s what I’ll listen to. The other app I love is Shazam. If you’re in a restaurant or somewhere and you hear a song that you don’t know, you just fire up Shazam and bam!

I also use SixTools. It creates screen capturing and convenience keys. I have four convenience keys instead of the one.

8. You just mentioned your love of music. Has your BlackBerry smartphone helped you discover any new tunes or artists lately?

Yes, twice recently! Once with Shazam (“I Love My Life” by DeMarco) and once with BBM Music (“Don’t You Wanna Stay” by Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson).

9. What superhero/celebrity/metaphorical duo could represent you and your BlackBerry smartphone? (e.g. I’m Batman, my BlackBerry is Robin: here’s why…)

I’m old school, so I think my BlackBerry smartphone and I are like the Wonder Twins. Our skills sets are very different, but we make a heck of a team! The things that I can’t remember go in my BlackBerry smartphone, and so it reminds me to do things. It’s the perfect sidekick.

10. Do you have an all-time favorite BlackBerry-related memory? Please share!

The event that started my blogging was a concert. This event was an amazing day, and I’ll never forget it. I share the story with anyone who will listen, and I’ve never had anyone not be truly amazed and enthused by the story.

11. We LOVE your Twitter bio and we think it’s awesome that you enjoy helping other members of #TeamBlackBerry! Is there a time when you helped a fellow BlackBerry smartphone user that really stands out in your mind? We’d love to hear about it!

I got a tech support BBM and phone call from Russell Peters once. He was having some issues with BlackBerry® ID. That was cool and fun!

12. Are you prepared to handle the fame that comes with being our Fan of the Month?

Absolutely! Bring it on!


Thanks for taking the time to meet our BlackBerry FOTM for May 2012! Stay in touch with Mark on Twitter by following @AllAboutMyBB and the #BlackBerryFOTM hashtag.

In case you missed our last four BlackBerry Fans of the Month, you can check ‘em out here:

JanuaryBrian (@newshutr)
FebruaryIvan (@IvanSHarris)
MarchJane (@photosfromabb)
AprilJosh (@BBbrodyBB)

Keep sharing your FOTM suggestions with us, either by leaving a comment below, tweeting to us @BlackBerry, or posting on our Facebook page. Stay tuned – our June FOTM could be YOU!

About Mitchell S.

Mitchell is Research In Motion® (RIM®)'s Community Manager, who spends most of his day following conversation and tweets that happen around the BlackBerry® brand. He is actively engaging in conversations across RIM’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, MyBlackBerry) and will be authoring a few blog posts on Inside BlackBerry from time-to-time. Mitchell enjoys travelling, spending time with his friends and going to live shows on the weekend.

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