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The BlackBerry vine

October 02, 2007

James Governor wrote something in passing today, about the BlackBerry, that snagged my attention: "RIM is the most important company in Office and Enterprise 2.0 in terms of behavioural change, worklife balance and so on. RIM manages you 24 hours a day." This is a very different twist on "Enterprise 2.0," which is typically interpreted to mean the transfer into the corporation of various social-software tools that have gained popularity outside the corporation: blogs, wikis, social networks, and so on. Maybe that's a trick of the eye. Maybe what's really going on - and I think this is what Governor is getting at - is the expansion of the corporation to encompass what used to lie outside it, what we once referred to as "our private lives." Enterprise 2.0, when seen through the hypnotizing screen of the BlackBerry, does not amount to the liberation of corporate systems by personal systems but rather the colonization of personal systems by corporate systems. Society becomes a social network. My pocket vibrates, therefore I am.

Comments

“RIM manages you 24 hours a day.”

This reminds me of a comment attributed to some wit a few years back. Somebody had explained how the telephone worked and he remarked “You mean, it rings and then you answer it, like a servant”

Posted by: Greg Quinn [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2007 05:26 AM

Ah, if only it was just the BlackBerry and its phone that bosses me around. Personally I find myself following the instructions of coffee machines ("empty container. place cup under spout. enjoy your drink"), ticket machines, my laptop, and of course phone systems.

A horrendous portion of my daily life is spent following the instructions of one machine or another. And once I click the post I'll try to interpret the captcha, as I am told to do, so that my comment will appear.

Posted by: tom s. [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2007 08:26 AM

Twitter and Blackberry are so similar. Twitter inspires a lot of heat from people that don't understand, but that audience gets a lot smaller when you see the similarity in the two.

Should RIM buy Twitter? I think so:

http://smoothspan.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/twitter-is-virtual-blackberry/

Posted by: BobWarfield [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2007 11:14 AM

Damn right. There's a strong theme in mobile phone/PDA advertising here (Blackberry hasn't really hit here yet) to the effect that having the office in your pocket gives you "more time". No no no no no. You had that time already - it gives them more of your time.

Posted by: Phil [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2007 05:59 AM

I've seen so many people claiming to be hassled by "their blackberry" — truth is: guns don't kill people, people kill people. Well, I'm not sure about guns, but I'm pretty sure about ringing death: ask how many people are really pushing the bling into that device, and you'll often come up to one: "Boss". What RIM might do, is help many clever person come to the conclusion that their manager as sickopath, that would do anything legal to have them work more--and such a parousy would lead them to a proper, reasonable job.
What is did to, what to prove to many influential people that "digital" doesn't mean "virtual" in the sense that it does only exist if you are 20 and still believe in UFOs, but in the sense that it can go everywhere, really fast. It helped Western people, when asked "Internet?" to point at their pocket--and, check Japan: that is a big deal.

Posted by: Bertil [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2007 04:11 AM

Actually, the real importance of crackberries in this context is in making the adoption of enterprise 2.0 easier. If you can give crackberry users better information than via email, for example using personalised feeds on this device, then in my experience the behaviour change and adoption piece is made a whole lot easier.

Posted by: Lee Bryant [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 20, 2007 09:23 AM

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