An acquaintance’s selection of BlackBerry Bold, based largely on Twitter message exchanges, has resulted in not only a few informative posts but also an avalanche of almost daily Tweets responding to individuals seeking a recommendation for a smartphone.
When I traveled to IT Expo and Mobilize last September I was in the unique position of having a BlackBerry Bold, following the Rogers Canadian launch but prior to the long-delayed AT&T launch in the U.S. During that trip I showed the Bold to fellow blogger Luca Filigheddu from Italy. I had previously met Luca at eComm 2008 where it was rapidly apparent that he is highly respected, especially in Italy, for both his business acumen and opinions on the emerging communications space. From his About page:
Luca is a recognized expert in the VoIP market. He’s now CEO at Abbeynet, an Italian company which develops technologies and services in the field of IP Communications since 1999. Abbeynet is the company behind services like Chocophone, Abbeyphone, Sitòfono and Hictu!.
As a passionate user of any kind of technology and internet service, he loves gadgets and electronic devices and wants to try out any new cool device that arrives to the market. Luca can be considered an early adopter in any field of technology. In particular, he loves Apple, Nokia phones and his Sony PSP.
And he loves trying new VoIP services out, of course. Luca’s current interests are web-based VoIP services, Web 2.0/VoIP integration and product marketing. In the never-enough spare time, Luca loves martial arts and listening to good music.
He is a very avid Twitterer but only when his Tweets have relevance. Little did I know that showing him the Bold would eventually trigger an avalanche of tweets supporting his decision to acquire a Bold, to be followed by a continuous, almost daily, feed of recommendations to individual Twitterers.
In early November, 2008 His Nokia N95 had died for some reason. Initially he asked on Twitter for input to a decision between the BlackBerry Bold and the iPhone. Unfortunately a Twitter search does not go back that far; however here are some of his posts at the time:
- Business Usage: iPhone 3G or BlackBerry Bold?
- A Bold New Experience
- Why The BlackBerry Bold is Way Better than The iPhone 3G (for business)
and I started observing his recommendations appearing in Twitter, often with the single word “Bold” in response to an @ request. On the right is an early example. Between Luca’s blog posts and the Twitter conversations one can build up the feature set that supported the decision to go with Bold.
- Why Multitasking on Mobile Devices Matters
- He gives a fairly balanced review of four smartphones in Palm Pre, BlackBerry Bold, Android G1, iPhone: What’s best?
- He has become an avid user of SocialScope (full disclosure, so have I): SocialScope, the new Social Networks Aggregator for BlackBerry (Note: SocialScope is still in alpha as they work out client/server balance, scaling and user interface issues – follow @socialscope for on ongoing dialogue)
- How To Sync your BlackBerry Bold with a Mac (the only solution that REALLY works) Why Google Sync was his sole recommendation.
- David’s Posterous: Why I ditched my iPhone for a BlackBerry Bold.
- Give a New Look to Your BlackBerry: Vista Themes
- How I Achieved an Unbelievable Battery Life on My BlackBerry Bold
Keyboard, multi-tasking, battery life, MMS, cut and paste – eventually Luca covered all the highlights and features of the BlackBerry Bold.
However, just as importantly, Luca’s ongoing dialogue with his Twitter followers and Blog readers provides a great example of the power of social networking as a viral marketing tool. Person-to-person threads, information delivered by a party with no interest in the outcome other than the best interest and satisfaction of his “friends”, a passion for excellence in technology have come together resulting in many sales for a product in a highly competitive market space.
Yes, I have had a Bold for a while; I also have an iPhone. This evening, via an iPhone application with reliable sources, I learned about a 3 cent/litre increase in the price of gasoline tomorrow, went out and filled up my tank to save the cost of a Tim Horton’s coffee and donut. iPhone is a great information delivery platform; BlackBerry has, however, the best line of devices for complete two way personal and business communications. And for some results:
- BlackBerry grabs market share as the iPhone slumps
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