Image via WikipediaNice to see Gulf News' Abbas Lawati covering the BlackBerry software patch story today - great reporting, from surfacing the story and 'getting' what was going on in the first place right through to finding Qatar- based progammer Nigel Gourlay to comment on the actual functionality of the patch. Great journalism, top marks for effort and really cutting through to the heart of the story.
Thanks, BTW, to the lads at the most excellent Stuff Magazine for the link back they included in their story!
It's going to be interesting seeing how Etisalat deals with this one now from a communications perspective. The company could choose to clam up and fillibuster any journalist unwise enough to pursue the story further, ignoring the howls of pain from customers while it quietly fixes the problem. Or could institute a wide-ranging reaction to the unfortunate incident, apologising for the inconvenience the move has caused, communicating effectively with customers, explaining what has gone wrong and how they can restore their devices and performing as clean and efficient a 'roll back' as possible.
There have been reports of users buying new Dhs200 batteries for their BlackBerries as a solution to the sudden battery-drain they experienced - and performance of the handsets has also reportedly been affected. So there is a strong argument for a smart, transparent customer service push that redresses at least some of the key customer irritations.
Meanwhile, if you want to get into the security software business, here are some handy hints and tips.
Make sure that nobody knows you're trying to install a security or monitoring patch because they might be scared or protest. Tell them it enhances teddy bears or something. Having done that:
- Do make sure that your software is called something scary, like 'Raptor', 'Destroyer' or 'Interceptor'. Name the subroutines you are using after the software so that users can see the name and be spooked by it.
- Do make sure you install all software into a directory clearly named after the security company that is providing the solution. This helps curious customers, bloggers and yes, even journalists, quickly and easily find out more about what you're up to.
- Do try and work with a security company whose website shrieks 'Be Scared! Be Very Scared!' or at least trumpets how it makes interception and monitoring software that allows intelligence agencies to monitor and analyze targets. Nothing makes consumers happier than being referred to as 'targets', except possibly the sight of red laser dots on their chest.