Blog Power Pt. 1: did we force RIM’s hand?


Of course, the news of the day will be the official announcement of the BlackBerry Curve, but there’s another — and almost as important — story attached to it. That story is the power of tech blogs and the influence they have over what they cover.

It’s been well documented how the efforts of one juvenile intellectual have had an impact upon RIM’s business. I think the supposedly early announcement of the BlackBerry Curve is another example.

Most BBCool readers saw our coverage yesterday of Boy Genius’ revelation that the BlackBerry 8300 would be branded as the BlackBerry Curve. This fine bit of sleuthing was the result of noticing that the URL — owned by RIM — now redirected to Boy Genius was also able to get confirmation from his (highly reliable) sources that the Curve would officially be announced next week at RIM’s Wireless Enterprise Symposium, which makes sense, as the home-team atmosphere would make it the perfect time to unveil their new device.

Today’s announcement changes things, however. BGR assumed that they got the timing wrong, but I’m not so sure. Astute readers will notice that RIM pulled the URL redirect yesterday, sometime after the original flurry of posts on the net, and presumably in a desperate attempt to control the leak. With the redirect now back up today, it begs the question: why would RIM pull it for less than 24 hours if they were actually planning to announce the device today?

More telling is the announcement’s proximity to WES. As stated above, WES is the perfect time to announce a new flagship device — a time when all the tech media will be covering the event and RIM will easily own the news cycle. One could make the argument that RIM would want to make the announcement a few days early to hype up the event, but an early announcement actually takes the wind out of WES’ sails to a degree, because people already know what to expect. Instead of building anticipation, RIM is more likely to allow the tech world to transition its focus to the “next big thing”.

What does all of this mean? That Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is true: by observing things, we change them. BG’s leak and the flurry of blog support let RIM’s new cat out of the bag early and forced their hand to announce before WES. How this will effect RIM’s approach to blog media remains to be seen (here’s a suggestion: work with us to release news on your own terms), but the final conclusion is really one that most people reading this site already know: the Internet is a powerful tool for distributing information, and the mobile obsessed tech-heads that run these types of sites (ahem), are usually one step ahead of what they’re covering.

Bloggers of the world unite!

Comments [8 Responses]

May 3rd, 2007 at 12:34 pm

You’re probably right…especially given that this is the first time in my memory that there has been an official announcement about a handheld getting out there before the handheld was available from any carriers….

May 3rd, 2007 at 1:47 pm

What about the possibility that Boy Genius actually works for RIM (or is paid by RIM) to publish his “leaked” information? Many typical companies would have put a stop to his “leaked” info long ago if he was actually releasing highly confidential information that they did not like the public to know about.

May 3rd, 2007 at 6:50 pm

No offense, but I think you give yourself (and boy genius) way too much credit.

Elwyn Jenkins
May 5th, 2007 at 7:18 pm

A very interesting story which might be of great significance to companies announcing new products in the future.

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