Archive for the BlackBerry Category

Paying it forward in real life

Posted in BlackBerry, BlackBerry Bold, Pay it forward, paying it forward, payingitforward, sharing the love, sharingthelove with tags , on April 12, 2010 by TferThomas

As you know, I am huge fan of paying it forward; in fact, I try to live my life with paying it forward.

A couple of weeks ago, an opportunity presented itself to actually pay it forward in person.

Quite often, when I stay in Melbourne, I walk between the apartment and the office (roughly a 20-25 minute walk), and the walk is the perfect time to mentally prepare myself for the new day. So, yes it can be said, I am in a world of my own, but seeing something jolted me out of my own pre-occupiedness… an iPhone sitting in the gutter.

Now we all know I am not a fan of the iPhone but the sight intrigued me…it was clear someone must have lost it.

I remembered that there most likely would be some sort of screen lock & that proved simple. I noted it said it was Sim card locked, so the owner must have reported it lost.

Now to find the owner (yes, why would I even consider keeping the iPhone (I have no need for one) or giving it to any number of friends/family who wanted one…never even considered it; it was always going to be handed back to the rightful owner). I know how much an inconvenience it is setting up a BlackBerry from scratch, so only can imagine the same would be said of an iPhone.

Eventually I found the contacts folder, and yes, as you would expect, found Mum (doesn’t everyone have Mum/Dad listed in their phone?). So I rang “Mum” and yes she had a son who owned an iPhone (seems he has a history of losing devices).

So Mum came to our office that afternoon and collected the iPhone. She was most appreciative, and she presented me with a home grown bottle of peach chutney to say thanks.

The son rang that afternoon, to express his gratitude. “There should be more people like you in the world” he said. I simply said that it was the only thing to do, but also that I much prefer BlackBerry to iPhone, so I was always going to give it back (hey, what else would you expect me to say?)…he took it very well.

So there you go…paying it forward in real life; it’s not that hard.


Paying it forward …. twitter style

Posted in BlackBerry, BlackBerry Bold, payingitforward, sharingthelove, twitter on October 3, 2009 by TferThomas

The amazing thing about twitter, is the almost instantaneous nature of the conversation (or referred to as “tweets” from the twittersphere). The tweets are usually short and to the point, and really, how can they not be, when you are only allowed up to 140 characters per tweet?

So how does one pay it forward on twitter?

Firstly, paying it forward…

Paying it forward, if you weren’t sure, is a concept by which I try to live my life by, and I know others do the same. To pay it forward, simpl means helping out someone randomnly (unplanned) in a way that potentially may give that person the necessary leg up so that they can achieve something important in their life. To you it is nothing of any great significance, and doesn’t really cause you any discomfort, mentally, emotionally, physically, nor financially.

To the recipient however, your paying it forward may just be the missing piece in the puzzle for them to achieve something positive/life changing/life saving from their life, for their life. For example, placing some spare change into a parking meter, allows a person to park (they may actually have no money), and make that critical job interview on time, therefore win the interview process, get the job, and become employed for the first time in two years. What did it cost you…. $3.20 perhaps. But for them, that $3.20 helped them get their life back on track.

So, I understand the concept of paying it forward, now how can I pay it forward on twitter?

Twitter works on building a social/business network by finding people to follow, and people follow you….. and so it goes.

  • You can pay it forward by simply connecting two people, who may not know each other, together, and you have paid it forward, because you are the middle link.
  • Someone may be on hard times and needs that leg up…. you know someone who can assist, and by bringing them together, you have paid it forward.
  • You come across some information tweeted by someone you follow, and you think it is interesting enough to retweet (share it again)… this information then goes out to all of your followers, maybe onto someone who really needs this tweet… you have paid it forward.

Paying it forward on twitter can really work. What does it cost you? Apart from your time… nothing.
So, the next time you feel an urge to share the love, I have three words to share… Pay It Forward.


#followfriday: my twitter list

Posted in BlackBerry, followfriday, payingitforward, Priority Management, twitter on August 1, 2009 by TferThomas

Followfriday is a phenomenon on twitter, and if you don’t know about it, you are either very new to twitter, or have been living under a rock. Basically, #followfriday (the hashtag is to assist with search visibility) is a process whereby twitter users recommend some of their followers for others to follow ….a sort of #sharingthelove or #payingitforward in the twitterverse.

There are various ways people undertake #followfriday:

  1. Mass blanket list of recommended followers with no background;
  2. Individual #followfriday recommendations with a tweet filled with why others should follow this person;
  3. Group #followfriday tweets (eg. a BlackBerry group of twitterers)… this is the option I used;
  4. Retweeting someone else’s list; either as a way of saying thank you, or a self-promoting exercise by someone trying to increase their friends on twitter; or
  5. Someone hijacking another’s #followfriday tweet and turning it into their own (this is maninly a sefl-promoting exercise to increase friend numbers).

Now remember, I am not condemning, nor condoning any of the afore mentioned methods, as I respect an “each to their own” process here. But I am changing mine… and the reasons are simple.

Currently in my work, I commute between Brisbane and Melbourne (two capital cities on the eastern seaboard of Australia), and the half the commutes are undertaken on a Friday, usually smack in the middle of #followfriday, so therefore I place a huge amount of pressure on myself to not only respond to everyone else’s tweets, but to get my #followfriday tweets out as well.

And so comes this blog post…. my #followfriday list recommendations. I will over time update the lists as my friends and followers evolve, but for now, this is the one.

Inspirational #followfriday twitterers:

Good friends #followfriday:

There are my good friends who don’t fit into my allotted categories….yet, and perhaps they never will, but one thing I know, they are there for me when I need them, and I am there for them:

iPhone friends/sparring partners #followfriday:

These are my iPhone friends (can a passionate BlackBerry user/abuser ever be friends with an iPhone user? Well, of course he/she can, and I am):

BlackBerry #followfriday legends:

These probably are my core group of twitter friends, mainly because they too are very passionate about BlackBerry devices, they are mobile (so are on twitter a lot of the time), and they are truly a helpful and friendly bunch (just don’t rubbish the BlackBerry without having very good evidence on your side) (in no particular order):

So this is my #followfriday list…. I will no doubt realise this isn’t a complete list and will make some adjustments as the upcoming weeks roll out.

I can wholeheartedly recommend any of these fabulous individuals. #payingitforward


twitter: @TferThomas’ rules … Setting up your account

Posted in BlackBerry, SocialScope, tweet, twitbacks, twitter, twitterberry, twitterverse, ubertwitter, yatca on June 28, 2009 by TferThomas

One of the main things that keeps me constantly drawn to twitter, over most other social / business online sites, is the wide diversity of my friends on twitter, and the different approaches these people implement, to run their twitter lives.
That said, the following is an overview of my initial twitter rules of engagement… how I believe a twitter account should be set up.


  1. HAVING A SIMPLE USERNAME: I have used TferThomas for a number of reasons; it includes my first name, I believe it is a little catchy, it is not embarrassing, it doesn’t make you believe I am something I am not, and I believe it is relatively easy to remember… all good networking positives.
  2. HAVE A GOOD PROFILE PHOTO: I use the photo above for basically everything I do online, for the following reasons; it is a happy photo, it display all of my face relatively close up, it represents a professional side of me (yet not coldly), it is a friendly photo… all good networking positives. The photo remains a constant for me, which makes it easy for my friends to find me in their twitter stream, especially my BlackBerry friends who are using one of the many BlackBerry twitter applications (SocialScope, yatca, Ubertwitter, twitterberry, etc) and as such the avatars are smaller.
  3. HAVE A BIO: A small summary of what you are about as your bio is probably one of the easiest, yet most effective way of convincing others to follow you. and it needs to be stated here, that your bio needs to actually reflect you… be yourself. If you are here to market, then say so. 140 characters per tweet does not leave any room for deceptive marketing. If you don’t have a bio, what are you actually hiding?
  4. INCLUDE A FULL LENGTH URL IN YOU BIO: nothing flags more as potential spam as a tinyurl or URL in your bio. Including a full length URL will help encourage others to actually click on it, and get to know you that much more intimately.
  5. LOCATION: I believe it is more effective to have your actual location listed, and I am not talking micro-details. I show Brisbane, Australia as my location enabling my followers to know exactly where I am geographically, allowing them another choice.
  6. BACKGROUND: I use @twitbacks as the source of my backgrounds and happy to promote their services here. I believe having a non standard background is important from an attention grabbing perspective… ie. making your account stand out from the crowd. Remember twitter is all about rapid fire 140 character tweets, and the twitterverse moves quickly.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on setting up a twitter account. Later, I shall pass on my thoughts about how to tweet, how to interact, and maintain your little part of the greater twitterverse.

Until then, be safe,


Learn to like yourself first….

Posted in BlackBerry, friends, improving one self, like myself, positive affirmation on June 14, 2009 by TferThomas

Many of you would have heard of the term “people pleaser” I am sure, but if you haven’t, allow me to explain. In my words, a “people pleaser” is a person whose main aim is to please others, and quite often, that is to the detriment of themselves (in other words, putting others’ needs and wants before their very own).

Now, I am no psychologist, but this is not good for your self esteem, your positiveness, your motivation to develop as an individual, or more importantly, to like yourself as a person. By concentrating on others, you are not focusing on yourself (and I don’t mean in a conceited way).

How can others like you, if you don’t like yourself?

You really need to understand who you actually are, accept who you are, and be the best person you can be, while all the time remembering who you are.

If you can’t be yourself, how can you strive to be a better person, or grow as the person you are? If you try to be someone you are not, you are not being true to yourself, and you simply cannot grow as the person you are.

But wait, what about striving to be a better person and so become a different person as a result? Sure this is fine, but in the end, you really don’t know how you will develop…. all the fun of developing yourself and going on life’s journey…. your journey. Note this clearly however, you do not know the end, or where you will end up…. if you think you do, then you are not being true to yourself.

Importantly, accept who you are and what your limitations are…. for me, I acknowledge the fact I am hopeless at most sports, not comfortable in fixing problems with Windows on my PC, but I know I am a hopeless romantic, I am a good listener, a reasonable networker, and a whiz on my BlackBerry. I have only listed a few things here, but you get the idea….

So one thing which helps me is to write down a list:

  • Things I am good at
  • Things I am not good at and will never be good at (normally, these are not important to me)
  • Things I am not good at but could become good at (my goals for improving myself)

Every month, review the list and map your development, watching how the first list (good at) increases while the last list (improving) reduces…. I am on my way to accepting myself as for who I am, which in turn, opens the door for other people to see me as “me”. Friendship may, or may not develop, but if it develops, it is real.

Hope this helps. My thoughts for now,



Posted in BlackBerry, BlackBerry Bold, email, SnapMyLife, twitter on June 7, 2009 by TferThomas

Picked this application up the other day (it is free download from BlackBerry Application World) and it is quite an interesting application that relies on the BlackBerry (or any camera phone) and its user’s mobility.

SnapMyLife in their words:
“Instantly share and view photos on your mobile phone.
SNAP a picture with your camera phone.
SEND to friends, family or the world.
VIEW everyone’s photos from your phone.”

It’s free to join and I as I said before, the application for BlackBerry is also free. In fact, as the screen shot shows, there are two applications for twitter, and three ways to upload photos:
1. SnapMyLife application for BlackBerry: upload your photo as soon as you take directly to your SnapMyLife account. The SnapMyLife application runs in the background & pops up as soon as you have taken a photo.
2. Email the photo to your SnapMyLife account directly with the use of an email address specific to your account (attach the photo as a file, and type the comments for the photo in the subject field of the email)
3. Snap2twitter application for BlackBerry: take a photo and the Snap2twitter application for BlackBerry pops up (runs in the background), refer second screen shot) and prompts you with either save or save and send to twitter & allows you to add some commentary. It also then sends the photo and comments to your SnapMyLife account.

SnapMyLife suggest you may have to disable one of the SnapMyLife applications for BlackBerry to avoid potential conflict, so I guess there may be some developmental work underway here.

Two main disadvantages to these useful & extremely easy to use BlackBerry applications:
1. Applications are only available to be downloaded from the BlackBerry Application World (although to their credit, the developer emailed me the applications (here in Australia, RIM have not provided us with access to the BlackBerry Application World) with great descriptive instructions on how to load)
2. At this stage, the applications only run via your phone carrier’s data plan, and don’t have BIS support (at the time of writing, I am still awaiting the developer’s thoughts of when BIS support will become available), so ensure you have a good data plan.

My SnapMyLife account can be found

For more info contact Mobicious Inc’s site



Mobile technology… the third party software application

Posted in, BlackBerry,,, third party applicaitons, twitter, on November 18, 2008 by TferThomas

I love technology, plain and simple. Whether or not I actually understand it, or can fully utilise, well that’s a whole other question.

I love reading Stuff magazine ( where I get my monthly dose of gadgets, technology, and of course mobile phones, or rather the increasingly popular smartphones.

I use a BlackBerry Bold and try to “really use” it’s capabilities, but its the aftermarket, the third party, applications that really personalise your BlackBerry into something more than the standard smartphone. What follows is a list of a number of key third party applications that I use on my Bold, and which also make life a little more interesting.


Starting off with the obligatory question “What are you doing?”, you can post your response in a short (< 140 characters) but concise message. You can follow people (keeping the theme going @StuffTV) and people can follow you. Great site for social and business networking. Go to and sign up. For BlackBerry users, go to and download the application so you can twitter to your heart’s content from your handset.


A great site for BlackBerry specific applications, updates, whispers, reviews, etc. They have a fabulous BerryReview Store where you can download free applications, or purchase software and hardware. A great feature is there reminders when your purchased software is eligible for an upgrade, usually free. Go to and for BlackBerry users, you can download an icon to your home screen to take to your BerryReview whenever you need to.


Another great site for software for a large range of smartphones, whether BlackBerry, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, etc. Like Berry Review, you select the type of mobile you are using, and it will list the eligible software options for your consideration, ranging from free, up to premium priced software. A mobilised Handango application can be downloaded onto your handset, simply by visiting from your handset. This mobilised version has a great weather function, where you can enter 3 of your favourite places (and yes, works perfectly for Australian, Indian and Fijian locations).


A useful and very well respected RSS feeder/reader, Viigo brings all your interesting websites to one location. You have a large range of stored RSS sites (covering a vast range of topics) to choose from, or you can simply add your preferred ones to the Viigo list, simply by adding the correct url address. Go to on your handset, go to their OTA section, and simply download Viigo. Add BerryReview to your list of RSS sites, and off you go.

A few applications for your consideration, which can add to your smartphone (in my case, BlackBerry) experience.

My thoughts and twitters,