When I got my first BlackBerry, friends and family bombarded me with messages asking for my PIN. I didn’t know exactly what they meant at the time, but I eventually caught on that it was the key to contacting me via BlackBerry Messenger. While IM services can be a big part of a BlackBerry user’s activity, I’ve always been an email type of guy, so I never added a ton of BBM contacts. Some colleagues, some friends, some family members, but not much beyond that. According to Al Sacco, I’m off on the right foot. He recently published six BlackBerry Messenger tips that everyone should follow. Not everyone will, of course, but if Al is doling out advice I always suggest listening. Beyond knowing the BlackBerry inside and out, Al is quite the wordsmith, so make sure to read through his entire post. I’ll provide some highlights and personal anecdotes for support. First, he recommends that you limit your contacts. There have been a number of hoaxes circulating on BBM — attempts to solicit money and attention to illegitimate causes that, of course, seem legit. His rule of thumb, and one I agree with, is to limit your contacts to people you’ll respond to instantly, and who will afford you the same courtesy. Even better advice:
So, to the point: Do NOT share your BlackBerry PIN or barcode with just anyone; Do NOT post your PIN or barcode on your public Twitter account or any other social network; Do NOT include your BlackBerry PIN or barcode in your fixed e-mail signature.
He adds later on to be cautious when creating and joining BBM groups. If you do, make sure to change your settings as to limit notifications, not save group message history, and to not automatically save pictures. If you allow those things, they can really slow down your BlackBerry. Also, back up your contacts. I’ve had quite a few BlackBerry devices crash, and each time I’ve lost my BBM contacts. Trust me, people get annoyed when you send an add request for the third or fourth time. Finally, as any responsible writer would do, Al warns that only expected and trusted file transfers should be accepted. Who knows what some random person will send you. Does anyone else have any BBM tips? Any especially egregious etiquette infractions that you see people doing often?