BlackBerry BBM Music App Debuts
The BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Music app is live. Offered to BBM customers in Canada, the US and Australia first, BBM users will be able to listen to and share music with friends.
RIM is releasing this BBM Music as a BBM-connected social music service for its BlackBerry users.
The BBM Music Premium subscription allows a user to download and listen up to 50 songs on their BlackBerry. Sounds like a limited amount right? Well, sort of. It turns out all users will also be able to share their songs with other BBM users. This means that a person with 10 BBM friends now has access to 500 additional songs on the music app, plus their own library.
“The more BBM friends with BBM Music Premium subscriptions you have, the more songs you can share! And the sharing goes both ways. Your BBM friends with BBM Music Premium subscriptions will have access to your profile music too, and can access it anytime,” said an official RIM blog post.
Hoping to create a more social listening experience, RIM sees this application as a way for BlackBerry smartphone users to “discover, play and grow their music collections together.” RIM’s new service will help friends connect even further than usual via their smartphones bringing listening to music to the next level.
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Able to swap songs monthly, the BBM Music service allows users to build new playlists from their own library as well as a friends music selections and creates a more social atmosphere via comment and chat capabilities. Additionally, to keep users up to date, there’s a social-network-like newsfeed.
The BBM Music Premium Subscription costs $4.99 monthly and features a trail offer that lasts up to two months for the Canada and the US. The Free Subscription service allows for listening and social networking as well, although users will only be able to listen to 30 second song previews instead of full tracks.
BBM Music is an interesting app opportunity that’s coming from what seems to be the newest innovation at RIM. The only problem is that it seems that not only do users have to pay monthly to listen to only a small library of music, but if a user wants to enjoy the service for free, they get something that isn’t even worth their time. One wonders why RIM didn’t use the advertisement method for free users so that it wasn’t a completely asinine option for people who don’t have a lot of dispensable income. This new technology that RIM is introducing doesn’t exactly seem like the breakthrough technology it needs to implement to save its falling shares and consumer confidence. Let’s hope RIM realizes that rewarding loyal customers may be a better vision than one of higher profit margins before it loses all of its customers.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.