Lunchtime Links: More Uncertainty for BlackBerry Users

After weeks of rumors, BlackBerry abandons plans for a selloff. Plus: A new survey says association publishing is on the rise.

After weeks of rumors, BlackBerry abandons plans for a selloff. Plus: A new survey says association publishing is on the rise.

Are you still using a BlackBerry to send messages to your colleagues? If so, you might want to keep an eye on continuing coverage of the company’s troubles. The future of the platform is looking more uncertain than ever.

The latest in the once-dominant smartphone’s long fall from grace, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.

No deal: Remember a few years ago, when BlackBerry handhelds were all the rage? You couldn’t walk 10 feet at a conference without seeing peers thumb-typing messages to coworkers back home. A lot has changed since the early years of the smartphone. With the rise of iOS- and Android-powered devices, the Canadian electronics giant, formerly known as Research in Motion, has fallen on hard times. The latest knock: After a $4.7 billion takeover bid from its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings, fell through, BBC News reports that the company is taking itself off the market and intends to raise $1 billion in new financing, $250 million of which will come from Fairfax. As part of the move, Chief Executive Thorsten Heins has agreed to step down. The changes come after the once-dominant smartphone maker posted a second-quarter net loss of $965 million, according to the BBC. How the changes will affect BlackBerry users remains to be seen. But if your organization has invested in the hardware, the story is worth following.

Publishing success: News of the print magazine’s demise has been greatly exaggerated—at least so say the results of a new survey on trends in association publishing from FOLIO. While publishers of association publications said they did not expect a spike in advertising revenues from publications in 2013, at least half of the 190 experts who responded to the annual Association Publishing Survey said that advertising revenues from association publications are expected to stay steady over the next year. That’s a stark contrast to 2009, when 49 percent of respondents to the same survey forecast declines. Respondents also indicated a continuing push into the digital space: More than two-thirds of respondents to this year’s survey said their organizations publish in some type of digital format. Across the board, print magazines and digital newsletters continue to be the most popular association publications. Some 83 percent of respondents said their organizations publish a print magazine; 77 percent publish electronic newsletters. For more on trends in association publishing, check out the full survey.

Digging in: Great ideas are essential to any organization’s success. But those big ideas don’t mean much unless the leaders within your organization display the grit, determination, and courage necessary to see them through, writes Shelley Prevost for She tells the story of entrepreneurs Bobby Huffaker and David Yoder, the business partners responsible for American Exchange, one of the nation’s first certified health exchange brokerages aligned to new rules set forth under the Affordable Care Act—a game-changing piece of legislation that at the time of their company’s launch was still very much in flux. “What I love most about Bobby and David is their grit,” writes Prevost. “They not only saw opportunity and adventure, they seized it long before it was even a possibility.”

Has your organization taken big risks that have paid off? Tell us in the comments.

BlackBerry CEO Thorstein Heins, who has agreed to step down. (BlackBerry press photo)

Corey Murray

By Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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