Apple, marketing blogging and podcasting bigtime in its stores

Check out this picture or this one with Patrick that I just took in the San Francisco Apple store. They sure market blogging and podcasting big time. Too bad Microsoft doesn’t understand that consumers aren’t consumers anymore. They are producers too! Media producers. Apple gets this, at least at a marketing level (they don’t at a spiritual level, which is why they don’t encourage normal everyday Apple employees to blog and podcast). It creates a marketing disconnect. Do they really believe in what their marketing says they do?

Those are the most prominent signs, right at the front door, in the SF store (which is TOTALLY PACKED!)

Comments

  1. So, inquiring minds are dying to know – did Patrick get his battery swapped out? I need to do the same, and if I can just take care of it here at the San Antonio Apple Store, that would just be easiest!

  2. So, inquiring minds are dying to know – did Patrick get his battery swapped out? I need to do the same, and if I can just take care of it here at the San Antonio Apple Store, that would just be easiest!

  3. You can’t do it in an Apple store. You need to do it on the Web. I forget the Apple page where you do that, but it shouldn’t be hard to find from apple.com.

  4. You can’t do it in an Apple store. You need to do it on the Web. I forget the Apple page where you do that, but it shouldn’t be hard to find from apple.com.

  5. Isn’t that a little crazy though? I by a Chevy, and it has a recall, I take it back to Chevy – even if it’s just a headlamp. But for the tech industry it’s a mail-in only, kind of impersonal and “screw you” attitude. You can see an example of what I mean here, http://lagesse.org/?p=57 – where I blog about how IBM makes it “oh-so-easy” for me to be their customer.

    “Internet Companies”, and I include Apple and MS in this category, need to learn how to treat people like customers – customers that might walk into their store one day (or might elect never to walk back into their stores).

    I have a Mac. It has a f*cked battery. Not my fault. I have an Apple store a few miles away. I am short on time. Mailing crap in is a pain…

    These companies need to minimize the pain of dealing with them – I should be able to get the correction to THEIR mistakes wherever it is most convenient for me to do so – especially something as easy as a battery (Duh – I give them the old one, they give me the new one – takes 3 minutes, and I *might* even look at the new Intel powered Macs while I am there.)

    Instead, they make it convenient for them, and too damned bad for the customer.

    (and this rant is directed just at Apple – it’s a systemic failure of companies to support customers, and unless we DEMAND that they do, they just won’t).

    Rob

  6. Isn’t that a little crazy though? I by a Chevy, and it has a recall, I take it back to Chevy – even if it’s just a headlamp. But for the tech industry it’s a mail-in only, kind of impersonal and “screw you” attitude. You can see an example of what I mean here, http://lagesse.org/?p=57 – where I blog about how IBM makes it “oh-so-easy” for me to be their customer.

    “Internet Companies”, and I include Apple and MS in this category, need to learn how to treat people like customers – customers that might walk into their store one day (or might elect never to walk back into their stores).

    I have a Mac. It has a f*cked battery. Not my fault. I have an Apple store a few miles away. I am short on time. Mailing crap in is a pain…

    These companies need to minimize the pain of dealing with them – I should be able to get the correction to THEIR mistakes wherever it is most convenient for me to do so – especially something as easy as a battery (Duh – I give them the old one, they give me the new one – takes 3 minutes, and I *might* even look at the new Intel powered Macs while I am there.)

    Instead, they make it convenient for them, and too damned bad for the customer.

    (and this rant is directed just at Apple – it’s a systemic failure of companies to support customers, and unless we DEMAND that they do, they just won’t).

    Rob

  7. “Spiritual Level”?

    Oh please. They like to keep what’s secret, secret. Considering your rather sterling past demonstrations of how well bloggers can keep a secret, (How’d that line of silliness about apple releasing a Media Center at the WWDC work out for you?), I can’t say as I blame them.

    After all, it’s not like Microsoft’s “Spiritual Acceptance” of blogging made their Vista/Office Roadmaps anything but utter fiction.

    Hmm…maybe blogging *isn’t* a magic sell after all…

  8. kr8tr: you don’t need to send in your old battery. You just fill out the form with your serial number and they send you a new battery. It’s not a big deal and I can understand why they did it this way.

  9. kr8tr: you don’t need to send in your old battery. You just fill out the form with your serial number and they send you a new battery. It’s not a big deal and I can understand why they did it this way.

  10. “Spiritual Level”?

    Oh please. They like to keep what’s secret, secret. Considering your rather sterling past demonstrations of how well bloggers can keep a secret, (How’d that line of silliness about apple releasing a Media Center at the WWDC work out for you?), I can’t say as I blame them.

    After all, it’s not like Microsoft’s “Spiritual Acceptance” of blogging made their Vista/Office Roadmaps anything but utter fiction.

    Hmm…maybe blogging *isn’t* a magic sell after all…

  11. Hmmmm…Guess I’ll try this again…
    ———-
    “they don’t at a spiritual level, which is why they don’t encourage normal everyday Apple employees to blog and podcast”
    ———-
    You tend to pick on them for this but I’m kind of curious, does the company that manufactures the microphone you use for podcasts blog/pdcast? What about the company/employees that make your video camera? On, and on, and on?
    I don’t think it has much to do with spirit, has more to do with philosophy/methods. Microsofties blog but Microsoft has always been chatty, announcing products way ahead of time, talking them up, leaking info, etc. Some of that has to do with FUD but Microsoft has always been a little Miss Chatty. A lot of companies aren’t. Apple especially isn’t. Their (Jobs) thing/philosophy is “marketing as theater” (started way back when Apple bought all the advertising is Time/Newsweek and the first Mac ad) and they just don’t chat (rehearse) in public. Yet still, everything they do (including every news release) gets picked up as widely (I’d argue more widely) than 99.9% of the companies that blog.
    One doesn’t necessarily have to blog/podCast just because one has product for that market. I’d bet most don’t.

  12. Hmmmm…Guess I’ll try this again…
    ———-
    “they don’t at a spiritual level, which is why they don’t encourage normal everyday Apple employees to blog and podcast”
    ———-
    You tend to pick on them for this but I’m kind of curious, does the company that manufactures the microphone you use for podcasts blog/pdcast? What about the company/employees that make your video camera? On, and on, and on?
    I don’t think it has much to do with spirit, has more to do with philosophy/methods. Microsofties blog but Microsoft has always been chatty, announcing products way ahead of time, talking them up, leaking info, etc. Some of that has to do with FUD but Microsoft has always been a little Miss Chatty. A lot of companies aren’t. Apple especially isn’t. Their (Jobs) thing/philosophy is “marketing as theater” (started way back when Apple bought all the advertising is Time/Newsweek and the first Mac ad) and they just don’t chat (rehearse) in public. Yet still, everything they do (including every news release) gets picked up as widely (I’d argue more widely) than 99.9% of the companies that blog.
    One doesn’t necessarily have to blog/podCast just because one has product for that market. I’d bet most don’t.

  13. John: it’s not about keeping secrets. THere’s ways to do that while encouraging your employees to blog (I knew about Zune before I left, for instance, but never leaked about it on my blog).

    It’s about having conversations with your customers. Interesting enough they let their employees answer questions in their stores. But those same employees aren’t allowed to answer the same questions on blogs. Why?

    PXLated: actually I’ve met a few microphone manufacturers who do, indeed, record their own audio with their products and share those. I don’t have those URLs here cause I’m at an Apple store and need to head to dinner, but they do exist. But on the other hand they don’t put “blogging and podcasting” signs in their front windows either.

  14. John: it’s not about keeping secrets. THere’s ways to do that while encouraging your employees to blog (I knew about Zune before I left, for instance, but never leaked about it on my blog).

    It’s about having conversations with your customers. Interesting enough they let their employees answer questions in their stores. But those same employees aren’t allowed to answer the same questions on blogs. Why?

    PXLated: actually I’ve met a few microphone manufacturers who do, indeed, record their own audio with their products and share those. I don’t have those URLs here cause I’m at an Apple store and need to head to dinner, but they do exist. But on the other hand they don’t put “blogging and podcasting” signs in their front windows either.

  15. “I can understand why they did it this way”? Enlighten me (and the rest of us) then? Why?

    I would think that first and foremost they would want to take back every battery they could before it burns down my house and I sue the crap out of them – in fact they should be offering me $50 in iTunes credit or something to bring back my old battery.

    Just because they issued a recall they are not absolved of future damage – so why wouldn’t they DEMAND the old battery back to get a replacement? I sure would!

    Doesn’t seem like a well thought out “sorry for our mistake, jump through these hoops and we’ll try to keep your pubes from catching fire” plan to me!

  16. “I can understand why they did it this way”? Enlighten me (and the rest of us) then? Why?

    I would think that first and foremost they would want to take back every battery they could before it burns down my house and I sue the crap out of them – in fact they should be offering me $50 in iTunes credit or something to bring back my old battery.

    Just because they issued a recall they are not absolved of future damage – so why wouldn’t they DEMAND the old battery back to get a replacement? I sure would!

    Doesn’t seem like a well thought out “sorry for our mistake, jump through these hoops and we’ll try to keep your pubes from catching fire” plan to me!

  17. kr8tr: because this would get batteries into people’s hands faster. The distribution chains to the stores is slower. Also, this way they can ensure you only get one battery per computer and there wouldn’t be any wastage by shipping too many to one store and too few to the next.

  18. kr8tr: because this would get batteries into people’s hands faster. The distribution chains to the stores is slower. Also, this way they can ensure you only get one battery per computer and there wouldn’t be any wastage by shipping too many to one store and too few to the next.

  19. Robert, I like you dude, but you are answering only part of part of my questions:

    1) Why should *I* feel ANY inconvenience whatsoever because Dell, Apple, or anyone else screwed up? I had a recall on my SEVEN year old Ford Expedition and I got a loaner car for 48 hours while they fixed the problem. Why don’t tech companies face this same strict criteria for what consumers feel is fair?

    2) Why would Apple let me keep my old and potentially dangerous battery? And assuming I don’t need to return the old one – what am I going to do with it? Throw it in the landfill? No – Apple should “buy back” their mistake – and so should Dell. What will you do with Patrick’s old battery?

    3) I don’t buy the store distribution argument – there is no easier way to a) get me a new battery, or b) get me into an Apple store where I may spend more money than to MAKE IT WORTH MY WHILE! Invite me in, as my Ford Dealer did, not just with a notice I have a recall, but a cookout, free hot dogs and popcorn, a band, service on my vehicle while I wait… and oh yeah, “look at all these new vehicles we have!”. Apple is dropping the ball here, and yes I am being unfair – I wouldn’t expect this of Dell. But I bought my Dell aniline, I bought my Apple from a dude in a store, and that’s just more personal – and I expect that relationship to be two-way.

    But really, I can’t believe they are letting people keep their old batteries – that seems crazy to me!

    Rob

  20. Robert, I like you dude, but you are answering only part of part of my questions:

    1) Why should *I* feel ANY inconvenience whatsoever because Dell, Apple, or anyone else screwed up? I had a recall on my SEVEN year old Ford Expedition and I got a loaner car for 48 hours while they fixed the problem. Why don’t tech companies face this same strict criteria for what consumers feel is fair?

    2) Why would Apple let me keep my old and potentially dangerous battery? And assuming I don’t need to return the old one – what am I going to do with it? Throw it in the landfill? No – Apple should “buy back” their mistake – and so should Dell. What will you do with Patrick’s old battery?

    3) I don’t buy the store distribution argument – there is no easier way to a) get me a new battery, or b) get me into an Apple store where I may spend more money than to MAKE IT WORTH MY WHILE! Invite me in, as my Ford Dealer did, not just with a notice I have a recall, but a cookout, free hot dogs and popcorn, a band, service on my vehicle while I wait… and oh yeah, “look at all these new vehicles we have!”. Apple is dropping the ball here, and yes I am being unfair – I wouldn’t expect this of Dell. But I bought my Dell aniline, I bought my Apple from a dude in a store, and that’s just more personal – and I expect that relationship to be two-way.

    But really, I can’t believe they are letting people keep their old batteries – that seems crazy to me!

    Rob

  21. kr8tr: I pretty much agree with you when you put it that way, I’m just not religious about this. I wonder about that too. I didn’t watch Patrick fill out the form. Maybe they’ll include a shipping container to send the old one back. I’ll let you know.

  22. kr8tr: I pretty much agree with you when you put it that way, I’m just not religious about this. I wonder about that too. I didn’t watch Patrick fill out the form. Maybe they’ll include a shipping container to send the old one back. I’ll let you know.

  23. Robert says, “I’m just not religious about this.” and I don’t believe him – I know he is religious about THE CUSTOMER and the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.

    Robert, I’m giving you a hard time, it is a Sunday night, and you’ve been busy “valley-ing” all weekend, so I’ll cut you some slack. But I know you care about the customer – without them you wouldn’t have a job, and neither would the rest of us!

    I’m seemingly on a crusade, I know – but I see no reason why tech companies can’t provide at least the same level of service my broke-ass auto company does!

    Rob

  24. Robert says, “I’m just not religious about this.” and I don’t believe him – I know he is religious about THE CUSTOMER and the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.

    Robert, I’m giving you a hard time, it is a Sunday night, and you’ve been busy “valley-ing” all weekend, so I’ll cut you some slack. But I know you care about the customer – without them you wouldn’t have a job, and neither would the rest of us!

    I’m seemingly on a crusade, I know – but I see no reason why tech companies can’t provide at least the same level of service my broke-ass auto company does!

    Rob

  25. [...] Robert Scoble and I have a small thread here about the Apple battery “recall”.   We disagree on some points.  I would really like to see Robert run with this and force Apple to do more than just “give me a new battery”.  Robert has influence, and I would like to see him use it to force Apple into not just “making me whole” on my dangerous ball-burning battery, but make it WORTHWHILE for me! [...]

  26. I’m not upset that Apple employees don’t blog. Blogging is a fine activity, and when one of your key marketing challenges is to buff away some Evil Empire residue, blogging is a brilliant tactic.

    But to prescribe blogging across the board for all companies and all marketing challenges is rather like the physicians in the fifties who went on a binge of prescribing penicillin for everything.

    Apple’s brand strength comes from a carefully managed style of communication. (Yeah, the “I’m a Mac” guy is like fingernails on a blackboard to some folks… but by and large he’s working.) Apple’s communications design and voice are, by choice, in the hands of specialists.

    There are plenty of opportunity for discussions with Apple and customers through online forums on the Apple website. (e.g. Here’s a forum for Final Cut Pro. And Apple offers RSS feeds on a few dozen topics.

    But they choose to manage their corporate voice differently. And that’s fine with me.

  27. I’m not upset that Apple employees don’t blog. Blogging is a fine activity, and when one of your key marketing challenges is to buff away some Evil Empire residue, blogging is a brilliant tactic.

    But to prescribe blogging across the board for all companies and all marketing challenges is rather like the physicians in the fifties who went on a binge of prescribing penicillin for everything.

    Apple’s brand strength comes from a carefully managed style of communication. (Yeah, the “I’m a Mac” guy is like fingernails on a blackboard to some folks… but by and large he’s working.) Apple’s communications design and voice are, by choice, in the hands of specialists.

    There are plenty of opportunity for discussions with Apple and customers through online forums on the Apple website. (e.g. Here’s a forum for Final Cut Pro. And Apple offers RSS feeds on a few dozen topics.

    But they choose to manage their corporate voice differently. And that’s fine with me.

  28. Robert,
    The Apple/Sony Battery Recall, is being handled just like the Dell/Sony recall. You fill out a form on a web page. They mail you a new battery in a carton and a return label. You place your old battery in carton and use return label. Then ship it back, all expenses paid.
    Mark

  29. Robert,
    The Apple/Sony Battery Recall, is being handled just like the Dell/Sony recall. You fill out a form on a web page. They mail you a new battery in a carton and a return label. You place your old battery in carton and use return label. Then ship it back, all expenses paid.
    Mark

  30. Not *all expenses paid* unless you assume that a customer’s time is of no value. If you are making that assumption, you are on the path to failure. It’s a hassle, any way you look at it. Apple should make it “less of a hassle”. So should Dell. Show me the love – extend me some courtesy for having to deal with your mistake… a discount coupon, free iTunes downloads – something. Don’t expect that you can just give me what I (thought I) bought a couple years ago and that we are even – we’re not. My house could have burned down – my kids could have died. At the least, my laptop could have burned up and destroyed my hard-drive and data. In any case, just getting me a battery isn’t enough to earn my unfettered trust again!

  31. Not *all expenses paid* unless you assume that a customer’s time is of no value. If you are making that assumption, you are on the path to failure. It’s a hassle, any way you look at it. Apple should make it “less of a hassle”. So should Dell. Show me the love – extend me some courtesy for having to deal with your mistake… a discount coupon, free iTunes downloads – something. Don’t expect that you can just give me what I (thought I) bought a couple years ago and that we are even – we’re not. My house could have burned down – my kids could have died. At the least, my laptop could have burned up and destroyed my hard-drive and data. In any case, just getting me a battery isn’t enough to earn my unfettered trust again!

  32. Robert, you keep acting like blogs are the only way to talk to customers. You’d have think the flogging you got from Amazon would have taught you to be less narrow in this, but, like most every other lesson you’ve had taught to you, it seems to have escaped you.

    Meanwhile, Apple doesn’t seem to have a problem talking to their customers. In person even. Yet you ignore this and say “If they only had blogs like Microsoft.”

    I submit that you’re blinded by the unique factors that helped blogging work so well at Microsoft, and unable to comprehend that just because it worked for Microsoft, (who, unlike Apple, doesn’t have any easy way to directly interact with customers on a daily basis), doesn’t make it some damned magic spell. In fact, looking at how Microsoft hasn’t had much success of late in doing damned near anything right, I’d say that I wonder how you can think it’s as much of a panacea as you do.

    Oh wait, it’s your career, and pretty much all you have to make a buck right now. If the world suddenly decides that blogging isn’t that special after all and just one tool out of many, you’re kind of screwed then.

  33. Robert, you keep acting like blogs are the only way to talk to customers. You’d have think the flogging you got from Amazon would have taught you to be less narrow in this, but, like most every other lesson you’ve had taught to you, it seems to have escaped you.

    Meanwhile, Apple doesn’t seem to have a problem talking to their customers. In person even. Yet you ignore this and say “If they only had blogs like Microsoft.”

    I submit that you’re blinded by the unique factors that helped blogging work so well at Microsoft, and unable to comprehend that just because it worked for Microsoft, (who, unlike Apple, doesn’t have any easy way to directly interact with customers on a daily basis), doesn’t make it some damned magic spell. In fact, looking at how Microsoft hasn’t had much success of late in doing damned near anything right, I’d say that I wonder how you can think it’s as much of a panacea as you do.

    Oh wait, it’s your career, and pretty much all you have to make a buck right now. If the world suddenly decides that blogging isn’t that special after all and just one tool out of many, you’re kind of screwed then.

  34. Michael, I wish Apple blogged more simply because of what they can teach me about their products.

    Microsoft is doing a better and better job of using blogs to educate me about a wide array of services they offer – things I might now have tried without that “lifeline to a blog”. Blogging is so personal, and so customer faced, and Apple has been so good at this in the past that I am somewhat surprised that they don’t have blogs for every “service”, “widget” or “feature” they are working on.

    Yu can blog and maintain “secrecy” – MS is proving this now.

    Rob

  35. Michael, I wish Apple blogged more simply because of what they can teach me about their products.

    Microsoft is doing a better and better job of using blogs to educate me about a wide array of services they offer – things I might now have tried without that “lifeline to a blog”. Blogging is so personal, and so customer faced, and Apple has been so good at this in the past that I am somewhat surprised that they don’t have blogs for every “service”, “widget” or “feature” they are working on.

    Yu can blog and maintain “secrecy” – MS is proving this now.

    Rob

  36. Couple of thoughts:

    Most people are not producers or participators. They are still very much just passive takers-in. Consumers. That will change. Don’t forget that most of the rest of the world lives outside the echo chamber of the blogosphere. Edge leads into mainstream and all that.

    Also, I find it interesting that tons of Microsofties blog, while almost nobody at Apple does, while tongs of Apple users blog and few Microsoft users blog with evangelical passion about Microsoft (comparitively–think about the proportion of Win vs Mac people and of course the Win numbers will be higher, so don’t jump on me).

  37. Couple of thoughts:

    Most people are not producers or participators. They are still very much just passive takers-in. Consumers. That will change. Don’t forget that most of the rest of the world lives outside the echo chamber of the blogosphere. Edge leads into mainstream and all that.

    Also, I find it interesting that tons of Microsofties blog, while almost nobody at Apple does, while tongs of Apple users blog and few Microsoft users blog with evangelical passion about Microsoft (comparitively–think about the proportion of Win vs Mac people and of course the Win numbers will be higher, so don’t jump on me).

  38. kr8tr…Apple does have a lot of knowledgeblog type articles/tutorials on their site as well as their forums (and as mentioned, their stores), plus a Safari developers blog amongst other things so it’s not like they don’t communicate, they just don’t blog/podcast.
    Now, if I had to choose between Apple giving me good tools to do theses things (GarageBand, etc) and just talking (blogging) about it, I’ll take the products any day. :-)

  39. kr8tr…Apple does have a lot of knowledgeblog type articles/tutorials on their site as well as their forums (and as mentioned, their stores), plus a Safari developers blog amongst other things so it’s not like they don’t communicate, they just don’t blog/podcast.
    Now, if I had to choose between Apple giving me good tools to do theses things (GarageBand, etc) and just talking (blogging) about it, I’ll take the products any day. :-)

  40. I don’t know, I think it’s fine that Microsoft doesn’t “get” podcasting. Why should they do everything? There are plenty of 3rd parties that can provide software to produce and consume podcasts.

    (Although IE7′s RSS aggretator does allow for automatically downloading media attachments of RSS feeds, so you can subscribe to podcasts that way; and Vista’s Common Feed api supports this for any program that wants to use it; I agree that MS should add podcast subscribing to WMP and I guess they should add podcasts to MSN Music Store, and/or the Zune Music Store (whatever that will be), similar to how iTMS has podcasts available.)

    I don’t agree that MS not currently providing podcast creation software means that they don’t understand that users produce as well as consume content. They make plenty of software that produces content:
    Windows Live Writer
    Word 2007′s blogging feature
    Windows Movie Maker
    The advanced WMV encoder (now including VC-1 support), which is free.
    Photo Story
    XNA Studio Express (allows user to create games for Windows and Xbox360).

    (That’s besides the Office apps, that obviously are used to produce “old” “traditional” content (documents, spreadsheets, presentations), and things like Publisher, and even Paint, for that matter).)

  41. I don’t know, I think it’s fine that Microsoft doesn’t “get” podcasting. Why should they do everything? There are plenty of 3rd parties that can provide software to produce and consume podcasts.

    (Although IE7′s RSS aggretator does allow for automatically downloading media attachments of RSS feeds, so you can subscribe to podcasts that way; and Vista’s Common Feed api supports this for any program that wants to use it; I agree that MS should add podcast subscribing to WMP and I guess they should add podcasts to MSN Music Store, and/or the Zune Music Store (whatever that will be), similar to how iTMS has podcasts available.)

    I don’t agree that MS not currently providing podcast creation software means that they don’t understand that users produce as well as consume content. They make plenty of software that produces content:
    Windows Live Writer
    Word 2007′s blogging feature
    Windows Movie Maker
    The advanced WMV encoder (now including VC-1 support), which is free.
    Photo Story
    XNA Studio Express (allows user to create games for Windows and Xbox360).

    (That’s besides the Office apps, that obviously are used to produce “old” “traditional” content (documents, spreadsheets, presentations), and things like Publisher, and even Paint, for that matter).)

  42. Microsoft HAS to teach you about their product line, I think it’s approaching infinity. I totally think it’s hit critical mass and is now reproducing on its own.

    You can damned near recite all of Apple’s product line in a single breath, and if you’re an opera singer, you just may be able to pull it off.

    Maybe if Microsoft didn’t insist on making each version of their software harder and more confusing to buy, they wouldn’t need to spend as much time educating you about what they sell.

  43. Microsoft HAS to teach you about their product line, I think it’s approaching infinity. I totally think it’s hit critical mass and is now reproducing on its own.

    You can damned near recite all of Apple’s product line in a single breath, and if you’re an opera singer, you just may be able to pull it off.

    Maybe if Microsoft didn’t insist on making each version of their software harder and more confusing to buy, they wouldn’t need to spend as much time educating you about what they sell.

  44. Michael,

    Discussion forums answer questions, generally. They aren’t a good mechanism to either search for information, or just get a feeling for “what is going on” with a company or product. They aren’t “casual” like a blog is.

    It’s easy to follow a blog and comments – they get delivered when I want them to. They are “pull me” media, not “push me” media. Sure, I can elect to poll a newsgroup whenever I want, but that means I poll XYZ number of newsgroups.

    I’m not making a good argument, I know – I just *like* my RSS feeds in my RSS reader, and it’s easy to elect what I read and don’t – what thread I follow and which I don’t. Who I elect to consider an “expert” vs who might very well be an expert but I have no personal investment in – and I guess that’s really it – blogs are just generally more personal, and I appreciate that.

    Rob

  45. Michael,

    Discussion forums answer questions, generally. They aren’t a good mechanism to either search for information, or just get a feeling for “what is going on” with a company or product. They aren’t “casual” like a blog is.

    It’s easy to follow a blog and comments – they get delivered when I want them to. They are “pull me” media, not “push me” media. Sure, I can elect to poll a newsgroup whenever I want, but that means I poll XYZ number of newsgroups.

    I’m not making a good argument, I know – I just *like* my RSS feeds in my RSS reader, and it’s easy to elect what I read and don’t – what thread I follow and which I don’t. Who I elect to consider an “expert” vs who might very well be an expert but I have no personal investment in – and I guess that’s really it – blogs are just generally more personal, and I appreciate that.

    Rob

  46. krt8tr, it’s much cheaper for Apple to rely on their supplier to deal with the battery issue. The costs they would incur to have to stock their stores with replacement batteries and deal with everyone that came in asking for a replacement would far outweigh the benefits, even the potential goodwill benefits. It simply makes no economic sense, on any level, for them to do this. No matter how convenient it may be for you.

  47. krt8tr, it’s much cheaper for Apple to rely on their supplier to deal with the battery issue. The costs they would incur to have to stock their stores with replacement batteries and deal with everyone that came in asking for a replacement would far outweigh the benefits, even the potential goodwill benefits. It simply makes no economic sense, on any level, for them to do this. No matter how convenient it may be for you.

  48. Good God, Scoble. Not EVERY company needs to blog. It appears Apple is doing quite well without a band of internal bloggers, thank you very much. Same goes for Amazon.

    And frankly, amongst most of the REAL world, whatever blogging Microsoft employees have chosen to undertake seems to have made very little difference in their perception, stock price, or ability to get a product ot market. So, remind me again what the business value is in blogging for an already well established company with millions of loyal customers and little challenge in getting new ones?

  49. Good God, Scoble. Not EVERY company needs to blog. It appears Apple is doing quite well without a band of internal bloggers, thank you very much. Same goes for Amazon.

    And frankly, amongst most of the REAL world, whatever blogging Microsoft employees have chosen to undertake seems to have made very little difference in their perception, stock price, or ability to get a product ot market. So, remind me again what the business value is in blogging for an already well established company with millions of loyal customers and little challenge in getting new ones?

  50. LayZ, sorry – I think you are wrong. Apple could benefit from this by inviting me into their store – hell, enticing me into their store, to swap out my battery. I’ve NEVER been in an Apple store where I didn’t spend money – so I don’t buy the argument it “isn’t worth their time”. Talk to any car dealer about how much value they get from ANY chance to get a customer on the lot – being there in the store DRASTICALLY increases my chances of spending money on Apple products.

    And I don’t care if Sony made the battery or if Steve Job’s pulled it out of his butt – I bought *my* laptop from Apple, not Sony – so I expect Apple to be the company stepping up and making me happy here. They aren’t off the hook because they bought an inferior product and turned around and sold it to me. I expect better from them than that.

  51. LayZ, sorry – I think you are wrong. Apple could benefit from this by inviting me into their store – hell, enticing me into their store, to swap out my battery. I’ve NEVER been in an Apple store where I didn’t spend money – so I don’t buy the argument it “isn’t worth their time”. Talk to any car dealer about how much value they get from ANY chance to get a customer on the lot – being there in the store DRASTICALLY increases my chances of spending money on Apple products.

    And I don’t care if Sony made the battery or if Steve Job’s pulled it out of his butt – I bought *my* laptop from Apple, not Sony – so I expect Apple to be the company stepping up and making me happy here. They aren’t off the hook because they bought an inferior product and turned around and sold it to me. I expect better from them than that.

  52. Michael, Microsoft is the biggest user of online forums out there (and the market leader for quite some time too). Anyone remember CompuServe? Then Usenet?

    But, here’s an example. I want to tell the person who runs the QuickTime team something about how he/she could make QT better.

    Problem is I can’t find his/her name on Google.

    Compare to the OneNote team. I go to Google. Type “OneNote Blog” and find Chris Pratley. He’s the guy who runs that team.

    He told me he’s gotten lots of great product ideas from customers.

    Don’t think relationships matter? Yeah, right.

    I could go on.

    Blogs show up in Google. Forum discussions generally don’t.

    Blogs let me subscribe to only the people on the team. That’s hard to do on Forum discussions.

    In forums you gotta put up with the idiots. In blogs you don’t have to put up with anyone but the person you want to read. For instance, over at Google if all I want to read is Matt Cutts, that’s real easy. Now, if Matt was participating in a Web forum? Not easy at all. Even if I could pluck out just his postings many would be in response to other postings, so there’d be a high noise level.

    Blogs let me build a relationship with a single person over time and watch how he/she alone reacts to customer feedback.

    Blogs let me find and deal with the leadership on a team, not intermediaries or interns.

    Finally, blogs let the employee share information that he/she might not put into knowledge bases.

  53. Michael, Microsoft is the biggest user of online forums out there (and the market leader for quite some time too). Anyone remember CompuServe? Then Usenet?

    But, here’s an example. I want to tell the person who runs the QuickTime team something about how he/she could make QT better.

    Problem is I can’t find his/her name on Google.

    Compare to the OneNote team. I go to Google. Type “OneNote Blog” and find Chris Pratley. He’s the guy who runs that team.

    He told me he’s gotten lots of great product ideas from customers.

    Don’t think relationships matter? Yeah, right.

    I could go on.

    Blogs show up in Google. Forum discussions generally don’t.

    Blogs let me subscribe to only the people on the team. That’s hard to do on Forum discussions.

    In forums you gotta put up with the idiots. In blogs you don’t have to put up with anyone but the person you want to read. For instance, over at Google if all I want to read is Matt Cutts, that’s real easy. Now, if Matt was participating in a Web forum? Not easy at all. Even if I could pluck out just his postings many would be in response to other postings, so there’d be a high noise level.

    Blogs let me build a relationship with a single person over time and watch how he/she alone reacts to customer feedback.

    Blogs let me find and deal with the leadership on a team, not intermediaries or interns.

    Finally, blogs let the employee share information that he/she might not put into knowledge bases.

  54. It is difficult to deal with delusional people, Rob, but I will give it a shot.

    •The normal practice for recalls of small items is to have the product mailed in some form. However, repairing a large item such as a car realistically supports taking the item into a repair service.

    •Apple Stores are mainly retail outlets. They exist to sell products. Merely storing replacement items would be burden for them. E.g, pallets of replacement batteries would take up space needed for new computers, peripherals and iPods. AS would lose sells if they met your demands.

    •The recalled battery is supposed to mailed back, free of charge, in the container that the new battery comes in. Your claim that Apple is making consumers keep recalled batteries has no basis in fact.

    Indeed, much of what you are saying has no basic in fact. Take your medication.

  55. It is difficult to deal with delusional people, Rob, but I will give it a shot.

    •The normal practice for recalls of small items is to have the product mailed in some form. However, repairing a large item such as a car realistically supports taking the item into a repair service.

    •Apple Stores are mainly retail outlets. They exist to sell products. Merely storing replacement items would be burden for them. E.g, pallets of replacement batteries would take up space needed for new computers, peripherals and iPods. AS would lose sells if they met your demands.

    •The recalled battery is supposed to mailed back, free of charge, in the container that the new battery comes in. Your claim that Apple is making consumers keep recalled batteries has no basis in fact.

    Indeed, much of what you are saying has no basic in fact. Take your medication.

  56. LayZ: not every company has to blog. True enough. But they are missing the chance to have a conversation with its customers in a way THAT THE CUSTOMERS ARE ASKING FOR!!!

    I’m a customer of Apple’s.

    Remember why Steve Jobs opened stores. He couldn’t get his product represented properly in Best Buys and Fry’s.

    So, what about the kid in Montana who isn’t lucky enough to have a Genius Bar nearby like Patrick has?

    Why should they have any less of a good experience?

    And, even for Patrick, why shouldn’t he be able to tell the Quicktime team something without going into a Webforum where he has no idea of the qualifications of the Apple employees answering the questions (or, if, there are even any Apple employees there!!!)

  57. LayZ: not every company has to blog. True enough. But they are missing the chance to have a conversation with its customers in a way THAT THE CUSTOMERS ARE ASKING FOR!!!

    I’m a customer of Apple’s.

    Remember why Steve Jobs opened stores. He couldn’t get his product represented properly in Best Buys and Fry’s.

    So, what about the kid in Montana who isn’t lucky enough to have a Genius Bar nearby like Patrick has?

    Why should they have any less of a good experience?

    And, even for Patrick, why shouldn’t he be able to tell the Quicktime team something without going into a Webforum where he has no idea of the qualifications of the Apple employees answering the questions (or, if, there are even any Apple employees there!!!)

  58. Thanks Robert – That’s what I wanted to say!

    “Blogs let me build a relationship with a single person over time” – and that’s why I like blogs. They are just personal. For instance, I have never met you, yet we’ve talked on the phone a few times. That doesn’t make us friends – we aren’t (I argue you can’t be friends until you actually meet someone). But we have a connection, (no matter how tenuous) that causes each of us (I think) to stop for that extra minute before we flame each other and think, “What is his perspective?”. Too often in newsgroups the flames come before the brain cells kick in – and that’s why I like blogs – blogs are more effectively policed by the community. Piss enough people off and nobody reads you. Nobody reads you and you don’t have a blog.

    In newsgroups it seems there is an almost never ending supply of people that exist just to taunt, argue, or be assholes. I don’t see that anywhere near as much on blogs. Thankfully.

    Rob

  59. Thanks Robert – That’s what I wanted to say!

    “Blogs let me build a relationship with a single person over time” – and that’s why I like blogs. They are just personal. For instance, I have never met you, yet we’ve talked on the phone a few times. That doesn’t make us friends – we aren’t (I argue you can’t be friends until you actually meet someone). But we have a connection, (no matter how tenuous) that causes each of us (I think) to stop for that extra minute before we flame each other and think, “What is his perspective?”. Too often in newsgroups the flames come before the brain cells kick in – and that’s why I like blogs – blogs are more effectively policed by the community. Piss enough people off and nobody reads you. Nobody reads you and you don’t have a blog.

    In newsgroups it seems there is an almost never ending supply of people that exist just to taunt, argue, or be assholes. I don’t see that anywhere near as much on blogs. Thankfully.

    Rob

  60. Podesta – you need to read ALL of the words – NEVER did I say Apple wouldn’t or wasn’t taking bad the old batteries – in fact I was expressing dismay at reports I heard that they might be replacing the batteries WITHOUT requiring a recall. Read the whole thing, even the sentences that have words with a lot of letters.

    As for “Apple stores are a retail outlet, existing mostly to sell product” – that’s complete bullshit – it that IS THE ONLY THING THEY EXIST FOR THEY WOULD NOT EXIST. Apple retail stores exist for one reason, and one reason only – and that is to build the relationship with the customer. Period. If this means the customer spends more, then that is gravy – but the stores are here to build the brand, and the fan loyalty – not to simply give me a convenient place to buy a “Mighty Mouse”. If you believe the store is anything other than an advertising venue then you need to rethink what you think you know.

    As for “the pallet of batteries taking up too much room” in my HUGE ass Apple store, the argument is laughable, and unsustainable – if a company can’t find room to squeeze in customer service, why would you want to do business with them?

    And finally – and this is true – my local post office is not currently accepting ANY shipment of batteries either TO or FROM me. So how is NOT having my replacement of a defective part at the store where I bought the part serving me? Or any other Apple Evangelist?

    Finally, look up delusional -I am a lot of things – passionate, adamant, focused – but NOT delusional. To be delusional I would have to assume that I actually CAN change the way companies treat consumers while also realizing that it is impossible for me to do so.

    I know I can affect change – as can you. So I am not delusional – maybe overly optimistic, or demanding – but rational.

  61. Podesta – you need to read ALL of the words – NEVER did I say Apple wouldn’t or wasn’t taking bad the old batteries – in fact I was expressing dismay at reports I heard that they might be replacing the batteries WITHOUT requiring a recall. Read the whole thing, even the sentences that have words with a lot of letters.

    As for “Apple stores are a retail outlet, existing mostly to sell product” – that’s complete bullshit – it that IS THE ONLY THING THEY EXIST FOR THEY WOULD NOT EXIST. Apple retail stores exist for one reason, and one reason only – and that is to build the relationship with the customer. Period. If this means the customer spends more, then that is gravy – but the stores are here to build the brand, and the fan loyalty – not to simply give me a convenient place to buy a “Mighty Mouse”. If you believe the store is anything other than an advertising venue then you need to rethink what you think you know.

    As for “the pallet of batteries taking up too much room” in my HUGE ass Apple store, the argument is laughable, and unsustainable – if a company can’t find room to squeeze in customer service, why would you want to do business with them?

    And finally – and this is true – my local post office is not currently accepting ANY shipment of batteries either TO or FROM me. So how is NOT having my replacement of a defective part at the store where I bought the part serving me? Or any other Apple Evangelist?

    Finally, look up delusional -I am a lot of things – passionate, adamant, focused – but NOT delusional. To be delusional I would have to assume that I actually CAN change the way companies treat consumers while also realizing that it is impossible for me to do so.

    I know I can affect change – as can you. So I am not delusional – maybe overly optimistic, or demanding – but rational.

  62. For those complaining about wanting an extra “perk” because you have to spend 5 mins. on a web site entering your current batteries number, please remember that you are getting a “new” battery. That means Apple doesn’t get upgrade revenue from the old one. So there is your “free” item. You get a new battery! Not only do you get a free battery, but it’s sent to your door, you don’t pay any taxes on it, you don’t have to go to the store to get it, you don’t have to pay for it.

    If your like me you’ve gotten good use of the one you currently have and you get a new one for free. Apple is basically giving you a $65 battery because of a manufacturing mistake by another vendor. You’ve gotten to use your current one for a good while (In my case 1 year so far) and now get another brand new one so that saves you from spending that $65 this year or next; which you most likely would have had to do as I read Li batteries typcially last about 500 charges.

    As for why they are sending them only and not putting them in stores. My guess is that they’re actually being drop shipped directly from the manufacturing plant at SONY. As people have registered, that information is probably getting sent over to SONY and they are sending them out. Just a guess, but that’s what I’d do.

  63. For those complaining about wanting an extra “perk” because you have to spend 5 mins. on a web site entering your current batteries number, please remember that you are getting a “new” battery. That means Apple doesn’t get upgrade revenue from the old one. So there is your “free” item. You get a new battery! Not only do you get a free battery, but it’s sent to your door, you don’t pay any taxes on it, you don’t have to go to the store to get it, you don’t have to pay for it.

    If your like me you’ve gotten good use of the one you currently have and you get a new one for free. Apple is basically giving you a $65 battery because of a manufacturing mistake by another vendor. You’ve gotten to use your current one for a good while (In my case 1 year so far) and now get another brand new one so that saves you from spending that $65 this year or next; which you most likely would have had to do as I read Li batteries typcially last about 500 charges.

    As for why they are sending them only and not putting them in stores. My guess is that they’re actually being drop shipped directly from the manufacturing plant at SONY. As people have registered, that information is probably getting sent over to SONY and they are sending them out. Just a guess, but that’s what I’d do.

  64. K8tr, your car dealership analogy is not accurate. Take a couple of basic economic and business classes, then get back to me with more reasons to support your argument. Same goes for you, Scoble. It makes absolutely no business sense for Apple to incure this expense and overhead to deal with this issue. Ever try to return a Mac? If so, explain to me why they charge you a $100+ restocking fee?

  65. K8tr, your car dealership analogy is not accurate. Take a couple of basic economic and business classes, then get back to me with more reasons to support your argument. Same goes for you, Scoble. It makes absolutely no business sense for Apple to incure this expense and overhead to deal with this issue. Ever try to return a Mac? If so, explain to me why they charge you a $100+ restocking fee?

  66. @34. Dude you have to weigh the cost/benefit. I would ask how many people that purchase Mac products expect to have a “personal relationship with their computer Savior” aftwards? I’d say it’s close to nil. (percentage-wise). There a a plethora of iPod related blogs, as well a Mac related blogs that deal quite nicely with whatever issues someone may have with their purchase. I’m not sure people really care WHO it is more than they care that the information they are getting is useful. I would submit this supposed void you think exists is being filled quite nicely with you so called “influentials”. Or are they not as valuable in performing this service as you make them out to be. The poor stakerwannabe hick in the backwoods of Montana probably gets as much interaction as he can handle by engaging with the influentials. Apple likely thinks they see a void that needs to be filled. And I’m sure there are plenty of smart people at Apple that know how to read the “influentials” blogs and gleen the needed feedback they are seeking. The amount of times you talk out both sides of your mouth amazes me sometimes.

  67. @34. Dude you have to weigh the cost/benefit. I would ask how many people that purchase Mac products expect to have a “personal relationship with their computer Savior” aftwards? I’d say it’s close to nil. (percentage-wise). There a a plethora of iPod related blogs, as well a Mac related blogs that deal quite nicely with whatever issues someone may have with their purchase. I’m not sure people really care WHO it is more than they care that the information they are getting is useful. I would submit this supposed void you think exists is being filled quite nicely with you so called “influentials”. Or are they not as valuable in performing this service as you make them out to be. The poor stakerwannabe hick in the backwoods of Montana probably gets as much interaction as he can handle by engaging with the influentials. Apple likely thinks they see a void that needs to be filled. And I’m sure there are plenty of smart people at Apple that know how to read the “influentials” blogs and gleen the needed feedback they are seeking. The amount of times you talk out both sides of your mouth amazes me sometimes.

  68. LayZ: actually, most people will tell you it DOES matter who they are talking to.

    Ask your mom if she feels just as good after talking with a customer service person located in India as she would talking with someone who built the product she needed help with.

    This isn’t just about useful information, either. It’s about making sure that the team hears product suggestions too. Microsoft has thousands of people around the world to do just that (they are called MVPs) but even the MVPs used to have to go through intermediaries (called MVP leads) just to get a piece of feedback to the product teams.

    You watch this over time. The teams that have a better conversation with their customers will end up with more market share.

    Like you said, it’s business 101. Them who listen better to their customers will come out with better products and will find they have more customers.

    And, if not, corporate bloggers are found more often in Google and Yahoo and Live, which is where the “normal people” find their information anyway. Which is why you’re seeing lots of corporate blogs start up in almost every business category.

  69. LayZ: actually, most people will tell you it DOES matter who they are talking to.

    Ask your mom if she feels just as good after talking with a customer service person located in India as she would talking with someone who built the product she needed help with.

    This isn’t just about useful information, either. It’s about making sure that the team hears product suggestions too. Microsoft has thousands of people around the world to do just that (they are called MVPs) but even the MVPs used to have to go through intermediaries (called MVP leads) just to get a piece of feedback to the product teams.

    You watch this over time. The teams that have a better conversation with their customers will end up with more market share.

    Like you said, it’s business 101. Them who listen better to their customers will come out with better products and will find they have more customers.

    And, if not, corporate bloggers are found more often in Google and Yahoo and Live, which is where the “normal people” find their information anyway. Which is why you’re seeing lots of corporate blogs start up in almost every business category.

  70. Kr8te sez: “Not *all expenses paid* unless you assume that a customer’s time is of no value. If you are making that assumption, you are on the path to failure. It’s a hassle, any way you look at it.”

    Oh, Christ on a pogo stick!

    I heard about the Powerbook battery recall. Took two minutes tops to determine that the battery for my wife’s Powerbook was recalled and mine wasn’t. I went to support.apple.com, clicked the link and filled out the form. Three minutes tops.

    Someday soon, we’ll get something more interesting than bills and Dell ads in the mail, and it’ll take another five minutes to swap the old battery with the new one, and mail the old one back to Apple, where it will be disposed of in a eco-friendly manner.

    So — you want Apple to reimburse you for the eons of time lost in this little endeavor. You want Apple to make it easier for you.

    Just wait right there while somebody at Apple invents a teleportation device…

    Oh, wait — you wanted to fire up your SUV and take a 40-minute round-trip to your local Apple store. Sorry, that’s not convenient enough.

  71. Kr8te sez: “Not *all expenses paid* unless you assume that a customer’s time is of no value. If you are making that assumption, you are on the path to failure. It’s a hassle, any way you look at it.”

    Oh, Christ on a pogo stick!

    I heard about the Powerbook battery recall. Took two minutes tops to determine that the battery for my wife’s Powerbook was recalled and mine wasn’t. I went to support.apple.com, clicked the link and filled out the form. Three minutes tops.

    Someday soon, we’ll get something more interesting than bills and Dell ads in the mail, and it’ll take another five minutes to swap the old battery with the new one, and mail the old one back to Apple, where it will be disposed of in a eco-friendly manner.

    So — you want Apple to reimburse you for the eons of time lost in this little endeavor. You want Apple to make it easier for you.

    Just wait right there while somebody at Apple invents a teleportation device…

    Oh, wait — you wanted to fire up your SUV and take a 40-minute round-trip to your local Apple store. Sorry, that’s not convenient enough.

  72. Apple Employees ARE encouraged to blog / podcast whatever. I know more than a few who do.

    They just don’t/can’t do it about Apple.

    This will probably never change.

    Me personally, I find it more exciting to see Steve launch a new product with no previous leaks about it than to read weeks / months / years (in the case of vista or duke nukem forever) of noise about it. What’s so bad about that? it’s interesting, and it keeps their competitors on their toes.

  73. Apple Employees ARE encouraged to blog / podcast whatever. I know more than a few who do.

    They just don’t/can’t do it about Apple.

    This will probably never change.

    Me personally, I find it more exciting to see Steve launch a new product with no previous leaks about it than to read weeks / months / years (in the case of vista or duke nukem forever) of noise about it. What’s so bad about that? it’s interesting, and it keeps their competitors on their toes.

  74. I told myself I wouldn’t make this about Texas, but since I was born there, I think I’ll just go ahead:

    Kr8tr sez: “And finally – and this is true – my local post office is not currently accepting ANY shipment of batteries either TO or FROM me.”

    Apple is not responsible for your local branch of the US Postal Service deciding that it needn’t in fact handle things sent in accordance with the rules and regulations of the US Postal Service. It helps to live in a part of the country that has never been it’s own tin-pot Republic and has regrets over joining the Union.

  75. I told myself I wouldn’t make this about Texas, but since I was born there, I think I’ll just go ahead:

    Kr8tr sez: “And finally – and this is true – my local post office is not currently accepting ANY shipment of batteries either TO or FROM me.”

    Apple is not responsible for your local branch of the US Postal Service deciding that it needn’t in fact handle things sent in accordance with the rules and regulations of the US Postal Service. It helps to live in a part of the country that has never been it’s own tin-pot Republic and has regrets over joining the Union.

  76. And I don’t care if Sony made the battery or if Steve Job’s pulled it out of his butt – I bought *my* laptop from Apple, not Sony – so I expect Apple to be the company stepping up and making me happy here. They aren’t off the hook because they bought an inferior product and turned around and sold it to me. I expect better from them than that.

    kr8tr, you have to be the ONLY person who woudl complain that Apple didn’t make you drive to the store to change out the battery. Instead, they let you do it from home. I imagine you thought all that time you blew getting your ford fixed was okay, because you got a hot dog. The equivalent would have been ford bringing you a new vehicle to use to your house while they took your old one to ford to fix. But then you wouldn’t have gotten a hot dog, so you’d have been pissed.

    But, here’s an example. I want to tell the person who runs the QuickTime team something about how he/she could make QT better.

    Problem is I can’t find his/her name on Google.

    that’s funny, because a quick google search for “QuickTime Product Manager” got me the right name. Maybe you should actually try searching. Furthermore, a quick search for “Quicktime Feedback” on apple.com gets you:

    http://www.apple.com/quicktime/feedback/

    Damn, they are hiding the HELL out of that. Bastards.

    Remember why Steve Jobs opened stores. He couldn’t get his product represented properly in Best Buys and Fry’s.

    So, what about the kid in Montana who isn’t lucky enough to have a Genius Bar nearby like Patrick has?

    Why should they have any less of a good experience?

    Wait, you’re going to seriously tell me a friggin’ blog is the SAME EXPERIENCE AS A GENIUS BAR? Dude, you better ventilate your house and office better, the fumes are making you high. In what planet, other than “Robert’s World of Blogs” does a BLOG give you a better experience than face to face?

    Secondly, if you want product team leaders, the genius bar won’t give you that ANYWAY. So I’m not sure WHY you’re comparing two things, other than to bitch about Apple commiting the cardinal sin, and not praying at the Scoble Blog Altar.

    Thirdly, blogs give you access? No, they SOMETIMES give you access. I notice Sinofsky’s blog got turned off in March of this year. So much for access to the product team leaders. How do you explain that? Well I can, he’s too damned busy, but by the standards you apply to everyone not blogging everything, he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his customers, otherwise, he’d be blogging.

    And, even for Patrick, why shouldn’t he be able to tell the Quicktime team something without going into a Webforum where he has no idea of the qualifications of the Apple employees answering the questions (or, if, there are even any Apple employees there!!!)

    Would you care to show me the absolute guarantee, with 100% reliable proof that any blog is actually written by the person they claim does? You can’t even prove that you physically write every entry and comment on your OWN blog. We accept it, but face it, you can’t prove it worth a tinker’s damn. What guarantee does anyone have with a Microsoft blog that it’s actually that person writing it, and not some intern?

    None.

    Oh wait, ScobleVision, blogs are perfect, and incapable of any faults whatsoever, and all you have to do is blog, and your company will be perfect too.

    But wait, here’s more:

    Ask your mom if she feels just as good after talking with a customer service person located in India as she would talking with someone who built the product she needed help with.

    You say “built”, yet you mean “designed”, for I think that if you actually talked with the human who “built” your tablet, you’d be rather disappointed at how little they know about it. That would be because they work in a factory, assembling parts. Parts is parts.

    Secondly, the problem isnt’ India, it’s that the person on the line can’t help you worth a damn. If you’re gettting competent, courteous help, the nationality on the other end isn’t an issue.

    You watch this over time. The teams that have a better conversation with their customers will end up with more market share.

    Wait, you think Microsoft got marketshare by a close relationship with customers? BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHA…oh god, you PR wonks are so cute. Delusional, usually ignorant, and mostly wrong, but cute. No, Robert, they didn’t, nor did IBM get its marketshare in the 50s and 60s by kissing customer ass. Now that you don’t work for Microsoft, you might try reading some of the history of Microsoft that wasn’t approved by BallmerGates.

    Me personally, I find it more exciting to see Steve launch a new product with no previous leaks about it than to read weeks / months / years (in the case of vista or duke nukem forever) of noise about it. What’s so bad about that? it’s interesting, and it keeps their competitors on their toes.

    Amazing how fast Robert forgot the UMPC debacle. But then, he’s not so good at learning from the mistakes of the past.

    Robert…really, think back to why Vogels slapped you down so effectively. This “Blogging is a magic ‘make it better’ spell schtick of yours just doesn’t work.

  77. And I don’t care if Sony made the battery or if Steve Job’s pulled it out of his butt – I bought *my* laptop from Apple, not Sony – so I expect Apple to be the company stepping up and making me happy here. They aren’t off the hook because they bought an inferior product and turned around and sold it to me. I expect better from them than that.

    kr8tr, you have to be the ONLY person who woudl complain that Apple didn’t make you drive to the store to change out the battery. Instead, they let you do it from home. I imagine you thought all that time you blew getting your ford fixed was okay, because you got a hot dog. The equivalent would have been ford bringing you a new vehicle to use to your house while they took your old one to ford to fix. But then you wouldn’t have gotten a hot dog, so you’d have been pissed.

    But, here’s an example. I want to tell the person who runs the QuickTime team something about how he/she could make QT better.

    Problem is I can’t find his/her name on Google.

    that’s funny, because a quick google search for “QuickTime Product Manager” got me the right name. Maybe you should actually try searching. Furthermore, a quick search for “Quicktime Feedback” on apple.com gets you:

    http://www.apple.com/quicktime/feedback/

    Damn, they are hiding the HELL out of that. Bastards.

    Remember why Steve Jobs opened stores. He couldn’t get his product represented properly in Best Buys and Fry’s.

    So, what about the kid in Montana who isn’t lucky enough to have a Genius Bar nearby like Patrick has?

    Why should they have any less of a good experience?

    Wait, you’re going to seriously tell me a friggin’ blog is the SAME EXPERIENCE AS A GENIUS BAR? Dude, you better ventilate your house and office better, the fumes are making you high. In what planet, other than “Robert’s World of Blogs” does a BLOG give you a better experience than face to face?

    Secondly, if you want product team leaders, the genius bar won’t give you that ANYWAY. So I’m not sure WHY you’re comparing two things, other than to bitch about Apple commiting the cardinal sin, and not praying at the Scoble Blog Altar.

    Thirdly, blogs give you access? No, they SOMETIMES give you access. I notice Sinofsky’s blog got turned off in March of this year. So much for access to the product team leaders. How do you explain that? Well I can, he’s too damned busy, but by the standards you apply to everyone not blogging everything, he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his customers, otherwise, he’d be blogging.

    And, even for Patrick, why shouldn’t he be able to tell the Quicktime team something without going into a Webforum where he has no idea of the qualifications of the Apple employees answering the questions (or, if, there are even any Apple employees there!!!)

    Would you care to show me the absolute guarantee, with 100% reliable proof that any blog is actually written by the person they claim does? You can’t even prove that you physically write every entry and comment on your OWN blog. We accept it, but face it, you can’t prove it worth a tinker’s damn. What guarantee does anyone have with a Microsoft blog that it’s actually that person writing it, and not some intern?

    None.

    Oh wait, ScobleVision, blogs are perfect, and incapable of any faults whatsoever, and all you have to do is blog, and your company will be perfect too.

    But wait, here’s more:

    Ask your mom if she feels just as good after talking with a customer service person located in India as she would talking with someone who built the product she needed help with.

    You say “built”, yet you mean “designed”, for I think that if you actually talked with the human who “built” your tablet, you’d be rather disappointed at how little they know about it. That would be because they work in a factory, assembling parts. Parts is parts.

    Secondly, the problem isnt’ India, it’s that the person on the line can’t help you worth a damn. If you’re gettting competent, courteous help, the nationality on the other end isn’t an issue.

    You watch this over time. The teams that have a better conversation with their customers will end up with more market share.

    Wait, you think Microsoft got marketshare by a close relationship with customers? BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHA…oh god, you PR wonks are so cute. Delusional, usually ignorant, and mostly wrong, but cute. No, Robert, they didn’t, nor did IBM get its marketshare in the 50s and 60s by kissing customer ass. Now that you don’t work for Microsoft, you might try reading some of the history of Microsoft that wasn’t approved by BallmerGates.

    Me personally, I find it more exciting to see Steve launch a new product with no previous leaks about it than to read weeks / months / years (in the case of vista or duke nukem forever) of noise about it. What’s so bad about that? it’s interesting, and it keeps their competitors on their toes.

    Amazing how fast Robert forgot the UMPC debacle. But then, he’s not so good at learning from the mistakes of the past.

    Robert…really, think back to why Vogels slapped you down so effectively. This “Blogging is a magic ‘make it better’ spell schtick of yours just doesn’t work.

  78. Heh – ok – so I was in a crappy mood last night! I still think Apple should give me the *option* to replace my battery at the store – AND I still think it’s a good way for them to get me BACK into an Apple store. Giving me something like a USB fob or something to show up would be even better for them. They get the batteries back, I get a new one, we’re all happy.

    And please DON’T make this about Texas – Texas has nothing to do with it.

    Making it about Texas makes it personal :)

    Take care, and I’ll post less when I am in a shitty mood, ok? Peace and all…

    Rob

  79. Heh – ok – so I was in a crappy mood last night! I still think Apple should give me the *option* to replace my battery at the store – AND I still think it’s a good way for them to get me BACK into an Apple store. Giving me something like a USB fob or something to show up would be even better for them. They get the batteries back, I get a new one, we’re all happy.

    And please DON’T make this about Texas – Texas has nothing to do with it.

    Making it about Texas makes it personal :)

    Take care, and I’ll post less when I am in a shitty mood, ok? Peace and all…

    Rob