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!)

96 thoughts on “Apple, marketing blogging and podcasting bigtime in its stores

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. @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.

  14. @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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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!!!)

  24. 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!!!)

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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?

  32. 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?

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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

  36. 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

  37. 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.

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