Anonymous Apple blogger starts up

Microsoft has Mini. Apple has “masked.” What’s funnier is that over on Masked comments a Dell blogger (who isn’t anonymous) shows up to try to improve Dell’s image. I say “kudos” to Dell. That’s the way to do be part of the conversation.

I don’t like anonymous blogs, but Apple deserves a raft of them. Apple’s PR department has employees freaked out about having conversations with customers in public.

Here’s a question for Apple’s PR: what happens when only anonymous employees can blog? Hint: your PR will be controlled by anonymous people!

One thing for the anonymous bloggers, though: you better hope that no one can figure out who you are through your IP addresses. You also better hope that Apple doesn’t hire HP’s investigators.

I would rather play it straight. If you’re a corporate employee, tell your boss you’re going to write a blog and if he or she doesn’t like that, then I’d find another job (or another boss) before posting again. It’s not worth your career.

I wouldn’t work someplace that didn’t let every employee blog, and blog openly. But that’s just me.

Comments

  1. Robert, providing you can ‘make a career’ of blogging I’d say it’s more important to have a job than to blog. You might disagree because of your support for this medium. My blog has been blocked by my employer (it was categorised by a web filtering system we use under ‘Games’) but I have no plans to leave my employer just because I cannot blog in the day. I can go home an do that.

  2. Robert, providing you can ‘make a career’ of blogging I’d say it’s more important to have a job than to blog. You might disagree because of your support for this medium. My blog has been blocked by my employer (it was categorised by a web filtering system we use under ‘Games’) but I have no plans to leave my employer just because I cannot blog in the day. I can go home an do that.

  3. Not the first time you comment on the goods and bads of anonymity – I recall an exchange with Mini a while back (God, you were still at Microsoft!). I find the topic intriguing because let’s face it, without anon some good things just would not exist.

    On the other hand, I tend to blog with my own name – granted, as a Z-lister I get nowhere the annoyance and privacy invasions of poeple like yourself.

    I think the difference lies in what one blogs about: if it is to share opinions, then THEY have to belong to a human being, represented by a name. If I am sharing facts I happen to now (so they’re not mine, they just jhappen to be in my possession) then who I am is probably inconsequential.

    What do you think ?

  4. Not the first time you comment on the goods and bads of anonymity – I recall an exchange with Mini a while back (God, you were still at Microsoft!). I find the topic intriguing because let’s face it, without anon some good things just would not exist.

    On the other hand, I tend to blog with my own name – granted, as a Z-lister I get nowhere the annoyance and privacy invasions of poeple like yourself.

    I think the difference lies in what one blogs about: if it is to share opinions, then THEY have to belong to a human being, represented by a name. If I am sharing facts I happen to now (so they’re not mine, they just jhappen to be in my possession) then who I am is probably inconsequential.

    What do you think ?

  5. For the record, Apple doesn’t take an anti-blogging stance at all, there are quite a few Apple bloggers floating around. As for letting every employee blog openly, I seem to recall quite a few times when Microsoft required you to not blog about things that they wanted to do a big release promotion for – why is it that it’s wrong for Apple to do the same?

  6. For the record, Apple doesn’t take an anti-blogging stance at all, there are quite a few Apple bloggers floating around. As for letting every employee blog openly, I seem to recall quite a few times when Microsoft required you to not blog about things that they wanted to do a big release promotion for – why is it that it’s wrong for Apple to do the same?

  7. Adrian, you don’t understand. If you don’t blog the way Scoble dictates you must, then you are DOING SOMETHING BAD AND WRONG.

    Robert still cannot get that there are more solutions that are *right* than just his.

  8. Adrian, you don’t understand. If you don’t blog the way Scoble dictates you must, then you are DOING SOMETHING BAD AND WRONG.

    Robert still cannot get that there are more solutions that are *right* than just his.

  9. Quite a few Apple bloggers? At least you could’ve named some, because they have zero visibility. The number of bloggers that Apple has sued is probably greater than the number that they’ve allowed to blog.

    I think it’s because it’s too hard coordinating the lies that come out of Cupertino without having them simply all get filtered through a single PR gateway.

  10. Quite a few Apple bloggers? At least you could’ve named some, because they have zero visibility. The number of bloggers that Apple has sued is probably greater than the number that they’ve allowed to blog.

    I think it’s because it’s too hard coordinating the lies that come out of Cupertino without having them simply all get filtered through a single PR gateway.

  11. Adrian: Apple employees are told not to blog. The ones who do are doing it at significant career risk and/or with specific approval from PR to do so. Certainly not every employee is allowed to blog like at some other companies like Sun or Microsoft. New hires are specifically told not to.

  12. Adrian: Apple employees are told not to blog. The ones who do are doing it at significant career risk and/or with specific approval from PR to do so. Certainly not every employee is allowed to blog like at some other companies like Sun or Microsoft. New hires are specifically told not to.

  13. Bob: he was fired for breaking his Non-Disclosure agreement, not for blogging. He also wasn’t a Microsoft employee, he was a contractor. Contractors don’t have the same rights as full-time employees. Especially when it comes to confidential information.

  14. Bob: he was fired for breaking his Non-Disclosure agreement, not for blogging. He also wasn’t a Microsoft employee, he was a contractor. Contractors don’t have the same rights as full-time employees. Especially when it comes to confidential information.

  15. For the record, there are not one but two anonymous Intel bloggers out there:

    http://unofficialintelblog.blogspot.com

    http://intelperspective.blogspot.com

    Intel still doesn’t (yet) provide a platform for employees to blog externally, like Microsoft, Sun, IBM, and Adobe do. But they also don’t stop you from setting up your own blog and blogging (appropriately) about Intel stuff, like I do at http://www.tinyscreenfuls.com.

    It would be best if we could get away without having to rely on anonymity, but, anonymous blogs can sometimes let us have a frank, difficult conversation that people would otherwise be too afraid to talk about.

  16. For the record, there are not one but two anonymous Intel bloggers out there:

    http://unofficialintelblog.blogspot.com

    http://intelperspective.blogspot.com

    Intel still doesn’t (yet) provide a platform for employees to blog externally, like Microsoft, Sun, IBM, and Adobe do. But they also don’t stop you from setting up your own blog and blogging (appropriately) about Intel stuff, like I do at http://www.tinyscreenfuls.com.

    It would be best if we could get away without having to rely on anonymity, but, anonymous blogs can sometimes let us have a frank, difficult conversation that people would otherwise be too afraid to talk about.

  17. Anonymous and pseudonymous aren’t the same thing at all. Nobody can blog truly anonymously, but using a pseudonym can have real meaning while protecting one’s job/ability to look one’s mother-in-law in the face.

    A pseudonym like “DiversityChick” can make explicit what a mere “Jane McDoe” never could. As well, and speaking from personal experience here, a genderless screen name makes you much less attractive to cyber and other stalkers, who do disproportionately root around for females.

    Most important is the freedom that pseudonymity gives us to speak the truth in a time where, in many countries (most, but not ALL south of the 49th Parallel) one’s freedoms of speech are drastically and increasingly restricted.

    “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.’’
    – Oscar Wilde

  18. Anonymous and pseudonymous aren’t the same thing at all. Nobody can blog truly anonymously, but using a pseudonym can have real meaning while protecting one’s job/ability to look one’s mother-in-law in the face.

    A pseudonym like “DiversityChick” can make explicit what a mere “Jane McDoe” never could. As well, and speaking from personal experience here, a genderless screen name makes you much less attractive to cyber and other stalkers, who do disproportionately root around for females.

    Most important is the freedom that pseudonymity gives us to speak the truth in a time where, in many countries (most, but not ALL south of the 49th Parallel) one’s freedoms of speech are drastically and increasingly restricted.

    “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.’’
    – Oscar Wilde

  19. Oh yeah, and there’s continuity; perhaps ten thousand people knew who “raincoaster” was before I started blogging. Relatively speaking, nooooooooobody knew who “Lorraine Murphy” was, so I stuck with the screen name. I’ll take fame under ANY name!

  20. Oh yeah, and there’s continuity; perhaps ten thousand people knew who “raincoaster” was before I started blogging. Relatively speaking, nooooooooobody knew who “Lorraine Murphy” was, so I stuck with the screen name. I’ll take fame under ANY name!

  21. He didn’t work for Microsoft but his employment was terminated by Microsoft?

    http://webkit.org/blog/
    http://ridiculousfish.com/blog/
    http://www.friday.com/bbum/

    On the subject:
    http://nslog.com/archives/2004/07/14/apple_blogs.php

    Apple doesn’t have a massive installed userbase that it can keep milking to remain profitable, they need to innovate or they’re dead. There in lies the problem, it’s not innovative if you’re second to market with a product, and there’s a little company in Redmond that has the reputation of wholesale idea theft. Granted, that company is very slow and does a poor job but they’ve managed to make an empire out of it, and there’s no need for Apple to give them anymore of a headstart.

  22. He didn’t work for Microsoft but his employment was terminated by Microsoft?

    http://webkit.org/blog/
    http://ridiculousfish.com/blog/
    http://www.friday.com/bbum/

    On the subject:
    http://nslog.com/archives/2004/07/14/apple_blogs.php

    Apple doesn’t have a massive installed userbase that it can keep milking to remain profitable, they need to innovate or they’re dead. There in lies the problem, it’s not innovative if you’re second to market with a product, and there’s a little company in Redmond that has the reputation of wholesale idea theft. Granted, that company is very slow and does a poor job but they’ve managed to make an empire out of it, and there’s no need for Apple to give them anymore of a headstart.

  23. think of it another way too Robert … I (let’s say I’m a computer company called Peach) tell my employees that if they blog I fire them … then I hire one trusted employee to blog under the name “bag over head”

    now think about it, not only am I controlling the content but more importantly, I can deny anything we later wish to disclaim because after all bag over head is writing an impermissible blog about the Peach organization …

    who knows … those people over at Peach can be tricky

  24. think of it another way too Robert … I (let’s say I’m a computer company called Peach) tell my employees that if they blog I fire them … then I hire one trusted employee to blog under the name “bag over head”

    now think about it, not only am I controlling the content but more importantly, I can deny anything we later wish to disclaim because after all bag over head is writing an impermissible blog about the Peach organization …

    who knows … those people over at Peach can be tricky

  25. I have high hopes for Masked Apple Guy, but he’s going to have to aim a little higher than “the customer is always right” (hint: the customer is frequently…if not wrong, at least mistaken). A good conversation includes examining expectations.

    And the Sainbury’s example was just awful. He was inconvenienced, and inferred the worst, then lamented that he, the almighty customer, was forced to deal with “the most junior and probably the lowest paid employee’s in their business” – wow, just wow.

    Robert, what you say is true, but I might frame it another way: if Apple doesn’t cultivate bloggers, they get what they pay for.

  26. I have high hopes for Masked Apple Guy, but he’s going to have to aim a little higher than “the customer is always right” (hint: the customer is frequently…if not wrong, at least mistaken). A good conversation includes examining expectations.

    And the Sainbury’s example was just awful. He was inconvenienced, and inferred the worst, then lamented that he, the almighty customer, was forced to deal with “the most junior and probably the lowest paid employee’s in their business” – wow, just wow.

    Robert, what you say is true, but I might frame it another way: if Apple doesn’t cultivate bloggers, they get what they pay for.

  27. Two of the best blogs were unfortunately driven out of existence.. “The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs” and “Dead 2.0″… because of people like Scoble that think anonymity is bad. What I don’t understand is why people like this seem to feel threatened by anonymity. Arrington in particular for some reason felt really threatened by Dead 2.0. Obviously he was feeling insecure about something, or couldn’t defend himself based on content. As Scoble has proven, they tend to only deal in ad hominem arguments and attacks when they face anonymity.

  28. Two of the best blogs were unfortunately driven out of existence.. “The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs” and “Dead 2.0″… because of people like Scoble that think anonymity is bad. What I don’t understand is why people like this seem to feel threatened by anonymity. Arrington in particular for some reason felt really threatened by Dead 2.0. Obviously he was feeling insecure about something, or couldn’t defend himself based on content. As Scoble has proven, they tend to only deal in ad hominem arguments and attacks when they face anonymity.

  29. @12. Apple gets what they pay for by not cultivating bloggging? What is that? More buzz? More product sales. I don’t see Apple suffering greatly by not cultivating blogging. What problem is Apple having that needs to be solved by blogging? Afterall, they can always depend on Scoble to spread rumors and misinformation about them that everyone knows is usually false.

  30. @12. Apple gets what they pay for by not cultivating bloggging? What is that? More buzz? More product sales. I don’t see Apple suffering greatly by not cultivating blogging. What problem is Apple having that needs to be solved by blogging? Afterall, they can always depend on Scoble to spread rumors and misinformation about them that everyone knows is usually false.

  31. LayZ, chill out. I’m as big a Mac-head as the next guy (bigger, probably).

    What I’m saying is that when you don’t cultivate some quality conversations, you get crappy conversations (a la the fanboy-vs-hater bickering on Digg, the constant Joris Evers sniping disguised as “news” on CNet, and now Masked Guy). Then someone like Shel comes along and assumes everyone’s pissed off at Apple.

    What a difference one prominent, happy-but-balanced blogger (a la, yes, the Scoblemeister) could make.

  32. LayZ, chill out. I’m as big a Mac-head as the next guy (bigger, probably).

    What I’m saying is that when you don’t cultivate some quality conversations, you get crappy conversations (a la the fanboy-vs-hater bickering on Digg, the constant Joris Evers sniping disguised as “news” on CNet, and now Masked Guy). Then someone like Shel comes along and assumes everyone’s pissed off at Apple.

    What a difference one prominent, happy-but-balanced blogger (a la, yes, the Scoblemeister) could make.

  33. I’ve never heard of an Apple employee being expressly told not to blog. The standard NDA would certainly prohibit blogging about confidential information, but that applies to any form of communication, including conversation. Just because Apple tells me not to talk to my wife about unreleased products doesn’t mean I can’t talk to my wife.

    It would be fair to say that Apple doesn’t put a priority on going out of their way to encourage employees to blog, the way some companies do. Most of the Apple employees I know with blogs post less than they did before they worked here (or not at all) not because they were told not to, but because they’re busy, and enjoy both their jobs and their personal life.

  34. I’ve never heard of an Apple employee being expressly told not to blog. The standard NDA would certainly prohibit blogging about confidential information, but that applies to any form of communication, including conversation. Just because Apple tells me not to talk to my wife about unreleased products doesn’t mean I can’t talk to my wife.

    It would be fair to say that Apple doesn’t put a priority on going out of their way to encourage employees to blog, the way some companies do. Most of the Apple employees I know with blogs post less than they did before they worked here (or not at all) not because they were told not to, but because they’re busy, and enjoy both their jobs and their personal life.

  35. I know that Apple Store employees are told that blogging about their jobs is verboten. Apple is particularly skittish wrt the retail people.

    However, the blogging /not blogging thing is missing the point: Blogging is not some damned magic spell of “Make Stuff Better”. Apple doesn’t seem to have any problem getting feedback from their customers. In fact, they may have too much of it to be useful sometimes.

    Robert keeps forgetting the lesson he didn’t learn when Werner Vogels smacked him and Shel around:

    Blogging for blogging’s sake is not automagically going to make your business better.

    Now, you can’t really blame Robert for acting as though blogging IS a magic spell. After all, it’s his career. Robert with a blog is a valued resource for a company in need of his skills to enhance customer communication.

    Robert without a blog is a white technophile with an annoying laugh.

    So of COURSE he’s going to assume that if you aren’t blogging, you’re making some GRAVE UNRECOVERABLE MISTAKE THAT WILL DRIVE YOU OUT OF BUSINESS.

    This is of course, nonsense, but if you expect Robert to have a critical, balanced view of blogging from a business perspective, then you’re kind of naive.

    Microsoft *desparately* needed Robert. They had no one with even a thin veneer of trustworthiness. In the end, he really did help them get that they had to do more than promise to be better.

    They don’t seem to be DOING anything about it, but I’d guess they now understand that no one takes their grandiose bullshit promises seriously.

    Companies like Apple and Amazon are not MS. They don’t have half-a-decade overdue flagship products. They don’t have a huge security reputation black mark to dig out from under. They don’t have millions of users who curse them every day because they have no real choice.

    But if you ever expect Robert to not be blindly worshipping at the blogging temple?

    Well, just remember that you’re wasting time and annoying the pig. If you like that, sweet, but don’t ever expect him to change.

  36. I know that Apple Store employees are told that blogging about their jobs is verboten. Apple is particularly skittish wrt the retail people.

    However, the blogging /not blogging thing is missing the point: Blogging is not some damned magic spell of “Make Stuff Better”. Apple doesn’t seem to have any problem getting feedback from their customers. In fact, they may have too much of it to be useful sometimes.

    Robert keeps forgetting the lesson he didn’t learn when Werner Vogels smacked him and Shel around:

    Blogging for blogging’s sake is not automagically going to make your business better.

    Now, you can’t really blame Robert for acting as though blogging IS a magic spell. After all, it’s his career. Robert with a blog is a valued resource for a company in need of his skills to enhance customer communication.

    Robert without a blog is a white technophile with an annoying laugh.

    So of COURSE he’s going to assume that if you aren’t blogging, you’re making some GRAVE UNRECOVERABLE MISTAKE THAT WILL DRIVE YOU OUT OF BUSINESS.

    This is of course, nonsense, but if you expect Robert to have a critical, balanced view of blogging from a business perspective, then you’re kind of naive.

    Microsoft *desparately* needed Robert. They had no one with even a thin veneer of trustworthiness. In the end, he really did help them get that they had to do more than promise to be better.

    They don’t seem to be DOING anything about it, but I’d guess they now understand that no one takes their grandiose bullshit promises seriously.

    Companies like Apple and Amazon are not MS. They don’t have half-a-decade overdue flagship products. They don’t have a huge security reputation black mark to dig out from under. They don’t have millions of users who curse them every day because they have no real choice.

    But if you ever expect Robert to not be blindly worshipping at the blogging temple?

    Well, just remember that you’re wasting time and annoying the pig. If you like that, sweet, but don’t ever expect him to change.

  37. Letting any and every employee blog openly as representatives (officially or not) of ANY company would be a mistake. In any large company, there’s always the ingrates and the idiots. I know that from first hand experience. Managing a corporate response may be boring, and I personally may hate it, but it really is the right thing to do.

    Now the BETTER thing to do would to be the kind of company that everyone is happy to work for and loves their jobs so much they are overwhelmingly positive while remaining honest. But I don’t see a lot of that in the US workforce.

  38. Letting any and every employee blog openly as representatives (officially or not) of ANY company would be a mistake. In any large company, there’s always the ingrates and the idiots. I know that from first hand experience. Managing a corporate response may be boring, and I personally may hate it, but it really is the right thing to do.

    Now the BETTER thing to do would to be the kind of company that everyone is happy to work for and loves their jobs so much they are overwhelmingly positive while remaining honest. But I don’t see a lot of that in the US workforce.

  39. John: would you say that any company without telephones is lame? How about any company without email? Or without a Web site?

    Just wanna know where the line for “must have business infrastructure” is in your mind.

    Robert, you’re so cute when you’re trying to use ridiculous examples to make the point you don’t have. Critical thinking is something that other people do in your world, isn’t it. Nice try on the strawman, but I’m not one of the kids walking around waiting for tidbits of wisdom to fall from your lips. Unlike you, I’m not promoting a magic spell.

    The line for “must have business infrastructure” is different for every business. I guarantee you that Microsoft doesn’t have much need for a robotic assembly line with an assload of arc welders. Ford however, does.

    I really doubt that Apple has much of a call for a Radar Absorbing Material fab. Lockheed? They need that stuff a wee bit more.

    I know you’re really quite incapable of learning any idea you didn’t create on your own but here goes:

    Everything is not exactly the same.

    For Microsoft, extensive blogging works. They however, are not Apple nor Amazon, or the local barber. Trying to say that because blogging is good in these situations, that it is good in all situations is extrapolation without thought. Okay, that’s what you do, but still.

    The barbershop across the street from my office has no web site. What Dom DOES have is a killer location, word of mouth to die for, the ability to do a solid haircut in less time than a lunch hour, a $5 discount if you’re local, more customers than he can handle in a month across the street and even more within a two block radius.

    For him, his killer word of mouth is far better than the overhead of a web site, and as he only has 2-3 folks working at any given time, he has a hard limit on how many customers he can serve well.

    So for him and his business, a web site would be a detriment. Same thing for the coffee shop next door.

    You’ve been living in the middle of the biggest companies in the tech world for SO long that you’re incapable of analyzing any situation without applying your particular solution to it. You’re like some overzealous consultant, and the first, last, and only solutions out of your mouth are “Blogging can fix this”

    “But the building burned down”

    “Blog about it”

    “We need to get a new building”

    “Blog first, building second”

    It’s not a magic spell Robert. It’s a tool, and nothing more. Sometimes the right tool, sometimes not. If you ever wander back to a place most of us call “reality” on this subject, you’ll be a FAR more efficient PR voice for blogging. But right now, we all know what you’re going to say, so why bother asking your opinion?

  40. John: would you say that any company without telephones is lame? How about any company without email? Or without a Web site?

    Just wanna know where the line for “must have business infrastructure” is in your mind.

    Robert, you’re so cute when you’re trying to use ridiculous examples to make the point you don’t have. Critical thinking is something that other people do in your world, isn’t it. Nice try on the strawman, but I’m not one of the kids walking around waiting for tidbits of wisdom to fall from your lips. Unlike you, I’m not promoting a magic spell.

    The line for “must have business infrastructure” is different for every business. I guarantee you that Microsoft doesn’t have much need for a robotic assembly line with an assload of arc welders. Ford however, does.

    I really doubt that Apple has much of a call for a Radar Absorbing Material fab. Lockheed? They need that stuff a wee bit more.

    I know you’re really quite incapable of learning any idea you didn’t create on your own but here goes:

    Everything is not exactly the same.

    For Microsoft, extensive blogging works. They however, are not Apple nor Amazon, or the local barber. Trying to say that because blogging is good in these situations, that it is good in all situations is extrapolation without thought. Okay, that’s what you do, but still.

    The barbershop across the street from my office has no web site. What Dom DOES have is a killer location, word of mouth to die for, the ability to do a solid haircut in less time than a lunch hour, a $5 discount if you’re local, more customers than he can handle in a month across the street and even more within a two block radius.

    For him, his killer word of mouth is far better than the overhead of a web site, and as he only has 2-3 folks working at any given time, he has a hard limit on how many customers he can serve well.

    So for him and his business, a web site would be a detriment. Same thing for the coffee shop next door.

    You’ve been living in the middle of the biggest companies in the tech world for SO long that you’re incapable of analyzing any situation without applying your particular solution to it. You’re like some overzealous consultant, and the first, last, and only solutions out of your mouth are “Blogging can fix this”

    “But the building burned down”

    “Blog about it”

    “We need to get a new building”

    “Blog first, building second”

    It’s not a magic spell Robert. It’s a tool, and nothing more. Sometimes the right tool, sometimes not. If you ever wander back to a place most of us call “reality” on this subject, you’ll be a FAR more efficient PR voice for blogging. But right now, we all know what you’re going to say, so why bother asking your opinion?

  41. I don’t live in a fantasy land. I’d rather live in the real world.

    BAAAAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH

    Robert, you live in the biggest fantasy land that doesn’t have a mouse for a mascot. The fact that you try to deny it is just hilarious.

  42. I don’t live in a fantasy land. I’d rather live in the real world.

    BAAAAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH

    Robert, you live in the biggest fantasy land that doesn’t have a mouse for a mascot. The fact that you try to deny it is just hilarious.

  43. Poor Dell. At least someone, albeit Dell themselves, is saying good things about them. 3 cheers for Dell, try putting that kind of innovation into your hardware.

  44. Poor Dell. At least someone, albeit Dell themselves, is saying good things about them. 3 cheers for Dell, try putting that kind of innovation into your hardware.

  45. I suppose the crux of the issue is that there is a spectrum with this. There are four categories in this:

    On one end, you have Scoble and other such paid reporters. This is their job. Let us call a spade a spade: It’s public relations. Nothing wrong with that.

    At the other end, the Maskeds and Mini-Microsofts. They are not paid to report, and probably would lose their jobs if the link was made. Reporting is not their job, it’s programming or something else. And often, it’s negative PR. The disgruntled.

    Somewhere in between the PR and the disgruntled are those who post about their work, in ways that don’t negatively impact the company, but at the same time, is not what they’re paid for. These would be like the Sufin Safari and NSLog() mentioned above. They are in the front lines, actually beating on the code. Let’s call them frontliners.

    Finally, there are those that report about a company, but are not paid by the company to do so. They’re either doing it as a hobby (Crazy Apple Rumors), self-employed (Daring Fireball), or a magazine (ZDNet). They are the press.

    What I see is that Scoble groups the PR and frontliners together. Since there’s no PR in this aspect from Apple, Apple must be crushing frontliners, and all that is left is the disgruntled. Press is ignored in this aspect.

    The apple camp sees it differently, although PR and frontliners are still confused. Apple already does great on PR in general: Do a Macworld or WWDC, or a special event, and the press does all the work for you in this realm, for free! And the frontliners, they should be doing their job, which is NOT reporting, but instead, doing things like shipping products. The disgruntled are written off as a unchangeable factor.

    A cheap shot would be to compare the blog activity of Microsoft and Sun to Apple’s, and then compare Microsoft’s shipping performance (Longhorn) and then link to Sun’s performance compared to Apple’s, and conclude that, if anything, there should be LESS blogging, not more. But that would be a dishonesty.

    Instead, I shall state that when all you have is a PR blog, all the world’s a blogosphere (Ugh. Hate that word. Hate it!). Scoble does a very fine job of it, and I won’t dispute that he has been an invaluable asset to any company he works for. But, Apple has its own non-blog means, and it works very well for them. They DO have frontliners, as linked to above, and moreover, they have press that amplifies things, and does their work for them.

  46. I suppose the crux of the issue is that there is a spectrum with this. There are four categories in this:

    On one end, you have Scoble and other such paid reporters. This is their job. Let us call a spade a spade: It’s public relations. Nothing wrong with that.

    At the other end, the Maskeds and Mini-Microsofts. They are not paid to report, and probably would lose their jobs if the link was made. Reporting is not their job, it’s programming or something else. And often, it’s negative PR. The disgruntled.

    Somewhere in between the PR and the disgruntled are those who post about their work, in ways that don’t negatively impact the company, but at the same time, is not what they’re paid for. These would be like the Sufin Safari and NSLog() mentioned above. They are in the front lines, actually beating on the code. Let’s call them frontliners.

    Finally, there are those that report about a company, but are not paid by the company to do so. They’re either doing it as a hobby (Crazy Apple Rumors), self-employed (Daring Fireball), or a magazine (ZDNet). They are the press.

    What I see is that Scoble groups the PR and frontliners together. Since there’s no PR in this aspect from Apple, Apple must be crushing frontliners, and all that is left is the disgruntled. Press is ignored in this aspect.

    The apple camp sees it differently, although PR and frontliners are still confused. Apple already does great on PR in general: Do a Macworld or WWDC, or a special event, and the press does all the work for you in this realm, for free! And the frontliners, they should be doing their job, which is NOT reporting, but instead, doing things like shipping products. The disgruntled are written off as a unchangeable factor.

    A cheap shot would be to compare the blog activity of Microsoft and Sun to Apple’s, and then compare Microsoft’s shipping performance (Longhorn) and then link to Sun’s performance compared to Apple’s, and conclude that, if anything, there should be LESS blogging, not more. But that would be a dishonesty.

    Instead, I shall state that when all you have is a PR blog, all the world’s a blogosphere (Ugh. Hate that word. Hate it!). Scoble does a very fine job of it, and I won’t dispute that he has been an invaluable asset to any company he works for. But, Apple has its own non-blog means, and it works very well for them. They DO have frontliners, as linked to above, and moreover, they have press that amplifies things, and does their work for them.

  47. A cheap shot would be to compare the blog activity of Microsoft and Sun to Apple’s, and then compare Microsoft’s shipping performance (Longhorn) and then link to Sun’s performance compared to Apple’s, and conclude that, if anything, there should be LESS blogging, not more. But that would be a dishonesty.

    The interesting thing is, Sun is finally focusing on their best arena, large scale enterprise. Instead of trying to do everything well, they figured out what they do best, and are tending to that better than they have in many years, and, unsurprisingly, they’re doing well again.

    Hmm…company loses focus, and it stops doing well. Company regains or stays focused, and it does well.

    Maybe there’s a lesson there for Microsoft?

    Wait, Microsoft learning anything from anyone else? What am I saying? Sorry, momentary delusion there.

  48. A cheap shot would be to compare the blog activity of Microsoft and Sun to Apple’s, and then compare Microsoft’s shipping performance (Longhorn) and then link to Sun’s performance compared to Apple’s, and conclude that, if anything, there should be LESS blogging, not more. But that would be a dishonesty.

    The interesting thing is, Sun is finally focusing on their best arena, large scale enterprise. Instead of trying to do everything well, they figured out what they do best, and are tending to that better than they have in many years, and, unsurprisingly, they’re doing well again.

    Hmm…company loses focus, and it stops doing well. Company regains or stays focused, and it does well.

    Maybe there’s a lesson there for Microsoft?

    Wait, Microsoft learning anything from anyone else? What am I saying? Sorry, momentary delusion there.

  49. John, despite your cogent analysis, as usual, you didn’t answer Robert’s typically shallow response claiming blogging and telephones or email are equally needed by corporations. Obviously, telephones are a necessity. That is why telcos are considered common carriers and developed countries have more than 95 percent market concentration. Mail of different sorts is also a necessity for the same basic communications reason. Blogging, on the other hand, is still largely extraneous. It is not a basic communications tool. As you and other have said, whether it is useful depends mainly on the circumstances.

    As for Robert’s oft repeated claim that Apple has a policy forbidding blogging, the fact Robert offers absolutely nothing beyond innuendo and opinion to support that claim lets any thoughtful person know he has no proof.

    Also, it is interesting to note that the output of the anonymous Apple blogger is completely pedestrian. He appears to be a person with next to nothing of substance to say who realized he could get some (passing, I suspect) attention by touting the line that he is a brave soul daring to take on Apple. It worked.

  50. John, despite your cogent analysis, as usual, you didn’t answer Robert’s typically shallow response claiming blogging and telephones or email are equally needed by corporations. Obviously, telephones are a necessity. That is why telcos are considered common carriers and developed countries have more than 95 percent market concentration. Mail of different sorts is also a necessity for the same basic communications reason. Blogging, on the other hand, is still largely extraneous. It is not a basic communications tool. As you and other have said, whether it is useful depends mainly on the circumstances.

    As for Robert’s oft repeated claim that Apple has a policy forbidding blogging, the fact Robert offers absolutely nothing beyond innuendo and opinion to support that claim lets any thoughtful person know he has no proof.

    Also, it is interesting to note that the output of the anonymous Apple blogger is completely pedestrian. He appears to be a person with next to nothing of substance to say who realized he could get some (passing, I suspect) attention by touting the line that he is a brave soul daring to take on Apple. It worked.

  51. Dear Mr Scobleizer:

    I am the webmaster/blogger of the ShenshuaiOne Podcast. I have selected you blog as a good source of information. I am requesting your permission to reference or even quote your blog on my podcast. If you will give me permission, please reply to my bottommost post on my blog (the one that says “Hello World!”). Your permission is appreciated.

    Also, if you have any media files (pref. audio) of your blog contents, please provide a link to them on your site (direct link) so I can let my podcast’s listeners listen to them as well. I hope to make my podcast available to many users, and give other users the ability publish their content on my podcast as well.

    Thank you for the time and effort to read this post.

    Sincerely,
    Nathan Guannan Zhang.

  52. Dear Mr Scobleizer:

    I am the webmaster/blogger of the ShenshuaiOne Podcast. I have selected you blog as a good source of information. I am requesting your permission to reference or even quote your blog on my podcast. If you will give me permission, please reply to my bottommost post on my blog (the one that says “Hello World!”). Your permission is appreciated.

    Also, if you have any media files (pref. audio) of your blog contents, please provide a link to them on your site (direct link) so I can let my podcast’s listeners listen to them as well. I hope to make my podcast available to many users, and give other users the ability publish their content on my podcast as well.

    Thank you for the time and effort to read this post.

    Sincerely,
    Nathan Guannan Zhang.

  53. hey listen guys if he/she wants to blog (name-aired, or not) then let him/her – don’t knock it. Hey and if Apple has a problem with employee blogging let them deal with it – they’ll take the hit. Endless rants, refs and flames fuel the fire to elevate beyond anything meaningful – focus on yourselves and your conversations and we’ll all be fine, trust me :-)

  54. hey listen guys if he/she wants to blog (name-aired, or not) then let him/her – don’t knock it. Hey and if Apple has a problem with employee blogging let them deal with it – they’ll take the hit. Endless rants, refs and flames fuel the fire to elevate beyond anything meaningful – focus on yourselves and your conversations and we’ll all be fine, trust me :-)

  55. [...] I submitted my wordpress blogs to Blogher this evening. Truth be told, I’m rather concerned about not getting accepted into that bunch’s blogrolls, especially this particular blog. I can make a bunch of assumptions as to why (such as I don’t run a mommy blog, I don’t discuss womens’ issues – which, of course, may be nothing further from the truth, as well as being unfair to peeps who DO run mommy blogs and discuss womens’ issues). What I think it may all boil down to is my own attitude and style, versus that adopted by the bloggers on that site. Not only am I opinionated, I am quite brash about it. As many of you long-time readers know, I can also be quite brutal. In hindsight, maybe uncessarily so, at times. I also don’t use a psuedonym and don’t really care to hide behind one just because it would be convenient for me to do so (although, unlike Robert Scoble, I can understand why someone would adopt one). I’m sure this decision will come back and bite me one day, but at least noone will say I ever tried to hide anything. And no, I don’t always post the most intelligent posts, but, seriously, who does? Should it be the sole goal of every one who blogs to be the current darling of the bloggeratti? Or just to get their point across, whether it’s about their life or about their current topic du jour? I’d say it’s the latter, although it IS nice to get noticed once in a while. [...]

  56. The web is not anonymous. Its more of a disguise. Assume you will be traced. If you want to be anonymous stick to phone booths and mail letters – but wear gloves and do it out of state. But I didn’t tell you that.

  57. The web is not anonymous. Its more of a disguise. Assume you will be traced. If you want to be anonymous stick to phone booths and mail letters – but wear gloves and do it out of state. But I didn’t tell you that.