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.

71 thoughts on “Anonymous Apple blogger starts up

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 :-)

  4. 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 :-)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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