Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Apple’s foray into Corporate Blogging – Lame!

It pains me to say this, as one of Apple/Steve Jobsbig admirers, but it’s true. I have always been pretty vociferous in my attempt to get Apple blogging in an official capacity. I’ve always felt that blogging should originate from a need to communicate and converse with your legions of users and NOT as a crisis management tool.

However, Apple has chosen the latter. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Historically, Apple has shied away from blogging (e.g. the Apple vs. Cisco name trademark issue). More recently, Steve Jobs has blogged on two occasions (here’s the green apple example). In the latest example, Mr. Anonymous blogs after being instructed by his Steveness himself. I quote:

Steve Jobs has asked me to write a posting every other day or so to let everyone know what’s happening with MobileMe, and I’m working directly with the MobileMe group to ensure that we keep you really up to date.

What?! Anyways, first things first…

Where they got it right?

1. They promise regular postings a few times a week

2. Support from the higher echelons of the company, in this case Jobs himself, inspires trust

3. Provide exclusive breaking news

4. Honest transparency

Be assured people here are working 24-7 to improve matters, and we’re going to favor getting you new info hot off the presses even if we have to post corrections or further updates later.

5. Empathy

In the 14 days since we launched, it’s been a rocky road and we know the pain some people have been suffering.

Where they got it wrong?

Alright, that’s a good first step, but good next steps would be

1. Revealing who this new Fake Steve Jobs’ blogger is?

2. Have a consistent face/person associated with the blog.

3. Allow comments, which are obviously passed on to the teams involved.

Why is this a big deal?

1. Because they are Apple? And as the company that invented and made “product evangelism” a by-word in marketing, they can do way better.

2. I’ve always lamented the fact that my favorite tech company hasn’t stepped into corporate blogging yet, especially since they have such a passionate following. This is a tiny but important step towards a fuller embrace of corporate blogging at Apple. Or, so I hope.

As is expected, the whole blogosphere has gotten itself into a tizzy about Apple’s attempted entry into corporate blogging, with some like MobileCrunch pointing out its deficiencies and rightfully praising the effort. Here’s an example of a blog done right – Sony.

What do you think Apple could have done better? Or worse?

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Filed under: Business Blogging

12 Responses

  1. nellyspencer says:

    I agree with you Mario. If you are going to use blogging as a communications tool then you need to understand that communication is in essence a dialogue. Feedback is extremely valuable and even more so for Apple. They could really use their blog to their advantage by addressing people’s concerns openly and honestly. Gone are the days where companies talk “at” people. They need to talk to people and allow people to talk back to them. As a new blogger, I recognise that it really is that simple!

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  2. Peter says:

    I’m not a MobileMe customer, but I was surprised when I read the post on Apple’s Hot News feed. “Steve Jobs asked me…” indeed–who is “me”?

    I mean, I can sort of understand the concept that a person may not want to be associated with (a) this MobileMe mess and (b) MobileMe in general (Mac Users can be pretty scary). I can live with a first name (“Hi, I’m Carl from MobileMe. Steve Jobs asked me…”) or use the “spread the blame” technique (“Hi, this is the MobileMe Development Team. Steve Jobs asked us…”).

    But the whole “Steve Jobs asked me…” without giving any details as to who ‘me’ is? Nope.

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  3. Mario Sundar says:

    @Nelly Spencer,

    Thanks for your comment. Wondering what’s your blog and where we can find it. Feel free to add that with your comment next time around.

    And, let us know if you have questions on blogging. I’m sure either me or the community of readers around here can help.

    @Peter,
    Yep, t’was a tad intriguing and annoying. As I said, good news that there was executive support to the blog, but the anonymity doesn’t makes any sense, nor does it help their cause.

    Thanks!

    Like

  4. nellyspencer says:

    Hi Mario

    My blog is called “The Blog Experience” and you can find it at http://www.blogexplore.wordpress.com

    Thanks for offering some advice. If you go to my blog you will see what I mean about being a new blogger and what I am experiencing. It is a little daunting at first! Don’t laugh but I’m not even sure if it’s okay that I put my link in this comment. There are spammers lurking around so getting used to what the blogosphere sees as acceptable/unacceptable.

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  5. Mario Sundar says:

    @Nelly,

    Thanks for sharing. I agree. It’s a daunting first step. But once you’re on, you’re on. Well, let’s face it. If you’ve created a blog to build your online brand, then the goal is to spread that by leaving your blog in comments, etc…

    Spammers will always be there: email, direct mail or the blogosphere, but that shouldn’t be a deterrence to blogging.

    Let me know if you’ve any questions.

    Like

  6. nellyspencer says:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Mario! It is inspiring when people like you offer that kind of advice and make “time” to share with others. I’m sure I’ll have many questions but I’m hoping that they will be answered in time. Your willingness to help is very much appreciated! Thank you.

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  7. Mario Sundar says:

    @Nelly,

    You’re welcome and your feedback is appreciated.

    Like

  8. […] thought this would have been a great MobileMe status blog post, but if you were to break down the email into three parts, here’s what Jobs […]

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  9. […] apart, when I first blogged about Apple’s foray into corporate blogging, I outlined 5 reasons why that was a step in the right direction as well as three reasons it sucked. Let’s see […]

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  10. […] frustrated MobileMe user, I’ve agonized over the MobileMe saga which started with their lame attempt at corporate blogging, continued with the MobileMe’s terrible performance, my personal experience using MobileMe […]

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  11. […] (What would Steve Jobs blog?), as I explained the benefits of such an action, the good and bad of Apple’s earlier attempts, etc.  (see scorecard here). Chuq’s post reaffirmed my […]

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  12. Tim says:

    Hey Mario,

    I enjoyed reading your critic of Apple’s blog attempts. I went online to look at apple’s blog just assuming they had one. These guys are leading on A LOT of front. Wow was I surprised to find out they don’t. I have to build a blog as a assignment in my writing class. ugh!!(not a writer)
    So to my point…do you have a few companies with cool products, services, etc. that kick butt. I noticed the plug for sony so I have chosen they guys for one company and I need one more.
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Like

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