This would probably go down in the history books as the shortest lived corporate blog ever. Looks like Apple started a blog to tide over the crisis that was brewing with MobileMe. One that I’d hoped would be the start of a deeper engagement with the blogosphere, but alas, t’was not to be.
Not for long but let’s look at what alternatives Apple has undertaken while they closed the blog. The semi anonymous blogger David G. writes in the oh-so aptly titled last post – MobileMe Final Post!
Instead, we have redesigned the MobileMe Support page so it’s clearer and has an enlarged area, now in the upper right hand corner, to report on system status.
In addition we’ve created a new place for regular posts about all parts of the service, including enhancements, updates, explanations, fixes, support announcements, and other news as it arrives – MobileMe News
Was that the right thing to do? Absolutely Right! As I’ve said before when asked about the necessity for a corporate blog. You don’t have to start a corporate blog just for the sake of doing it. Looks like Apple’s providing two great resources for their MobileMe users with the News and Support pages – why do they need a corporate blog?
Here are three simple questions you ask yourself before you start a corporate blog:
1. Why am I starting a corporate blog? What are the goals?
2. Where are my users?
3. What’s the internal and external corporate culture?
Obviously in this case, Apple was in crisis management mode, which is an obvious reason many corporate blogs start, but it doesn’t look like there were any long time goals for the blog. And, once they had moved past that awkward phase looks like they have worked on a longer term solution. As long as the contents of the News and Support page are search engine indexed well, I think it’d serve the company, their current and prospective users well indeed.
Alternative solution: If your company is facing a crisis and you need to keep your users informed while you get your forums and other user communication systems up and running. Use Twitter. It’s far easier.
In related News: Apple has extended their free trial of MobileMe to another 60 days, although, I haven’t received the offer. Maybe I wasn’t included? hmm… Only time will tell.