In my professional life as a journalist, I only wrote one rumor story for which sourcing was truly sketchy. Generally my rule is this: Write what you know to be true in the moment based on the most reliable—and identified, meaning we directly communicated—sources available. But I didn’t feel confident about my Oct. 17, 2001 iPod story. My source (only one) confirmed that six days later Apple would unveil a “digital music device”, but it wasn’t clear what that meant, something the story reflects.
I reminisce about iPod because it’s gone. CNET, where I worked when writing about the mystery music device, reported the device’s disappearance yesterday. The link for iPod Classic now goes to iPod Touch, and the music player is no longer sold at Apple Store Online—not even refurbished. The extended name, adopted in 2007, is appropriate. The original iPod is a “classic”. It is one of four foundational products released in 2001 that still drive everything Apple in 2014. Music changed the fruit-logo company long before iPhone established the world’s largest tech company. [Read more]
As a personal exercise exploring the tone of my BetaNews stories about Apple, I reviewed all of them written over the past 10 months—just 26, which isn’t many. I did this because, despite the last two posts (here and here) about Apple apologists, reader response does matter. Some critics harp about balance, and I admit there’s no glowing love for the company expressed in most of my stories.
There shouldn’t be. What some people call negativity, I see as constructive criticism. Then there is straight news reporting, which needn’t praise or raze. I prepared the list for myself and post it here mostly for my reference. But it’s a good look at my most recent news stories and analyses about Apple. [Read more]
Yesterday, I griped about how effectively Apple PR sets the Fourth and Fifth Estates speculating and rumormongering. What coincidence! Today, 9to5Mac published Mark Gurman’s gripping inside look into Apple’s PR strategy. The story, “Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple’s Mastery of the Media“, is fine example of the kind of news reporting too often missing on the web today. His multi-section report is well-organized, believably-sourced (even where anonymously), and accurate—to which I can attest based on my experience dealing with Apple as a journalist. He also validates many of my ongoing complaints about how bloggers and journalists report about the company.
I am thoroughly impressed by Matt’s report, not because I agree but know it to be true. I have interacted with all the principal PR people that he identifies. He writes about my experience, and that of other long-time tech journalists. More importantly, I like his tone, which even when recounting something many readers will take as negative about PR, is flat. His story is balanced, well-sourced, and believable. [Read more]
I must thank Todd Bishop, whose tweet about a GeekWire story alerted me to the then forthcoming .wtf domain extension, which is now available. Generally, I think these dot-com wannabes are just plain stupid, but someone wants them—or ICANN decision-makers believe so. I ignored every domain registrar solicitation to grab one until .wtf.
My first concern is brand protection. I’ve pissed off more than a few fanboys over the years and I worried about someone snagging joewilcox.wtf and using that as a platform against me. You should worry, too, if you have any kind of brand to protect. “What the fuck?” is right. If your name is your brand, grab .wtf before someone else does. [Read more]
I can’t seem to escape Apple’s “Powerful” commercial, which during some primetime programs airs two, or even three, times. The TV spot is aspirational marketing done right, with booming tagline: “You’re more powerful than you think”.[Read more]