Mac Blogs, and How Microsoft Does It Better Than Apple

Seems like the whole Mac blog atmosphere (I hate that other word used to describe the current state of blogs…) is in a bit of an excited state after the discovery of two new blogs: .mac Blog and Mac Mojo, Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit blog.

Corporate blogs like this are great for being able to continuously have a conversation with customers, but it’s the execution that makes them valuable. Mac Mojo looks like it’s off to a great start. They’ve already addressed dropping Virtual PC and one blogger’s OWN blog has discussed the lack of VBScript in the next version of Mac Office. People can comment on each post and see exactly who wrote each post. There’s a face to this blog and the interaction is only going to help make Office for the Mac even better. I want to see a new and improved Entourage that’s more inline with the features from Outlook (rules saved to Exchange servers), and even Sharepoint capability (mail threads 20 emails long are NOT fun, what corporations really need is a discussion board with update notifications). While we get updates on the progress of the next version of Office for Windows, the Mac version hasn’t been getting that kind of attention. This is the start.

.Mac Blog, on the other hand, reads like a poorly written sales flier. There are posts about why you should use iDisk for storing files instead of a flash drive, why .Mac photocasting is the BEST way to share photos, and how iCal is wonderful for sharing calendars. Despite the fact that all three of these scenarios are better accomplished on other services (your college’s network storage, Flickr, and Google Calendar, respectively), and .Mac’s reliability has been going down the shitter, the blog has a disconnect because it’s not REAL. There are no authors, there’s no face. It does not indicate that .Mac is growing and improving. I sympathize more with Microsoft’s bloggers who say “We recognize there are problems, and we’re working on them.” I do not sympathize with bloggers who go, “Problems? WHAT problems?!”

It’s like the Apple people are working at Microsoft and the Microsoft people are working at Apple.

It’s no secret that Microsoft has embraced blogging and that Apple’s corporate culture nearly bans blogging (loose lips sink ships, I suppose). Apple finally embraces blogging (they must’ve read Naked Conversations) and they completely stumble (they must have scanned through it – “Yeah, blogging…how hard could it be? We’ll just talk about how great we are all day!”).

I love Microsoft’s blogs. The Entourage blog lets me know that Microsoft is into supporting the product after sale (in some ways, Entourage is much better than Outlook, thanks to the Project Center). Apple would rather ignore problems and get tons of hype behind the next version. Apple users have unending faith that the next version of X will finally get rid of bug Y.

So, which is really better for business? The 2-way communication that a correctly done blog provides, or the hype-machine?

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