Blogging causes PR U-turn?

I want to believe that blogging has an impact, but when the El Reg vulture's beady eye spotted Ged Carrol's blog and wrote an article that claims that Microsoft has executed a public u-turn, I had to ask myself if this really was a win for blogistan. The reality could not be further from the truth. Here's why:

  • The "apology" comes from MS Customer Service, not from Ballmer or a recognised PR person
  • It apologizes for the lateness of the response, not for Ballmer's remarks
  • It goes on to explain how MS is really trying to help the industry to secure online content (and by implication that iPod and iTunes has not succeeded in doing so even though they are "popular")

So is this a success for blogging? Well, it's certainly a personal victory for Ged, but I don't think it adequately addresses the slur; I guess it's ok for companies to knock each other around a bit in the media, but going after a competitor's user base is crass, not to say stupid.

But to get a rounded view on this, you've got to read the Register's other article on the subject.

And Stevejay has got his iPod working on Solaris 10, while Ghee Teo reminds us about gtkpod. Go iPod!
Comments:

Hi Colm, Further to your post: My blog entry was really more about activism, if point one per cent of the Register's readers followed my example that would be an additional 2,500 emails that Microsoft's contact page would have to respond to, having worked in a call centre I am aware of the impact that increased traffic can have. I posted Microsoft's response more out of a sense of fairness and have responded to their spin in the email with some commentary of my own. Of course, Scott McNeally has never been known for rash comments either :-) Best regards, Ged

Posted by Ged Carroll on October 12, 2004 at 07:37 AM PDT #

Hi Jed, I agree with you about the importance of using blogs (and other media) to either take a stand or to highlight activism elsewhere (your mail to MS). Unfortunately I think the El Reg article positioned your response as a resolution for the entire iPod community (which in part it is, but that should not prevent other iPod users from expressing their outrage). Congratulations again on using your right of free speech in a powerful way! (with regard to Scott, I guess all corp execs have to occasionally rub someone's nose in it, however I object to insults to \*users\* of specific products).

Posted by Colm Smyth on October 12, 2004 at 06:44 PM PDT #

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