Why Mock Free Apple Publicity? For That Matter, Why Mock Those New to Apple?

So there’s this tour of the new Boston Apple Store on a local news channel. It’s a great piece, with the reporter in wild-eyed amazement at Apple’s cool tools.

In some quarters this is an occasion to mock, but I strongly disagree.

What possible purpose can it serve to refer to the reporter as having “been off the planet for the last year and a half”, and asking “abjectly clueless questions”? It seems to me the true ignorance (or perhaps it’s just short-sightedness) being shown is by those voicing the criticism.

If all Apple users who read the various blogs and keep track of such things think that everybody else does the same, you need to get out more. A lot more. Seriously.

There are plenty of people (in fact, that would be most people) who don’t live and die by tech — and not just Apple’s. They do not subscribe via Google Reader (or any other) to tech news, etc.

It doesn’t matter the reporter didn’t know this stuff, she didn’t need to. The Apple Store representative guiding the tour did know this stuff. And his ability to explain it, along with her “wonder” at the technology, was perfect to anybody other than an Apple geek who apparently spends way too much time on this stuff.

Any site ridiculing this reporter is entirely missing the point. Apple is not some “sooper seekrit” club to join and then throw stones at those “Outside”. Apple supporters have no decoder ring or secret handshake — no matter how badly some on the “Inside” apparently would like that to be. It’s not something to be preached only to the choir.

In fact, it’s just the opposite (or it certainly should be). The more people who do not know about Apple’s gadgets — and not knowing does not mean one lives in cave — who then discover them, the better.

What’s really strange is that the “Insiders” regularly drool over a new Apple device minutes after its announced, yet if someone else is amazed by it a year later (and, really, it’s not hard for people to miss this stuff for a year) they somehow deserve our derision? Aside from just being wrong, this stance is counter-productive if one wants to see Apple’s audience grow.

Is it possible those making fun don’t realize that people like this are the reason Apple stores exist in the first place? Apparently so. Too bad.

Steve Jobs knew long ago that preaching to a larger audience was the best way to grow Apple. To those of you who want to make fun of potential new users, it appears you haven’t been paying attention the last 10 years.

15 thoughts on “Why Mock Free Apple Publicity? For That Matter, Why Mock Those New to Apple?

  1. Sebhelyesfarku cannot spell his own name; correctly: pettyhüdtfarku
    cheers kakistocratic, coprolalic cyberspace wanderer!

  2. Awww.. people made fun of her? I found her quite engaging and charming. These are exactly the people that Apple wants as customers. And Apple products are perfect for them.

    Sure, it’s hard to believe someone would actually ask ‘what’s that do’ but I give that Apple store employee mucho kudos for giving her an answer that satisfied. You always have to recognize where your customer’s abilities lie and cater to their needs. He did a great job.

    I prefer her reaction to new things as opposed to the non-reactors and the walking dead amongst us.

  3. “If all Apple users who read the various blogs and keep track of such things think that everybody else does the same, you need to get out more. A lot more. Seriously.”

    But read The Small Wave & Fix Your Thinking DOT COM before you do!

  4. One of the best news reports I have seen in a long time. It is as though Apple scripted the whole show, including pulling the mayor, who from what I understand does not use computers, into playing with MacBook Air. Kudos to Joyce Kulhawik!!!

  5. I thought that the idea of sending the entertainment reporter to cover this tech story was a great idea. Her reaction was no different to the reactions of many people whom I have personally shown Apple products to at a local Future Shop.

    These even include people who know tech very well on the Windows side. Once they see Leopard, for example, something that is pretty unfamiliar to them, and the fact that Mac’s really do have a right click, etc., they show exactly the same wonderment as did that charming reporter. So I can appreciate her reactions totally.

    In fact, just last Sunday, two Window users stopped off to take a look at the iMac and after showing them the ins and out of Leopard, they not only displayed the same sense of child like wonderment as the reporter, but I convinced them in buying both a 20 inch iMac and a 2.8 GHZ., 24 inch model!

    And to think that I don’t even work there!

  6. Pingback: apple store boston

  7. The WBZ reporter, Joyce Kulhawik, is/was the entertainment reporter – she primarily did movie reviews. She, like most people, know little to nothing about computers.

    And I agree with you completely. From Jobs’ reaction to rumor/blog sites, it’s clear that Jobs would rather reach out and sell computers to people like her instead of the idiotic commenters.

  8. @Sebhelyesfarku

    Much more funny; or
    funnier; or
    but much more funnier is not english

  9. Well, it’s the return of the brain-dead Sebhelyesfarku! (You’ll have to excuse him, he can’t spell or write grammatically correct sentences). We thought you had moved back to Hungry.

    You should have, because your Mommy is calling and she has cookies for you.

  10. Brainwashed Mactards are much more funnier than this reporter.

  11. I think a lot of technology people have the wrong atttitude. I was at Best Buy the other day, looking at a Nikon D300, and I got into a conversation with a nice lady who was clueless about photography despite having bought a fairly expensive DSLR. She apparently had someone teach her who was talking in jargon-speak. I explained things to her in simple terms and she seemed to have little difficulty understanding. I think it’s horrible the way people are condescending to folks like that, who are not stupid, they just don’t know a lot of things many of us take for granted.

    The TV woman seemed like a nice, sweet, bubbly girl to me. It was amusing how she drew in the Mayor of Boston, who obviously knew about as much as she did.

    And it did bring up an excellent point: Apple store employees are keen to help you to bring you into our glorious new world of technology, in a way no other computer maker can. And that’s a big achievement for Apple, probably a significant reason for their market share increases.


  12. Very well put. I completely agree, Tom, and I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling that way.

    Shame on MDN (along with most of the commenters on the MDN article) for spiting someone for being enthusiastic about Apple products and showing it, lack of technology-knowledge or not.

  13. sfmitch,

    “…but she seems to know absolutely nothing about computers and electronics”

    Just like many (most?) people who enter an Apple store.

    Why send a tech reporter? So the entire piece would just glaze the eyes of those watching the report on TV? Better to send someone who doesn’t know any more than most of the people likely watching.

    I have no issue with making fun of people who are SUPPOSED to know this stuff: Tech reporters, Analysts, Apple’s competitors, etc., but it’s just silly to rail against the general populous.

  14. Come on – it is pretty funny. I found the reported quite charming but she seems to know absolutely nothing about computers and electronics, I think it is funny that anyone could be so unfamiliar with tech. It almost seemed like a Saturday Night Live skit – Oooohhh, a computer – what can that do?? Oooohh, an iPod – what can that do?

    They make movies about this kind of disconnect from what most people take for granted (Crocodile Dundee).

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a laugh (at her as much as at us) about this.

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