Has Steve Jobs banned Apple staff from social media?

There's no sign of Apple representatives in the social media world this must mean they are barred by company policies.
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

Is there any sign of Apple representatives on the social web? I haven't seen any but that might be because I haven't looked hard enough.

Is it possible to lure Apple representatives to respond to articles, blog posts, or any other online discussions on social networks or anywhere?

Maybe. I've tried and I continue to try. And it is an interesting experiment.

Here on ZDNet and also on Silicon Valley Watcher I've written about my bad experience with Apple's AppleCare warranty service. And it has gotten quite a lot of comments (95 on ZDNet) with people sharing their bad experiences.

Unlike a rolling stone these posts continue to gather bad stories about Apple. And they don't stop gathering bad stories...

Just recently I got whole bunch more -- five weeks after I wrote about AppleCare. For some reason, a whole bunch of people rediscovered that post, and left another load of bad stories about Apple.

Yet still nothing from any Apple representatives. You would think that it would make good sense for Apple to leave a comment, anything. Just to show it is listening. That, in itself, can go a long way to help defuse bad feelings. But, no, there is nothing.

This is strange. This means Apple must have a company policy to not engage in social media at all. There can be no other explanation.

This company directive must come from the top. Steve Jobs has a reputation as a micro-manager and control freak.

And on the social web there is no control over your message. It will be "annotated" by thousands, potentially millions of people. It takes balls to put yourself in front of people on the social web.

Apple seems to be lacking the balls. But let me help Apple get some balls with some advice. You can lose control over your message if you don't engage. If you let others act for you, answer for you, set your agenda for you.

On the social web the c-word: Control gets replaced with another c-word: Consistency. Be consistent, say it once, a hundred times, ten-thousand times. Be consistent with your message. That's what people will remember.

The other thing people will remember is when you show you aren't listening, you aren't interested, you come across as arrogant. You have $26 billion in cash earned from your customers and you don't care about your customers, what they are saying about you, what problems they are having. That's memorable.

Is that what you want? Is that the message you are striving to communicate? If that's the case you are succeeding incredibly well.

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Please see:

RantWatch: Shoddy AppleCare - arrogant Apple

Fanboys come for free - If Apple were an airline it wouldn't have frequent flier miles

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