Apple’s new .Mac blog: iLife ’05 users need not apply

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
January 12th, 2006 • 11:35 am

Apple has just launched a new blog for .Mac users called… the .Mac Blog (although the RSS feed itself is simply titled… “Blog,” which is indeed very helpful).

You would think that, it being a blog about .Mac, and .Mac not having all that many subscribers to begin with (as far as I know), Apple would try to be all inclusive and post information that applies to all .Mac users. But no… that would be too much unlike Apple these days.

If you go to this blog item dated January 10, 2006, for example, you are told:

Despite what the name “iDisk” might make you think, your iDisk is much more than just a place for file sharing and backup. Thanks to the Web folder inside, you could as usefully think of it as a combination personal newsstand and broadcasting station. And even that understates the communication convenience it packs.

Your iDisk Web folder lives on the Internet, of course, and it has an address. Type  into a browser and you’ll get the page that lives at the top of your Sites list in iWeb. (The list is on the left side of the iWeb window, and will remind you of the way iPhoto and iTunes help you manage your photo and music libraries).

There is only one tiny problem with this, Apple. See, I have been a .Mac subscriber from the beginning. And, until today, my iDisk has never contained a folder called “Web.”

Now, it could very well be that, when I get around to ordering the brand new iLife ’06 package that was just announced two days ago, and when the package gets delivered to me, and I get around to installing it, and I finally decide to give the new iWeb application a spin, then maybe, just maybe, as if by magic, a folder called “Web” might appear on my iDisk somewhere, and then I might even be able to follow the instructions that you posted on your blog to access my iDisk through the web.

Until then, however, when I type “[myusername]/iweb” in my web browser, I, a paying .Mac customer, will be taken to an error page at “” that tells me in four languages that you are sorry, but you “can’t find the HomePage” that I requested and that the reasons might be that:

  • The address was entered incorrectly. Check your spelling and try again.
  • The .Mac member of this name has either created a page and removed it or has never published a HomePage.
  • There is no .Mac member of this name. If you’d like this member name for yourself, sign up for a .Mac account right now and have your own HomePage in minutes.

All of these reasons are false, of course. The address was not entered incorrectly. It’s the address you instructed me to enter on your own blog. The .Mac member of this name has definitely published home pages. And there is definitely a .Mac member of this name.

The real reason is, of course, that I have not yet purchased, received, installed, and run iWeb. But there is absolutely nothing in your blog that says that this is a requirement and that at least warns existing .Mac users who might not have the new software yet that the new address won’t work. (It won’t even redirect to your existing home pages.)

I’d be curious to know, as of January 12, 2006, just what percentage of existing .Mac users actually have iWeb and have started using it. I would be very surprised if it were more than a small fraction of the total number of .Mac users. Yet obviously that small fraction is the only intended audience of this new .Mac blog.

That’s great. It really does make me feel very good about having paid for my .Mac subscription all that time.

It is really quite amazing how Apple, these days, always assumes that all its users are always using the last version of every piece of Apple software on the most recent hardware with the fastest possible Internet connection, and always rushing to purchase every new piece of software as soon as it is announced.

No wonder many people feel that Apple is an arrogant and elitist company. Sometimes it really does behave like one, even towards its most faithful customers.

2 Responses to “Apple’s new .Mac blog: iLife ’05 users need not apply”

  1. Andrew Aitken says:

    From the blog post, it says if you go to that URL, you will get the site at the top of the sites list in iWeb – I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that you would need to create a site in iWeb, to access that site.

    I do think it would be a nice touch to redirect users to their home page if the Web folder doesn’t exist. Just for those people who don’t upgrade – which I agree, there will be a fair number of.

    This ‘blog’ is not going to be much more than an advert for Apple and .Mac in the trendy new format of a ‘blog’ – Not actual people, but marketing types – who’s job it is to build hype about the new versions of the software.

    It’s the way of the world now, software companies aren’t actively going to promote old versions of the software, there is money to be made in upgrades, so they want to make it seem like you can’t live without the latest version.

    If it’s any consolation, I won’t get my NFR copy for 3 weeks :(

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Needless to say, I did understand what they actually meant to say—i.e. if you are a .Mac subscriber, and you buy iLife ’06, and you install iWeb, and you run it, then there will be a “Web” folder inside your iDisk and you’ll be able to access it through the web using the following URL etc. My problem is with the way this information is presented. It makes so many assumptions about .Mac subscribers that I find it insulting, even if it’s put together by marketing dudes with no real intent to communicate with their users.

    Of course this .Mac Blog is mostly a marketing tool—but for some reason I still expect better from Apple. I expect their marketing to be smarter and more in tune with actual customer needs. I guess I am just a hopeless optimist…

    I also know from experience that this tendency to focus exclusively on the latest versions of everything can have very detrimental effects. For example, my sister in law is still using iPhoto 4, and yet the help pages of the product constantly refer to user interface items that were actually introduced in iPhoto 5. Needless to say, she’s completely disorientated and cursing against whoever put these help pages together. It does not reflect well on Apple, and she’s less than impressed. (It’s her first Mac.)

    God knows how long it will take for my copy of iLife to get here. I am getting it through the Apple Education system.

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