So Apple has shut down Think Secret after a protracted legal battle. Apple’s suit claimed that bloggers shouldn’t enjoy the same rights to protect sources that are granted to mainstream journalists, in response to Think Secret leaking details of forthcoming Apple products.
Apple are a cool brand, and their products generate lots of interest. Generating word of mouth is the holy grail for the vast majority of brands, so shutting down a site which is actively promoting the brand and serving as a powerful brand advocate strikes me as exceptionally counter intuitive.
In doing so it it seems that Apple appear to value control over communications about their product above all else, and seem to reckon that the products will generate enough word of mouth by themselves, without any help from those dirty bloggers thank you very much.
Apple could have chosen to get bloggers on board, working in partnership with them to release key info about forthcoming products which they could then communicate to their loyal readers…
…but instead by prioritising top-down control, they’ve undoubtedly pissed off a load of people who were die-hard fans of their brand. I for one am a self-confessed Mac-geek – I still love their products, but this decision has left me with a rather sour taste in the mouth.
Apple may have won their settlement but I’d be interested to see whether their ‘victory’ will be quite so beneficial to their brand in the long run.