Why Is It That The Moment You Blog About Apple, People Lose Their Minds?

I don't know what it is about Apple, but anytime a blogger writes anything negative about Apple, or does not agree with what Apple says, many readers bring their emotions into the conversation. What is it about Apple that drives so many people to lose their minds? The moment someone does not agree with something Apple is doing and blogs about it, many readers treat it as if you just said insulted their mom.

Because of the anonymity that the web offers, many times, you really don't know the reason behind someone's comments. Maybe they have stock in Apple, maybe they work for the company or maybe their business relies on Apple's content ecosystem. While it's really hard to know, one thing is clear. Many people can't have a real discussion about Apple, and the facts and points at hand, without getting emotional.

In my post from earlier today entitled "Steve Jobs Blogs On Why He Hates Flash, But Can't Get His Facts Straight", of the 150+ comments on three different blogs about my post (one, two, three) you can't find anyone who's arguing against my counter-point to Jobs when he said, "iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video." If you don't go to sites that have video, then you are minority of all web users today. The vast majority of web users all visit sites each day and consume video on a daily basis. So why is no one arguing with me that about that? Why is no one arguing with me that some major websites like Hulu.com, NFL.com, Amazon.com, Zappos.com and others don't have videos that work on the iPad? The simple reason is because you can't argue with facts. Now of course that does not stop some people and one person commented that unless the info I am presenting comes from a "third party", then we should believe Apple.

How sad. If you take an iPad, or go to the Apple store and use one and type in NFL.com, you will see there right there on the home page the phrase, "To see this content please go to Adobe.com to download the latest version of the Flash Player." Do you really need a third party company to tell this you? Do you not trust your own eyes?

While many want to think I'm crazy to disagree with Apple, clearly I am not the only one who thinks this way and if after reading these posts below, if others still want to call all of us crazy for disagreeing with Apple, then I consider myself to be in good company:

I also find it absolutely hilarious that so many people commenting don't even own an iPad and have never used one because if they did, they would see that videos on my blog are in H.264, and NOT Flash. Yet, many are quick to leave comments saying my blog is outdated or built using a proprietary video platform. 

I get the sense that many want to dry and drown out anyone that does not agree with Apple by inundating them with so many comments, name calling and personal attacks that the blogger will just give up. Sorry to tell some of you this, but that won't make me stop and it won't drive me away. If anything, it will only make me blog about it more.

Note: If all you want to do is curse me out, any posts with curse words will be removed. I don't allow that language on my blog.

  • I wish everyone spoke english in latinamerica so I could just send them your posts and shut their mouths up! I haven´t seen anyone using an iPad, nor an iPhone (it´s a blackberry market over here) and everyone keeps saying that Apple is the best thing ever… come on!!

  • Bobby

    You just don’t get it, Dan. There are a lot of us who are just plain tired of the crappy video, stupid ads and silly games that flash enables. Indeed there are a lot of us who watch video on line but don’t do it on either Hulu or youtube. I think it’s your absurd generalizations that are causing the comments that are so obviously annoying you.
    You said “The vast majority of web users all visit sites each day and consume video on a daily basis.” Where are you getting your statistics? Have you ever traveled outside of the US? You said “vast majority”. Why don’t you back that statement up with facts and then we’ll all see if we can have a discussion that doesn’t “drive(s) so many people to lose their minds?”

  • Mr Majestyk

    “There are a lot of us who are just plain tired of the crappy video, stupid ads and silly games that flash enables. Indeed there are a lot of us who watch video on line but don’t do it on either Hulu or youtube. I think it’s your absurd generalizations that are causing the comments that are so obviously annoying you.”
    That Flash video sites like Hulu, or Flash games are popular is a fact, not a generalization. What’s kind of absurd is that you think YOU need to be talked about. You don’t like Flash? Don’t install it. DONE. Since day 1.
    I solved my dislike of Itunes on Windows in the same fashion. I feel it is a horrible, horrible piece of SW. So I don’t use it. For whatever reason I’ve never felt that because of my dislike, I’d like Windows to ban it from their platform. Quite the opposite.

  • mick

    You could equally ask why is it that the moment people disagree with a blogger, the blogger loses his mind. Rather than posting a condescending rant about it, just take a deep breath and realize that not everyone will agree with you. You’ll find that the benefits of cultivating a more adult perspective significantly outweigh the costs.

  • Nadene

    I looked on PewInternet and it says that a 19% of American adult internet users “Watch[es] a video on a video-sharing site like YouTube or Google Video” on an average day (April 2009). Given that YouTube videos are available on iphone/ipad, what % of American adult internet users are missing out on their iphone/ipad?

  • shining365

    Dan, you can’t argue with them. After I read Steve Job’s posts, I’m angry about his dishonestry. But not every one can see it, and they see the wise as stupid.
    But please don’t be upset about this. This is the reality, and the people in the world are different. Stay calm and think more – this is what we pursue.

  • I think its because Apple people are almost cult-like.
    I own a macbook, iphone and ipad.. I prefer PC a lot more but use both and have arguments for each being suited for roles.
    Even so, when I speak well about Apple products to an apple head.. they smile, but i speak badly and they quickly defend..
    Its strangely amazing to me that level headed, intelligent people start injecting wierd “sound bite” comments into their argument for Apple technologies and business strategies…
    Arguments like “Yeah but they copied Apple,” “PC’s always crash” and “they look so ugly”
    I think Steve jobs is the master persuader and he has done very well to convince people that Apple is everything and knows all.. Like all the engineers are Apple are genius’s and everyone who works for MS are fat and old..
    In the last few weeks I have had non-engineers/non techy people telling me why html5 is better than flash.. They arent even the same thing!!

  • Dear Dan,
    I am a subscriber to the Streaming Media Magazine and have been a big fan of this website and all the valuable information it has provided us in building a successful video platform.
    However, in recent months, the whole “Apple vs. Flash” debate has cast an unprofessional shadow over streamingmedia.com. It seems to me that you take this matter very personally. The debate has rarely been about the facts and much more about your personal take on it all.
    As to the arguments you make in your last article (“Steve Jobs Blogs On Why He Hates Flash, But Can’t Get His Facts Straight”), I’d like to point out three things:
    1) Jobs differentiates between the Mac/iPhone being a closed platform and the Web being an open platform. When it comes to the web – and that is all that matters in this discussion – Apple has had a consistently open approach. All the tools that Apple propagates to improve the web are available to others. Unlike Microsoft (ActiveX) and unlike Adobe (Flash) or Real for that matter.
    2) There’s nothing to be gained from debating whether we are “in the mobile era” or “in the PC era”. In no way is Apple abolishing Flash from the Mac platform. We’re talking strictly mobile here.
    3) You seem 100% convinced that this debate is not about technology but about business. For someone with that strong a conviction i wished you had some facts to back it up. With out them, it reads more like a conspiracy theory. Why would Apple have to break a technology (Flash) in order to have complete control over ads inside apps when they seem very capable at blocking anything they don’t like in their approval process or just by changing their developer terms?
    Please concentrate on giving us in the online video business guidance and leave the ramblings to others. Unless of course, you’re shrewdly trying to increase traffic to you blog. In that case, rambling works best. I know. It works like a charm.

  • Just forget the fanboys Dan, that Apple people are like a own culture (or a sect *g*)

  • GreenField

    I agree with you and the other posts here RE: forget the fanboys/girls.
    A point to make here: Apple has always been clever with there marketing – it is at work here if you can’t tell. I run a MacBook PRO with VM and Windows – for my business. I also own an iPad. So I know of both sides to this story, I have to say it really makes you wonder when I have “buy” or “download” a specific app everytime I want to see something on a public site on my iPad. How is buy/dl’ing an app on my iPad any different than Adobe providing the flash runtime? From my POV – it’s not any different.
    Another point: It is obvious that buyers (many comments on this topic alone) don’t want to be called out for making a poor decision when choosing their machine – Apple or PC. They will jealously defend their decision, with emotions.
    Keep it up Dan, ignore then fanboys/girls.

  • Someone posted a comment about facts. Look at the statistics (from analysts and compiled by Cisco) from this link. Hulu and Youtube dominates video streaming.

  • Charles Bronson

    Let me know if you need somebody to get their a*& kicked.
    Seriously, Apple marketing attempts to make you feel as if you are superiour to other people who don’t own Apple products. Therefore, any criticism might mean you (the consumer) is wrong and are not actually superior.
    Of course it is absurd for Apple not to support Flash. You can’t even buy an iPad for your kids because virtually all kid sites are in Flash.
    This is the kind of stupidity that killed Apple before. Steve just wants too much control and eventually he spirals into a point of diminishing marginal return.

  • dan

    I think it’s a straightforward answer. Look at any of Apple’s marketing and just ask what’s the message? The answer is likely to be along the lines of “I LOVE my apple ____” ” it makes me happy” “it fits me.”
    From apple’s marketing to the physical construction of their devices apple has always connected to it’s customers on an emotional level. Like the fact that my macbook pro feels warm when I’m working early in the day or that the screen and keyboard adjust their brightness so smoothly and automatically.
    People identify with their mac so if you speak against apple it can come across like you are speaking against a part of their life that they like…
    PC and most other things tech approach consumers from a practicality perspective but with apple consumers you have to start with some pros to soften the emotional barrier and THEN get to your point. -Otherwise you’ll never get through.

  • Woz
  • Timmy

    Here’s a point by point rebuttal to your previous post, Dan.

  • One way to summarize this is, with a simple statement that Jobs may say with a grin on his face.. Why visit a web page at all…there’s an app for that.

  • Nadene

    mediaguy: Thanks for those statistics but they don’t really address the question of “The vast majority of web users all visit sites each day and consume video on a daily basis. So why is no one arguing with me that about that?” which is what I was trying to find “facts” on.

  • I’m going to try and respond to everyone’s questions below in this one post:
    @Bobby: There are a lot of reports that give data on just how much video the average consumer watches and those numbers continue to go up. Here is one report that just came out:
    It says that 66.7% of US Internet users—147.5 million people—are watching video online each month. In addition, there are many, many studies that give out numbers on the consumption of online video that you can easily find via a Google search. You say that you are “just plain tired of the crappy video”. I have no idea what “crappy video” means, or what site you are even referencing, but all the public data shows the rapid growth of online video amongst consumers. For all we know, the “crappy video” you are getting is due to something other than the video platform being used.
    @Mick: You say that “You could equally ask why is it that the moment people disagree with a blogger, the blogger loses his mind.” How am I losing my mind? I haven’t cursed at anyone, called anyone names or sent anyone emails saying I want to hurt them – which are all things that people are doing to me. Clearly I’m not the one that is upset.
    @Alexander: You say that that “”Apple vs. Flash” debate has cast an unprofessional shadow over streamingmedia.com.” Really, how’s that? Isn’t it our job to cover the news? Steve Jobs writes about why he does not like Flash and you think I should not cover that? I didn’t start this debate, Apple and Adobe did. This is news and while you may not like what I write, that’s what a news organization like StreamingMedia.com does, cover news. You also say that my writing on the subject is “my personal take on it all.” Of course it is. Who else’s take would it be? I’m the one writing the post.
    You also say that, “You seem 100% convinced that this debate is not about technology but about business. For someone with that strong a conviction i wished you had some facts to back it up. With out them, it reads more like a conspiracy theory.” It’s not a “theory” that Apple makes money from the apps in the app store, will make money from their iAd platform and makes money from the content sold via iTunes, which are all platforms that are closed and locked down by Apple. If Flash worked on the iPad and you could see videos on MLB.com without an app, then Apple would not make a single dime from the MLB app that you have to pay $14.95 for, which Apple takes a cut of.

  • Nadene

    Dan, do you have figures for *daily* (not monthly) video usage, as per your original statement in your post?

  • Shorty
  • @Nadene: A quick Google search gives you data from many reports dating from 2007 to now.
    Daily Online Video Consumption Spikes 56%
    For the first time over the course of the study, the amount of time spent watching regularly-scheduled TV declined, by 25 minutes a day (from 2004 to 2009). But the many new ways to watch TV–on the Internet, cell phones, and iPods–actually led to an increase in total TV consumption from 3:51 to 4:29 per day, including :24 of online viewing, :16 on iPods and other MP3 players, and :15 on cell phones. All told, 59% (2:39) of young people’s TV-viewing consists of live TV on a TV set, and 41% (1:50) is time-shifted, DVDs, online, or mobile.
    Hulu, a website which allows viewers to watch full episodes of TV shows, led in average time spent per viewer during February 2010 with 244.8 minutes, a 4.3% increase from January 2010.
    There is a lot of data on this if you just do a quick search.

  • There are certainly a lot of emotions involved. Here is a little more info to get some of the technical facts right: http://www.flashstreamworks.com/archive.php?post_id=1272747220

  • Thierry Fautier

    I think this is simply the war of eco systems, like you will have when Google is going to announce its Chrome/On2 package in the coming weeks.And wait when Microsft wakes up with Windows Mobile 7…
    Apple does not want to give any control to Adobe, point blank. They just discard the poor users who on their ipad will be frustrated not to access Flash content. To your point, in UK 80% of people consuming BBC iplayer which is also available on iphone (8%). We shall see when it is also available on iPad.
    We should wait for next google tablet who will be able to support Flash, see recent PRs, then Mr Jobs, like with what happened in the phone market, will be a little less arrogant. Also the Microsoft tablet will be another point of reference.
    We just need more competition, operators have understood that, they are pushing very hard non iphone smartphones now. Tablet manufacturers will for sure be more open than Apple, is not it the history that repeats itself?

  • Nadene

    Dan, thanks for those links but there’s no other recent data like the Pew figure I quoted in there? I’m looking for the % of internet users who watch online video on an average day.
    PewInternet: 19% (April 2009).
    The only one in your links was: 14% (Magid, 2007).
    So, I continue to disagree with your comment:
    “The vast majority of web users all visit sites each day and consume video on a daily basis. So why is no one arguing with me that about that?”

  • Nadene

    Thanks, I’m not trying to be argumentative, I’m trying to find good statistics on what people do in a *typical day*.
    Those stats are all per month and you cannot divide uniques per month down by the number of days to get average uniques per day. For example, Facebook may have 100 million uniques per month *and* 100 million uniques per day.
    You could change your original post statement to say:
    “The vast majority of web users all visit sites each month and consume video on a monthly basis. So why is no one arguing with me that about that?”
    This would be consistent with the research you point to.

  • Dan,
    Thank you for your “courageous” posts questioning Steve Jobs’ veracity. Who knew that to suggest that Steve might have business motives for keeping Flash off of his mobile platforms, and that he might not want to be honest about those motives could inspire such anger. I am a firm believer in the power of the cult of personality surrounding Mr. Jobs – and so is he. He knew that his loyalists would treat his words as gospel.
    I think that your posts are more right than not. While, at the margin, there may be some truth to the technology arguments against Flash for mobile devices, I don’t believe for a second that Steve would allow Flash on iPhone or iPad even if it were the most efficient, battery-saving media technology on the planet. And there’s no question that controlling the flow of media to the platform is the reason, just as you called it. I think it’s called free enterprise.
    The bad news for iPhone/iPad (iPhad) users (myself among them) is that there will continue to be a lot of great, free, live and on-demand video content on the web that will be unavailable to us on our mobile devices. Kulabyte encoders streamed the Masters tournament two weeks ago and while there was an iPhone stream available, the whole of the amazingly rich media experience that IBM Interactive created at Masters.com was completely unavailable on my iPad. If we’re willing to put up with a device that has those limitations (and Mr. Jobs is gambling that we will be), then he’s created a huge revenue opportunity for Apple by making us pay to see a lot of content that others get for free. Think of it as one of the costs of iPhad ownership.
    On the other side of the equation; 1) iPhads are less than 15% of the smart mobile device market, 2) there are already as many Flash-capable mobile devices on the market as iPhads, and 3) Flash capable mobile market share will continue to be 50 – 60% of the market over the next three to five years. So Flash and HTML5 are both going to be vital to the mobile media market for at least that long and probably for longer than that. Despite what “open standards” folks have to say about the brave new media world that HTML5 will bring, there is tremendous value built up around the Flash platform that will continue to make it relevant to online and mobile media distribution for years to come.
    Peter Forman
    CEO, Kulabyte

  • We all forget, things are not what they are, but what we believe!

  • BMD

    Apple has become the phenomenon in the world of IT and products along with entertainment with their music player and the mobile phone. More and more people are buying the Apple products each day and they have already overtaken the Microsoft in terms of the company’s share values which is a great sign and shows the trust of customers in company’s products.

  • PP

    Interesting post. Many people love Apple products, and when people are really passionate about something they often bring their emotions to the surface, whether positive or negative.