Am I a Firestarter? (Cue Prodigy)

So, Mitch Joel has a “rant” about firestarters not doing their research with regard to the whole Apple / Podcast thing.

Now, when I first read it, I was like, “Damn, Mitch is calling people like me out. And he’s a lot smarter than me. This sucks.”

But, I looked into it a bit more. Now, it may be the case that Apple is trying only to stop people from using the word pod, but I think we get into semantics at this point. For example, here.

The whole thing has been revolving around Podcast Ready, and Apple’s trying to get them to stop using the terms Podcast Ready and myPodder. Sure, they may be trying to go after the “pod” portion, but if that’s the case, then aren’t they in effect going after the term podcast by extension?

iPod? I understand that, it’s their product and they have every right to protect it.

Pod? Well, that’s just a vessel to get me delicious peas, so I have a problem with that.

And, because pod is part of podcast, they are in effect trying to trademark podcast or at least stop people from using it because removing pod would stop the use of the word podcast.

So, while Apple may not “technically” be trying to stop people from using “podcast”, their efforts to get people to stop using pod is virtually the same thing with the same outcome if they are successful. And I think there’s a bigger issue here.

People seem to go on and on about Apple being this wonderful company and being so “with it” and forging new ground. Why, when they try to stop people from using words in the English language, do they get a pass? What do you think would happen if Wal-Mart tried to get contractors to stop using the word “wall?” Or if Microsoft tried to stop people from telling each other to open the windows?

Oh, I forgot, they’re the big, bad corporation and Apple’s just the little guy, right?

Update: Now that the letter is out there, does this change things? Yes and no. I think that some of the language in the letter was overblown and taken out of context, but I still have an issue with one part.

Namely, the statement that the term “POD has been adopted and used extensively in the marketplace by consumers as an abbreviation to refer to Apple’s IPOD player.”  This still is a focus on the term POD, which I struggle with.  Besides, if the CONSUMER adopted the abbreviation, shouldn’t Apple be going after the consumer?

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Am I a Firestarter? (Cue Prodigy)

5 thoughts on “Am I a Firestarter? (Cue Prodigy)

  1. I was using the podcasting issue as one example. The point of the “rant” was more about gang mentality and social media.

    Someone posts something (could be anything – not just this podcasting issue) and we all jump on it, rant about it, blog about it and podcast about it as if it were verified and legitimate news. In turn, we actually all turn it into news and validate it regardless of the level of authenticity. My point really is about checking and digging deeper into the facts before blogging about it.

    Just one cautionary Blog posting as we all try to figure this space out. There’s room for tons of opinions and spins (just like traditional news), but we all deserve it to each other to do a little bit of checking into stories.

    I’m just as guilty as the next person of being a Firestarter… and I’m going to stat paying more time and attention to details.

    Cue the music…

  2. Mitch:

    Reading your comment makes me realize what you were saying and I have to say I completely agree.

    After reading your post, I went out looking for the “real story” about Apple and Podcast Ready. I very much respect your opinion and position and wanted to make sure that I was right in my frustration with Apple. The funny thing was, most of what I could find was just blog posts! So, to your comment, it’s true that the blogosphere has such power that we need to be careful with it. (If only we could harness that power for good!)

    I don’t think there’s any good way to stop people from “flying off the handle” and just quickly posting what they are thinking because it’s the beauty of blogging and the whole social media space. I think that we do need to be conscious of what we say, why we say it and make sure that we’re correct on our facts…at least a little bit!

    Thanks for your comment Mitch!

  3. Exactly. It’s not about today… it’s about the ramifications of today six months from now on search engine results. For many months I’ve been saying that Technorati is the new Google… now we see why 🙂

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