Mac’s New iPod Shuffle: My Social Media & Search-Engine Guinea Pig


The new shuffle can be controlled via the headphones if you know Morse Code.
The new shuffle can be controlled via the headphones if you know Morse Code.

I love my Macs, but I don’t care for the companies antiquated marketing style. Hush, hush and then mass marketing. Very 1980s/1990s, and not enough evidence it nurtures or rewards the enthusiastic fan base. Heck, the fact that Mac didn’t embrace HappySlip after her Mac Beautiful song made me think the company lacked basic marketing instincts. For the cost of a computer, Mac could have dazzled her and her audience. A relevant and permanent impression worth more than dozens of ad exposures.


So let’s backup, and see how Mac today became my guinea pig for a social media & marketing experiment: can social media stand between buyers and a new product.

Context: Last night I toiled in my day-job to help improve the way my employer monitors and engages in social-media. This morning I wrote a white paper (proprietary) that addresses the convergence of online-video and social media. And ironically I missed a social-media conference today in NYC. All of this at a time when social media is consuming more of our day than e-mail. (see previous post) That’s a really big deal.

hanna loves nalts but not his ipod nano shuffle reviewGoal: When the new Mac shuffle came out yesterday, I thought it was time for a test. Our mission: could little old ME rank higher on Google for basic terms related to the new Mac mini iPod Nano shuffle thing with autovoice? Could I possibly outrank Mac, CNet and Mac blogs on search terms people might use to find out of the device sucked or not? Remember Uncle Nalts says Google indexes well-viewed YouTube videos rather high. Certainly easier than buying Google ads perpetually or optimizing a website for 50K.

The Ditched Video Idea: My original plan was to make a skit about the Mac in hopes it would travel like my Mac Air parody (500K views and media pickup)…  Alas, none of my ideas struck me as particularly clever. At best, I’d play a frustrated PC designer launching a paperclip size MP3 player with a giant headphone device that allowed people to control it. And he’d be a day late. It just didn’t crack me up, and there was too much to cover and the clock was ticking.

Oh No You Din’t!
But my local Mac retailer didn’t even stock the new Shuffle today. Can Mac’s desire for launch secrecy prevent it from trusting distributors with the product immediately? Did Mac’s failure to stock for the impulse buys actually deprive me of my God-given right to buy more technology I don’t need despite debt?  

In a grumpy mood, I decided to vlog a bad review of the Mac Shuffle, and post it to YouTube. I then pretended to be a consumer searching Google for a review of the new device. Sure enough, below are the top three listings. To be fair, the search parameters are rather specific. But since Mac uses the same brand names (Shuffle, Nano) for each new release/generation, it’s hard to find the BRAND new one without adding a unique phrase like “autovoice.” You’ll otherwise get dated results (I’m talking 2005/2007), and I’m not impressed with Google blog search or anything Google is doing to sort with recency emphasis on basic searches.

Here’s something even more interesting (at least to me). Minutes later I couldn’t replicate the results depicted below, and I wonder if it was because my edits to the video’s keywords set it back temporarily?

mac shuffle autovoice review

3 Replies to “Mac’s New iPod Shuffle: My Social Media & Search-Engine Guinea Pig”

  1. why is it March 12th already?

    I think MAC pulled back because the economy sucks!
    I also suspect that they might be trying to do the right, but strangely responsible thing- diminish the public’s temptation to buy something they don’t need in such a terrible market – sounds good eh? or the shuffle could just suck and the last thing any company wants in this particular market is more bad PR. AMD almost went bankrupt over the weekend – there’s a technological sign post for ya.

    Now pardon me while I pull the covers back over my head, on the mattress were I store all my money because it’s safer, and hide until this nightmare all goes away

  2. old school – it’s, The NEW Green in Marketing; What to say when caught with your pants down in public and how to feign sincerity.
    Amazon May 2009.

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