Origin Story

Sometimes the Internet community surprises me. My last post, “Apple, How Did It Come to This?” is why. Everyone creating content everywhere wants to know the magic formula for generating reader response. The pageview-obsessed seek the golden ticket that consistently means clicks. Me? I write obsessively. It’s like breathing—a necessary and unavoidable act.

The “Come to This” post garnered quite a bit more attention than I expected, in part because of its origin. Some of the activity is Twitter, but more of it occurred on Google+ overnight. The post is an adapted Plus response to a comment to a shared BetaNews story that I wrote based on something else I posted first on Google+. Confusing, isn’t it? I’ll explain in linear fashion. 

On Sept. 21, 2015, after growing fed up with the blogosphere blasting Android adoption of Lollipop being far less than iOS 9, I posted to G+ a suggestion that Google selectively release data for Nexus devices. Two days later, I expanded it into short BetaNews story “OK, Google, make some Apple sauce” and shared it on Plus.  Aditya Kadambi commented at 9:59 a.m. PDT on September 24, and I responded about 35 minutes later.

While writing, I thought the comment would make a good, short blog post briefly explaining why my recent return to Apple tech failed. But distractions dominated my day, and I didn’t get to the task until 10 hours later. Because of the content’s more personal nature, and the lack of any real reporting behind it, I posted here rather than to BetaNews; WordPress auto-shared to Google+. The post didn’t generate high-traffic numbers compared to what a typical BN does, but they are surprising for my lowly blog—and the G+ shares are atypically many, too.

Motivating event: When an electrical problem killed my wife’s laptop nearly four months ago, we used the insurance money to buy another. She took possession of my Chromebook Pixel LS (on which I write this post) and I switched to a 13-inch MacBook Pro. I have changed platforms before, for testing purposes, so there was nothing usual. But my reaction was different than any other time before. The Apple stuff didn’t fit. It was like I moved forward to the next thing (e.g. contextual cloud computing), while the bitten-fruit logo company remained behind and even went backwards.

Maybe other current and former Mac users feel the same, based on comments or reshares to last night’s G+ post. Other people see Chromebook as being special. For me, as expressed yesterday, there’s a quality thing that I can quantify intellectually but resounds emotionally. Something’s different.

I chuckle. Over at BetaNews, because of my headline writing style, commenters wrongly accuse me of clickbaiting for pageviews. I never do. But the “Come to This” post would generate a writ-storm of comment-driven pageviews posted to BN. I know the audience and its likely reaction. That’s not my objective.

I close with this: When switching platforms in the past, and often with need to test something and write about it as impetuous, my reason was this: I found the Google lifestyle around Android, Chrome OS, and connected services to be better. Different this time: I find the Apple lifestyle experience to be worse.