Writing every day about Apple is a dream come true, but staying truthful matters
The long game
Covering Apple News and products is a pretty neat way to spend the day – in fact, it’s a dream come true.
Apple, generally, doesn’t leave us hanging when it comes to material. Take this year, for example.
January started off with a flurry of new gear – MacBooks, Mac minis, and a HomePod. There’s a promise that an Apple silicon Mac Pro may, eventually, be released…and of course, the long anticipated AR/VR headset too. Then, later in the year, iPhone 15 will be with us, with all the attending excitement that brings.
I started to write about Apple for one simple reason – I love their gear. I’ve been an Apple user for well over a decade, and decided that sharing my experiences, and stories, here with you on Medium might be fun. But, as much as I love what they make, Apple doesn’t always get it right, and that should be reflected in how I cover it.
Keeping it real
What I try to do is write as I find.
Luckily, I am not paid, or sponsored by anyone, and certainly not Apple. That may sound an odd thing to say, as clearly, from a business perspective, it would make great sense for me to be sponsored.
But of course, when you are being paid to mention a product, part of the deal, is to sell it. In essence, it’s an advert. Whilst I’m sure my time will come, that I have to sing to the paymasters tune, for the moment, I can enjoy the freedom.
I have always tried to take the job seriously about what I write, and today, I thought I’d share the five guidelines that I always adhere to when writing, or, making videos.
1. Don’t follow others
I took on-board a bit of advice that I was offered a while back.
That is, if I am going to review something, I try hard not to watch or read any content on it, until my reviews are posted. As it turns out, it was one of the best bits of advice that I’ve ever been offered.
No matter how much I think I’m remaining unaffected, some of what I’d watch or read, would naturally seep through to what I write or record.
The HomePod, earlier this year, was a great example of that.
I’d owned two HomePod minis, but missed out on the original HomePod. I come from an audio background, so that helped me with some reference. Also, it turned out that I had a nightmare setting it. Bad for me on the day, but really spoon-fed me content.
I avoided all content from other creators until I was done, finished, uploaded, and posted. Hopefully, that means, what you saw was a true reflection of how I found the HomePod to be.
Although there were plenty of other creators out there making content about the HomePod, mine was unique, as it was my thoughts – it was my voice.
2. Honesty pays
As I mentioned earlier, I clearly love Apples products.
It would be mighty hard to do what I do every day, if I didn’t, right? But, they are not without fault.
When I lay down my hard-earned cash on the next iPhone, Mac, or HomePod, from Apple, I try to be objective. I know what I’m expecting from it, so the first thing I try to check out, is does it deliver on those core expectations?
I am no high-flying tech geek. I’m a pretty straightforward guy, that loves Apple gear, tech, audio, and gadgets. And I think that is a good starting place, as hopefully, that will resonate with others.
I am not looking for something extraordinary, just for it to perform up to my expectations, in real-life situations.
Being honest, although it may ruffle feathers, or alienate some, will, in the longer run, actually pay me back. Hopefully, viewers, or readers will subliminally start to see my content, and know that they can trust it.
I am making a video about AirPods Max versus AirPods Pro this week, and there were a few things I didn’t like about both pairs. That doesn’t stop me liking them overall, but, it was important I highlighted what I didn’t like.
3. Avoid jargon
Being in the audio and tech space, this is particularly important.
Both areas that I cover can oh-so-easily go down the geek route. When I am talking about headphones, for instance, I could bang on about sibilance, scooped mids, or flat response curves.
While I may to use some of those terms, to me, it’s important I reign it back in, and then explain what the heck I am on about. I never want to lose sight of the fact that these reviews should be able to be interpreted, and understood by anyone. I try to create content that explains what these devices are really like.
Jargon is all well and good if you want to appeal to the niched-down few, but making content that is down to earth has always appealed more to me.
I fly too close to the wind on, far too often, on this point, and I am trying to improve!
The MacBook Air, for instance, is a Mac that it’s easy to lose a grip on. My day tends to be content creator rich. Once I finish writing, my first job every weekday, I park Ulysses, and normally head for either Premiere Pro, or Audition.
That’s a normal day for me, but what I am trying harder to remind myself about these days, is that is not necessarily everyone’s normal day.
The MacBook Air is a brilliant Mac. I avoid saying little Mac, as it doesn’t need protecting or shielding. It’s a great Mac – full stop. It’s lightweight, portable, fast, quiet, and powerful. Can I make it grind to a slowdown? Sure!
The MacBook Air was not created for multilayers of high codec video footage, with a heap of plugins. So, if I load it up with a big project, and notice it’s getting sluggish, should I be saying the MacBook Air is no good? Of course not.
That is where perspective comes in to play. When I look at, or review a new device, I am trying harder these days, to imagine who it’s truly aimed at, and what it will generally be used for.
Apple’s MacBook Air should spend most of its days in a backpack, or out on the road. It’s a Mac to go, that just happens to be able to hit far above its weight. By design, Apple’s MacBook Air, is not a content creator’s Mac. It’s deigned to be used anywhere, anytime, by non-creatives, for their day-to-day tasks.
And in that regard, it’s a massive, smash hit. So, this is something I am trying to learn and bear in mind. As you’ll be staring to gather, keeping it simple, and as honest as possible, is hugely important to me.
5. Be me
I don’t say that in an ego driven way at all – I hope it doesn’t come over as such!
I want you to enjoy what I write. I want you to enjoy the videos I make. I want to make a real go of this content creator lark. The shortcut, fast way to do that, would be to steal from others. Steal their phrases, steal their reviews. How simple would it be for me to just flick through endless blogs to find content, and re-purpose it as my own?
But that is falling foul of point number two, and the one core value that matters most to me – honesty.
I love it when you get involved and comment on what I write. You may wholeheartedly agree, or vehemently disagree with – that’s fine, but the most important thing for you to know, is that it is me that you are agreeing or disagreeing with, not the re-hashed words of others.
There are plenty of writers, and creators out there, but I am the only me! My voice, my opinions, and my spin will be different from anyone else’s.
I never take for granted that you take time out of your days to read or watch what I have cobbled together. And, the best way for me to say thank you, is by giving you a bit of me.
Errors, mistakes, or even honest oversights, at least they came from me. I have seen too many creators mimic what others have done. That’ll never be for me. At the core of everything I make is my voice.
This week, I have begun to pull back the curtains on what makes me tick – how I spend my days, and how I make what I make.
I’ve avoided it for a long while, as I’d hate for it to come over as egotistical, or that I am that special. But, then I took stock of what I enjoy reading, or watching. I love to get to know the people that I take time to follow.
When I feel more invested in someone, and know that bit more about them, I am more likely to be with them for the long run.
So, I will be back to covering everything that’s new and great with Apple the moment there is something exciting to write about or review. But meanwhile, I hope getting to know me a bit better will make for an interesting backstory.
I thought next week, I might chat about some of my favourite productive apps – good or bad idea?
Don’t forget, tomorrow is Friday, which means it’ll be Appleviews day – and I have some juicy takes for you!!
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