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Apple Invites Top Community Contributors for “White-Glove” Treatment

The Apple Support Community forum has long offered game-like points and levels to encourage participation, but now the company is taking it a step further with Apple Community+, an exclusive invitation-only program for its top community contributors. Apple says that invitations are limited to a few lots per year. The company is equally vague on the benefits but promises “special perks, white-glove experiences, and more,” whatever that means. (The term “white-glove” generally refers to high-quality and highly personalized customer service—it’s unclear how that matches up with a reward program for helpful commenters.)

Many years ago, Apple sent Adam Engst a mug as a “thank you” for his contributions to the iPhoto forum in Apple Discussions, the predecessor to Apple Support Community. It doesn’t sound as though there will be any physical rewards involved in Apple Community+.

If your invitation was lost in the mail, you can always contribute to our TidBITS Talk forum, where our CEO reads every post and is the most prolific contributor. Let’s see Tim Cook match that.

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Comments About Apple Invites Top Community Contributors for “White-Glove” Treatment

Notable Replies

  1. Josh,

    Great closing paragraph.

    And you should really note in the article that the quality of the posts here is much higher.

    Cheers,
    Jon

  2. We’ll let people figure that out for themselves. :-)

  3. Of course that’s a totally different kind of place, with over a hundred forums and millions of posts. In general I think the quality of answers there is much higher than anything you get directly from Apple’s paid support staff. Some of the contributors publish user tips that many find valuable.

    Apple also runs the same system of forums in 7 languages other than English.

  4. We aim to be more humble than everyone else.

  5. All it takes is one problem solved and you’ll always start here. And try to help others here.

    This is a remarkable place!

  6. “If your invitation was lost in the mail”

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

  7. For many of the Apple Discussions it seems that (Apple) Community Specialists are actually AI bots. Many of these miss the point of the OP. For example I have contributed to numerous discussions about the Homepod - mainly correcting/clarifying earlier posts.

  8. I find the support here much more responsive, detailed, and useful than the Apple Support Community.

    Side note of days long past: Apple (and Apple Japan) used to use my company’s forum software for support. As did TidBits. Apple ended up creating their own, and TidBits moved on. We’re still here though with a dedicated small core of customers who continue to use highly customized versions of WebCrossing (remember that name)? :slight_smile:

  9. Agreed: I find the Apple Community support pages now a routine source of frustration. They are fine if you want a free-text way essentially to use a FAQ. But if you have a particular issue or wonder if you have a bug, you can expect a reply that is a lengthy version of, “have you tried turning it off and on again,” links to the support pages that most people will have read which is why they are asking the question in the first place, with follow-up being to report it to Apple, and a hurt response that they were only trying to help. It seems that Apple has wanted to create a community of people where the answers are always positive and there are never bugs or problems. I understand a desire to keep ranting and venting to a minimum, but they have also created a place which is not very good with helping to troubleshoot issues, but instead a kind of Pleasantville. And, it didn’t used to be like that—but I age myself thinking of when it was better: probably more than 10 years ago.

    And, I have long blamed this on people wanting those points, so they are encouraged to respond with banal filler responses. I wondered who cared about these points and what they were for, other than the lowest-of-stakes bragging rights—maybe to help get a job as a Genius? But if Apple is going to reward this, it will get worse—or perhaps more fairly, it will be where novice users go to get help with novice questions, or ones where maybe the UI has grown convoluted over the years. But, if you come to the forum after exhausting ever more refined Google questions as to why you’re seeing something, this will seem like the place for next steps, but it will likely lead to frustration as you are referred back to the same help pages you’ve just read.

    I now find that Reddit has taken over, with a rare-but-pleasing number two being the public beta feedback. Responses are infrequent, but when Apple staff do respond, it is with curiosity and specific steps: exactly what does not happen in the Apple Community forum anymore.

    Now, if I could only figure out why Apple Remote Desktop gives me a flash of a padlock Lock Screen on one particular client running OCLP… :slight_smile:

  10. This seems to be deliberate, not an accidental side effect of the gaming system.

    On a few occasions in the past, I tried to help by pointing out that their problem is due to a bug and suggested a workaround (typically involving manually changing a plist file or otherwise editing a config file that doesn’t have a friendly GUI interface), only to find that the reply would soon be deleted by the admins.

    So they are actively trying to make sure that you can’t get any help beyond the existing on-line documentation. Making the whole thing mostly useless.

  11. …which is exactly why I stopped using or even relying on Apple Discussions. The “Answer” was always something lame, copy-and-pasted from somewhere, and of course the User had a bazillion points.
    … And yet many users still had that question unresolved.

  12. And there was one “expert” with a bazillion points that was recommendng to a user dealing with disk space issues that deleting a sealed system boot snapshot (on Monterey) would free up space.

    I too have never gotten an answer that was useful from the Apple communities.

  13. My impression is that a large number of ordinary users do get useful help from the ASC. The only way anyone gets points is when the person who asked a question marks your answer as having solved their problem.

    So if someone has a bazillion points, it normally means bazillion/10 users came back and said that person’s answer solved their problem.

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