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iDon’ Part I: an poor response to an important issue

For those who have missed it, SanDisk have launchediDon’“, a propaganda site with the following call-to-action:

Calling all free thinkers, contrarian’s and malcontents. The time has come to rise up against the iTatorship To resist the monotony of white earbuds and reject the oppressive forces of culture conformity.

(BTW: someone should tell SanDisk that using apostrophes in urls that are not actually valid is a very bad idea)


iDon’’s aim is clearly to persuade people to consider buying MP3 players other than Applei iPods. However the site falls short of any ‘fact’-orientated reasons why non-iPod units should be considered. Instead SanDisk duck-out by linking to third party sites to do “the dirty work”.

Aside from parody sites the best SanDisk can come up with is, which highlights the problem with iPod batteries often only lasting 18 months and being hard/expensive to replace. I’m not a big fan of iPods, but even I have to admit that I believe this issue has been resolved in more recent iPod generations.

Other than that, the site seems to be light of any facts, and somewhat perversely relies on the same kind of “pseudo-slick marketing” that they themselves have a problem with Apple using.

This is post could also be titled “How not to run a ‘skunkworks’/’blackops’ site”.

  1. Don’t get your corporate marketing department to build the site. This site reeks of it!
  2. Harness the power of the blogosphere. This site has done nothing to get itself part of the blogosphere. It’s got a blog but it’s hidden and under-used
  3. Don’t use Flash. How can bloggers (or anyone else) link to key parts of your site? Also, if you want to be “dahn wit’ da kidz” AJAX is the way to go. This site could certainly have been built with AJAX if they had found the right design team
  4. Get your facts right Have facts. Get some balls and take on the real issues like DRM. These types of sites are aimed at a highly discerning and cynical crowd. Don’t treat them like idiots.
  5. If you’re not going to “implicate” your company by mentioning it at all on the site, at least register the domain such that the whois doesn’t say it’s registered to your company!

People who read my blog will know that I hate iPods, both for the fact they’ve become an exclusivity-item (it’s just a bloody music player!) and more importantly the long-term issues of the public’s lack of awareness around the DRM lock-in that the iPod has created.

The latter issue seems such a missed opportunity it makes me want to weep. In Part II I’m going to outline the real issues a secondary MP3 player like SanDisk should be focusing on.

Published in Gadgets News Thoughts and Rants


  1. I feel mixed on this one. On the one hand, they did a pretty crappy job making an anti-iPod site, but on the other, it’s good that industry players are starting to speak out against Apple’s stranglehold on digital music.

    Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem if we could get rid of those silly DRM restrictions. I wrote a post recently on what would happen if Apple applied their restrictions to books, along with songs:

  2. Ben Ben

    …but on the other, it’s good that industry players are starting to speak out against Apple’s stranglehold on digital music.

    My muted point is that I don’t feel SanDisk are speaking out with any meaningful points (which is sad as there are plenty of them, as you point out).

  3. Tom Tom

    Read the submissions policy on the Propaganda page and you’re hit with

    ‘User Comments, Feedback, And Submissions
    To the extent that you submit any feedback, suggestions, comments, ideas, and submissions, whether disclosed, emailed, uploaded or offered to SanDisk on or by this Site or otherwise communicated in connection with your use of this Site (collectively, “Comments”), such Comments shall be and remain SanDisk’s property.’ (&c ad nauseam)

  4. Ben Ben


    Do you think I should create “IReallyDon’”? 🙂

  5. Stephen Stephen

    There is no apostrophe in the web address.

    What was that about getting your facts straight?


    Ya damn iDiot.

  6. Lovely lawyer speak on that submissions policy. If i make a commnet, I’m fully responsible for what I put up there but Sandisk takes all the rights, including copyright…which I did not think they could do anyway! sounds a good idea.

  7. Ben Ben

    There is no apostrophe in the web address.

    What was that about getting your facts straight?

    Er, yes there is… i D o n t . c o m

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