The Masked Blogger is an Apple employee who has decided to "join the conversation," while trying not to have the conversation turn to the inevitable topic of his employment being terminated by Apple. The blog in question was born out of a desire to respond to Shel Israel's post [Shel Hell Dampens my Mac Envy] on Naked Conversations about the way Apple manages (or fails to) their customer relationships and support experiences and how that may ultimately dictate their future. Shel ended his post with an invite for any Apple employee to respond if they wished to be heard on the matter. Enter "Masked."
It's no secret that Apple does not encourage organizational transparency. Many an employee, at various levels, has been canned for opening their mouth. It will be interesting to see where this "conversation" leads and whether it can be sustained, with or without anonymity. The Masked Blogger kick-off comment is an excellent one: "...the broader issue is how we evolve large company support organisations where typically the relationship is managed by a junior member of staff and arbitrated by fixed processes? How do we build two-way conversations and trusted relationships?"
Those questions and more are critical ones for Apple themselves to answer if they want to continue riding high. As Masked himself points out, "The organisation that cracks this first will have innovation far more valuable than any product based innovation!" I couldn't have said it better myself.
Now of course we all want to know who this masked blogger really is. It's not Steve Jobs himself. It appears to be someone within the corporate loop or the AppleCare group - but this person is not in the US. Note his or her use of the ise form of "organization" which is more prevalent in the UK - and the reference he/she makes to Sainsbury's Supermarket, which is in the UK. So we're looking for someone who lives in the UK, speaks "proper English" and shops at Sainsbury's. Your guess is as good as mine. Start your sleuthing!