My final thoughts on CES…

I was just talking with Buzz. We’re both exhausted. I didn’t do much of anything until late in the afternoon today.

Buzz and I gave Shel a whirlwind tour yesterday (ever try to see 600 exhibits in the Sands in about an hour? We did. And, no, we’re not talking about the adult show. The Sands is where we saw the Celestron and the SlingMedia booths. Both of which were rated by CNN as a “top 5 of CES”. The new SlingMedia running on PocketPCs is killer, by the way. Why did we go to the Sands? The Microsoft exhibit was simply too crowded to tour, Shel wanted a look at Windows Vista, but I told him I’ll come over and give him a personal tour later so off to the Sands we ran). The much smaller Google booth was also similarly packed, here you can see Shel and Buzz talking with Googlers. Personally, it was nice to get over to the Sands where there weren’t many crowds (but the companies were smaller and the technology was cooler).

On the way over to the Sands we saw this gas pump powered by Microsoft Windows CEΒ and a car full of gadgets all driven by Microsoft stuff. Over at the Sands we saw this cool game seat (my photo, Web site).

If you’ve never been to a mega show like CES, or CeBit, you have no idea of the scale. It’s like having 400 BestBuys lined up in a row.

Anyway, if you really wanted to see the toys, watching Engadget is actually a better way to go. In fact, I was watching Engadget on my cell phone as I was walking around. Well, that and I kept running into the Engadget crew. I ran into Jason Calacanis at one party on Thursday night and he said “did you see that Toshiba Gigabeat?” I answered, no, cause it hadn’t been on Engadget yet.

I wondered why I hadn’t run into any Gizmodo folks. And I realized it’s cause I never have met any of them anywhere else. While Jason and Peter have had public events, and shown up at conferences from Gnomdex to Reboot and had introduced themselves often, I never have met Nick Denton or the crew that does Gizmodo.

Which one do I trust more? Which one do I have more brand affinity to? Which one do I link to more often? That’s right, Engadget, cause I have a personal relationship there.

Anyway, thanks to Waggener Edstrom for opening up a suite in the Wynn for bloggers. That was a great place to relax and get on the Internet and post stories. Hope they do that again in the future.

To tell you the truth, I’m not so excited about these styles of shows anymore. If it weren’t for the fun people I met at CES Camp, or on the show floor, I would be perfectly happy to miss the event and watch it on Engadget, CNET News.com, Gizmodo, Google News, or Gear Live.

Oh, on the way home last night who was sitting next to me? Jay Greene from BusinessWeek and Charles Walker, senior vice president of investments for Oppenheimer. Interesting and nice guys both. Earlier at the airport Jay introduced me to Stephen Manes, columnist for Forbes.

How did you watch news coming from the CES?

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30 thoughts on “My final thoughts on CES…

  1. Never having been to a CES style show I’d like to have the experience once but I’ve noticed a certain negativity in posts from bloggers about hotel accomodation and pricing, taxi queues and various “sardine” comments that suggest that sitting at home and following online coverage is the way to go. I always tune in for the Bill Gates webcast (not live but within a day or so given the time difference) and as I mentioned in one of my own blogs posts I think competitors such as Google are missing out by not ensuring keynotes are available on the Web. I can’t understand, for example, why the Larry Page keynote isn’t available on Google Video.

    Like

  2. Never having been to a CES style show I’d like to have the experience once but I’ve noticed a certain negativity in posts from bloggers about hotel accomodation and pricing, taxi queues and various “sardine” comments that suggest that sitting at home and following online coverage is the way to go. I always tune in for the Bill Gates webcast (not live but within a day or so given the time difference) and as I mentioned in one of my own blogs posts I think competitors such as Google are missing out by not ensuring keynotes are available on the Web. I can’t understand, for example, why the Larry Page keynote isn’t available on Google Video.

    Like

  3. Steve, one thing is just the overwhelming nature of it all. It’s both Vegas that’s overwhelming and it’s also just being on the show floor. The scale of it is just daunting. The first day you just are trying to get your bearings and figure out where things are.

    Like

  4. Steve, one thing is just the overwhelming nature of it all. It’s both Vegas that’s overwhelming and it’s also just being on the show floor. The scale of it is just daunting. The first day you just are trying to get your bearings and figure out where things are.

    Like

  5. engadget…amazing coverage!

    i read articles searched through Google News as well…and check Memeorandum from time to time…

    but overall, I got the best feel for thw show from Engadget…

    Like

  6. engadget…amazing coverage!

    i read articles searched through Google News as well…and check Memeorandum from time to time…

    but overall, I got the best feel for thw show from Engadget…

    Like

  7. You what should be scarier for Roberto? The fact that after all that’s said and shown, MSFT won’t move up in any meaningful manner tomorrow and thereafter. Scary, huh?

    Like

  8. You what should be scarier for Roberto? The fact that after all that’s said and shown, MSFT won’t move up in any meaningful manner tomorrow and thereafter. Scary, huh?

    Like

  9. WITH APOLOGIES TO EMINEM

    My fee’s all gone, I’m wondering why
    I sold my soul at all —
    The morning mail locked up my Windows,
    They all call me a troll.
    Even if they don’t, everything I say
    Gets all hackers’ eyes to roll —
    Still I tell me that it’s not so bad,
    It’s not so bad…

    Dear Bill, I wrote but you still ain’t respondin’
    I left e-mail, my URL, and my home IP at the bottom
    I sent two bug reports last autumn — you must not a got ’em
    There probably was a problem with hotmail or somethin
    Sometimes the packets take the scenic route when you route them
    but anyhoo, fsck it, what’s been up? Man, how’s Ballmer?
    Is he still a dancin’ foo, screamin’ “developer?”
    If I have a daughter, guess what I’ma call her —
    I’ma name her Clippy.
    I read about your XP SP2, I’m sorry.
    I had a friend bork his box over some bitchy driver problem
    I know you probably hear this everyday but I’m your biggest fan.
    I even got Software Assurance that the zealots called a scam.
    I got a room will all your certificates and manuals, man.
    I like the stuff you did with Java, too, that stuff was phat!
    Anyways, I hope you get this, man. Hit me back
    just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan
    This is Dan.

    Dear Bill, you still ain’t ack-ed my note. I hope you have a chance.
    I ain’t mad — I just think it’s fscked up when the shizznit hit the fan.
    If you didn’t want to fix the bugs through Trustworthy Computing
    you didn’t have to, but you coulda posted a work-around for Matthew
    That’s my kid bro, man, he’s only eight years old
    Been a good boy, rebooted as he was told by you
    for years and you just said “No.”
    That’s pretty crappy, man, his drive was going idle.
    He wanted to be just like you, man! Now he gets more porn than I do!
    I ain’t that mad, though, I just don’t like bein lied to.
    Remember when we met in Vegas? I said that I’d write you
    And that I’ve always gots your back. See, man, patching is ok, in a way.
    I wouldn’t have bothered either
    But my mom’s machine got hosed and she’s not a control-alt-deleter.
    I can’t relate when people say you’re doing wrong
    So when I have a crappy day, I flame away and bring it on
    ’cause I don’t really know shit else and get confused on what to press
    I even got wit blizzard and got Warcraft Battlechest
    Sometimes I get a troll to axe a seal to watch it bleed
    It’s like adrenaline, that is until the game locks up on me.
    And when you rolled right over Real, man, I respect you cause you did it.
    The linux folks are jealous — their uptime is 24/7
    but they don’t know you like I do, Bill, no one does
    they don’t know what it’s like for systems like ours booting up
    You gotta write me, man. I’ll be the biggest fan you’ll ever lose.
    Sincerely yours, Dan — P.S.
    I’m glad you beat up OS/2

    Dear Mister-I’m-Too-Good-To-Fix-Or-Patch-My-Bugs,
    this ‘ll be the last e-mail I ever send your ass
    It’s been so long and Word’s still bork — I don’t deserve it?
    I gotta upgrade to write letters?
    I almost switched down to Wordperfect!
    So this is my ogg file I’m sending you, I hope you hear it.
    I’m running firefox on the information superhighway
    Hey Bill, I clicked on Bonzi Buddy, will it install in my drive?
    You know that song by Shawn Colvin, it’s called “Sunny Came Home”
    about that girl who came home with a box of tools and said that
    it’s time for a few small repairs — she came home with a vengeance?
    That’s kinda how it is, I was one “rescue disk” from switching
    Now it’s too late — I’m with a million penguins now and happy
    and all I wanted was a lousy ack or a call
    I hope you know I trashed ALL of your cd’s from my drawer.
    I loved XP and IE together, think about it —
    It’s ruined somehow, I hope you can’t boot and you dream about it
    And when you boot, I hope you get spyware and you scream about it
    I hope your conscience eats at you for what you did with ME
    See, man — what up, bitch? You’re nothin but talk.
    Hey Bill, I ain’t buyin your marketing junk.
    They didn’t find a goat, They just fixed the bug. See, they ain’t like you
    ’cause if you look away, we suffer more and we’ll upgrade, too!
    Well, gotta go, my machine is so much better now.
    Oh man, this is great — now my OS doesn’t crap out!

    Dear Dan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy
    You said you found some bugs last year — that’s just really silly.
    Look, I’m really flattered that you’d call your daughter that
    and it’s not our fault about your brother
    we didn’t install that spyware crap.
    I’m sorry I don’t remember you at the show, I must’ve missed you
    The free swag was there to make it up to you in case I dissed you.
    And what’s that shit you said about you playing Blizzard games, foo?
    Get your ass on Xbox Live, dogg
    c’mon, how screwed up are you?
    You’ve got some issues, Dan, I’ll forward them to marketing
    To help your PC from bouncing packets off the wall when you have downtime
    And we can go squash those Linux hippies together.
    With SCO and SUN, man — we’ll all just chill and support each other.
    I really think you need a girlfriend, man, at least someone to bother
    Or maybe you just need to treat your OS better.
    I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time
    before you hurt yourself, I think that our products are just fine
    if you relax a little. I’m trying to understand you, Dan,
    why are you so mad? Try to understand I do want you as a fan
    I just don’t want you to do some crazy shit
    I seen this one dude on the net a couple of weeks ago that made me sick
    Some dude was posting HOWTOs on the web and how he switched
    From using Windows into Linux — and how we lost the Munich bid
    And on the bottom it had a link, I forget — it was mailto:
    Come to think of it, his name was…it was you
    Damn!

    Like

  10. WITH APOLOGIES TO EMINEM

    My fee’s all gone, I’m wondering why
    I sold my soul at all —
    The morning mail locked up my Windows,
    They all call me a troll.
    Even if they don’t, everything I say
    Gets all hackers’ eyes to roll —
    Still I tell me that it’s not so bad,
    It’s not so bad…

    Dear Bill, I wrote but you still ain’t respondin’
    I left e-mail, my URL, and my home IP at the bottom
    I sent two bug reports last autumn — you must not a got ’em
    There probably was a problem with hotmail or somethin
    Sometimes the packets take the scenic route when you route them
    but anyhoo, fsck it, what’s been up? Man, how’s Ballmer?
    Is he still a dancin’ foo, screamin’ “developer?”
    If I have a daughter, guess what I’ma call her —
    I’ma name her Clippy.
    I read about your XP SP2, I’m sorry.
    I had a friend bork his box over some bitchy driver problem
    I know you probably hear this everyday but I’m your biggest fan.
    I even got Software Assurance that the zealots called a scam.
    I got a room will all your certificates and manuals, man.
    I like the stuff you did with Java, too, that stuff was phat!
    Anyways, I hope you get this, man. Hit me back
    just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan
    This is Dan.

    Dear Bill, you still ain’t ack-ed my note. I hope you have a chance.
    I ain’t mad — I just think it’s fscked up when the shizznit hit the fan.
    If you didn’t want to fix the bugs through Trustworthy Computing
    you didn’t have to, but you coulda posted a work-around for Matthew
    That’s my kid bro, man, he’s only eight years old
    Been a good boy, rebooted as he was told by you
    for years and you just said “No.”
    That’s pretty crappy, man, his drive was going idle.
    He wanted to be just like you, man! Now he gets more porn than I do!
    I ain’t that mad, though, I just don’t like bein lied to.
    Remember when we met in Vegas? I said that I’d write you
    And that I’ve always gots your back. See, man, patching is ok, in a way.
    I wouldn’t have bothered either
    But my mom’s machine got hosed and she’s not a control-alt-deleter.
    I can’t relate when people say you’re doing wrong
    So when I have a crappy day, I flame away and bring it on
    ’cause I don’t really know shit else and get confused on what to press
    I even got wit blizzard and got Warcraft Battlechest
    Sometimes I get a troll to axe a seal to watch it bleed
    It’s like adrenaline, that is until the game locks up on me.
    And when you rolled right over Real, man, I respect you cause you did it.
    The linux folks are jealous — their uptime is 24/7
    but they don’t know you like I do, Bill, no one does
    they don’t know what it’s like for systems like ours booting up
    You gotta write me, man. I’ll be the biggest fan you’ll ever lose.
    Sincerely yours, Dan — P.S.
    I’m glad you beat up OS/2

    Dear Mister-I’m-Too-Good-To-Fix-Or-Patch-My-Bugs,
    this ‘ll be the last e-mail I ever send your ass
    It’s been so long and Word’s still bork — I don’t deserve it?
    I gotta upgrade to write letters?
    I almost switched down to Wordperfect!
    So this is my ogg file I’m sending you, I hope you hear it.
    I’m running firefox on the information superhighway
    Hey Bill, I clicked on Bonzi Buddy, will it install in my drive?
    You know that song by Shawn Colvin, it’s called “Sunny Came Home”
    about that girl who came home with a box of tools and said that
    it’s time for a few small repairs — she came home with a vengeance?
    That’s kinda how it is, I was one “rescue disk” from switching
    Now it’s too late — I’m with a million penguins now and happy
    and all I wanted was a lousy ack or a call
    I hope you know I trashed ALL of your cd’s from my drawer.
    I loved XP and IE together, think about it —
    It’s ruined somehow, I hope you can’t boot and you dream about it
    And when you boot, I hope you get spyware and you scream about it
    I hope your conscience eats at you for what you did with ME
    See, man — what up, bitch? You’re nothin but talk.
    Hey Bill, I ain’t buyin your marketing junk.
    They didn’t find a goat, They just fixed the bug. See, they ain’t like you
    ’cause if you look away, we suffer more and we’ll upgrade, too!
    Well, gotta go, my machine is so much better now.
    Oh man, this is great — now my OS doesn’t crap out!

    Dear Dan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy
    You said you found some bugs last year — that’s just really silly.
    Look, I’m really flattered that you’d call your daughter that
    and it’s not our fault about your brother
    we didn’t install that spyware crap.
    I’m sorry I don’t remember you at the show, I must’ve missed you
    The free swag was there to make it up to you in case I dissed you.
    And what’s that shit you said about you playing Blizzard games, foo?
    Get your ass on Xbox Live, dogg
    c’mon, how screwed up are you?
    You’ve got some issues, Dan, I’ll forward them to marketing
    To help your PC from bouncing packets off the wall when you have downtime
    And we can go squash those Linux hippies together.
    With SCO and SUN, man — we’ll all just chill and support each other.
    I really think you need a girlfriend, man, at least someone to bother
    Or maybe you just need to treat your OS better.
    I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time
    before you hurt yourself, I think that our products are just fine
    if you relax a little. I’m trying to understand you, Dan,
    why are you so mad? Try to understand I do want you as a fan
    I just don’t want you to do some crazy shit
    I seen this one dude on the net a couple of weeks ago that made me sick
    Some dude was posting HOWTOs on the web and how he switched
    From using Windows into Linux — and how we lost the Munich bid
    And on the bottom it had a link, I forget — it was mailto:
    Come to think of it, his name was…it was you
    Damn!

    Like

  11. Getting to Vegas from Australia is a big jump. As much as I like the place.

    The excellent coverage from Engadget and Gizmodo did the trick.

    Your own blog has been great for a personal ground floor view as well. Especially the flickr hosted pictures.

    Saved me getting sore feet and a big hotel bill. πŸ™‚

    Like

  12. Getting to Vegas from Australia is a big jump. As much as I like the place.

    The excellent coverage from Engadget and Gizmodo did the trick.

    Your own blog has been great for a personal ground floor view as well. Especially the flickr hosted pictures.

    Saved me getting sore feet and a big hotel bill. πŸ™‚

    Like

  13. How did you watch news coming from the CES?

    Oh I knew most before it even started, minus the keynotes, it’s called reading Press Releases and the trade reports and other misc. research. Get in that river, and it don’t stop. And that’s not an ego boast, as anyone can know, you just have to prepare.

    A good reporter, would plan, attacking it all strategically and methodically, developing the central story theme, finding the real news, instead of just the glitz, etc. The blogs just clump it all together, gadget after gadget, keynote after keynote with no rhyme, reason or systematic analysis. It’s like MTV videos, 3 minute gadget posts, for the short-attention span set. Great “coverage” of the transcript sort, but no context; gadget porn is what it all comes down to.

    And you forget, Jason’s network is now big media, it’s not blogs covering it, it’s Time Warner (AOL). And conference hopping and kissing up to other bloggers is more of the professional big media sort, so now slagging Nick as he’s more the indy outlet? Boy, you are a walking bundle of contradictions. Weblogs Inc. is big media, Nick’s not yet big media. Isn’t the purpose of blogs to give an outlet to the ‘human voice’ over big media? This is another ironic moment that I am sure will be lost. But I treasure it for a fleeting moment nevetheless. πŸ™‚

    To tell you the truth, I’m not so excited about these styles of shows anymore.

    Well that’s cause, they aren’t catered to you, they are meant for product buyers, it’s not some blogging social chit-chatty event, it’s dead-serious business and press marketing. Knock, knock, sorry the world just doesn’t revolve around you.

    Like

  14. How did you watch news coming from the CES?

    Oh I knew most before it even started, minus the keynotes, it’s called reading Press Releases and the trade reports and other misc. research. Get in that river, and it don’t stop. And that’s not an ego boast, as anyone can know, you just have to prepare.

    A good reporter, would plan, attacking it all strategically and methodically, developing the central story theme, finding the real news, instead of just the glitz, etc. The blogs just clump it all together, gadget after gadget, keynote after keynote with no rhyme, reason or systematic analysis. It’s like MTV videos, 3 minute gadget posts, for the short-attention span set. Great “coverage” of the transcript sort, but no context; gadget porn is what it all comes down to.

    And you forget, Jason’s network is now big media, it’s not blogs covering it, it’s Time Warner (AOL). And conference hopping and kissing up to other bloggers is more of the professional big media sort, so now slagging Nick as he’s more the indy outlet? Boy, you are a walking bundle of contradictions. Weblogs Inc. is big media, Nick’s not yet big media. Isn’t the purpose of blogs to give an outlet to the ‘human voice’ over big media? This is another ironic moment that I am sure will be lost. But I treasure it for a fleeting moment nevetheless. πŸ™‚

    To tell you the truth, I’m not so excited about these styles of shows anymore.

    Well that’s cause, they aren’t catered to you, they are meant for product buyers, it’s not some blogging social chit-chatty event, it’s dead-serious business and press marketing. Knock, knock, sorry the world just doesn’t revolve around you.

    Like

  15. Engadget had the best coverage, I think: ‘Big media’ quantity and access with ‘blog-type’ insight, if you know what I mean…

    That said, I hate you all because *I* wasn’t there… πŸ˜‰

    Like

  16. Engadget had the best coverage, I think: ‘Big media’ quantity and access with ‘blog-type’ insight, if you know what I mean…

    That said, I hate you all because *I* wasn’t there… πŸ˜‰

    Like

  17. Bearing in mind that I no longer run Gizmodo (but instead another Gawker site, Consumerist.com), I think that Christopher Coulter has an excellent point. Engadget’s coverage of CES was typically excellent and they should be commended, but they’ve also always aimed to be me (to my reckoning) a faster, leaner CNET. I think they do very well to that purpose, which takes a large number of writers on the show floor to cover all the various conferences and product launches.

    But that’s not very ‘bloggy,’ is it? I am amused by the notion that Engadget’s coverage is more personal or immediate to you, Mr. Scoble, because you have talked to them at various tech conferences. Is that the measure of a good blogger? Someone who goes to lots of tech conferences?

    I’m not trying to disparage Engadget, for what it’s worth. I think they are summarily excellent at what they do, and I prefer to read their coverage of these type of things than I do CNET’s, simply because they are offering the same information in a more easily digested form. But at some point one has to wonder where the ‘blog’ ends and the ‘media company’ begins. Gizmodo is certainly on the cusp of that transition, in no small part to the arms race between it and Engadget.

    I guess that’s where things are going in that space, but it makes me sort of sad. You can’t cover something like CES with a single person. I tried to last year when I ran Gizmodo and while I felt I did a solid job, I didn’t post nearly as many stories as CNET or Engadget. Instead, I tried to offer as much personal perspective and distillation as I could. I hope that the differences in execution are a value for the tech community rather than a case of also-running. It would be a shame to see sites like Gizmodo or Gear Live fall by the wayside because they tried too hard to become the next CNET, especially when there’s already a site who seems to be happy to (effectively) take them on.

    Anyway, not personal enough is what got the edge of my goat. So, you know, hi! (Too bad I no longer am a Gizmodo employee, but better late than never, I suppose.)

    Like

  18. Bearing in mind that I no longer run Gizmodo (but instead another Gawker site, Consumerist.com), I think that Christopher Coulter has an excellent point. Engadget’s coverage of CES was typically excellent and they should be commended, but they’ve also always aimed to be me (to my reckoning) a faster, leaner CNET. I think they do very well to that purpose, which takes a large number of writers on the show floor to cover all the various conferences and product launches.

    But that’s not very ‘bloggy,’ is it? I am amused by the notion that Engadget’s coverage is more personal or immediate to you, Mr. Scoble, because you have talked to them at various tech conferences. Is that the measure of a good blogger? Someone who goes to lots of tech conferences?

    I’m not trying to disparage Engadget, for what it’s worth. I think they are summarily excellent at what they do, and I prefer to read their coverage of these type of things than I do CNET’s, simply because they are offering the same information in a more easily digested form. But at some point one has to wonder where the ‘blog’ ends and the ‘media company’ begins. Gizmodo is certainly on the cusp of that transition, in no small part to the arms race between it and Engadget.

    I guess that’s where things are going in that space, but it makes me sort of sad. You can’t cover something like CES with a single person. I tried to last year when I ran Gizmodo and while I felt I did a solid job, I didn’t post nearly as many stories as CNET or Engadget. Instead, I tried to offer as much personal perspective and distillation as I could. I hope that the differences in execution are a value for the tech community rather than a case of also-running. It would be a shame to see sites like Gizmodo or Gear Live fall by the wayside because they tried too hard to become the next CNET, especially when there’s already a site who seems to be happy to (effectively) take them on.

    Anyway, not personal enough is what got the edge of my goat. So, you know, hi! (Too bad I no longer am a Gizmodo employee, but better late than never, I suppose.)

    Like

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