Covering an Apple press event

I had about 250 people in my Kyte.tv chat room. I think Engadget said they had something like 40,000 unique visitors in an hour. Now you know why Peter Rojas gets the big bucks.

But I am a newbie at this press conference thing. I didn’t understand why Engadget sat in the back. Isn’t up front the place to be?

No.

The folks in the back could take pictures. Up front Apple PR people were telling me “no pictures.”

So, I did what I could.

I sent some video to my Kyte channel before we went in. I shot that with my Nokia N95. I have the Kyte app on it and it uploads video within a few seconds. Really great.

Once inside I found no wifi I could use so I plugged in my EVDO. Ran great. So far so good.

During the keynote I couldn’t really get photos off because PR was giving me the evil eye.

So, I resorted to text chat. You can go back and look at the chat.

One thing is that TechMeme will never link to video, streamed or otherwise, so if you’re hoping to get on TechMeme and you’re at a hot news event you better have at least one person live blogging it. To get noticed, though, you’re going to have to do something better than Engadget does. For me that means you’ll need to have a team covering events like this. One person blogging. One person taking pictures and pushing them up to Flickr. One person videoing and pushing those up. And one person chatting with all the peeps. Oh, and doing marketing during the event. Twitter, Pownce, Facebook, etc.

In other words the single blogger or journalist doesn’t have a chance. If you can get a team to photo/video/chat/market/and blog all at the same time then you’ll be able to attract an audience and stay relevant to the conversation.

Some things I’ll do myself next time. 1) Bring more batteries for my laptop. 2) Bring an ultra small camera on a bendable neck so I could sneak it in between people and position it well. 3) Band together with other people so that we can split up tasks and have someone at home wrap them all up.

Oh, and Steve Jobs granted interviews to people with notepads after the event but wouldn’t let himself be videoed. So, be flexible. If you can’t get one kind of interview done, switch to another kind.

But, seriously, when you are competing with 200 of the world’s best press you have to find an angle that no one else sees. I’m not sure I got up to that level today, but the people in the chat seemed appreciative that I was chatting live during the event.

Anyway, that’s all from Apple. Now back to work on other stuff.

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26 thoughts on “Covering an Apple press event

  1. What is your stance on getting an iPhone in this setting. I just picked one up. Switched from a BlackJack. The iPhone is pretty slick. Very usable, but as noted, in need of an update.

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  2. What is your stance on getting an iPhone in this setting. I just picked one up. Switched from a BlackJack. The iPhone is pretty slick. Very usable, but as noted, in need of an update.

    Like

  3. I’m not much of an Engadget reader, but there’s one thing they do good, and that’s cover events like this. The time-stamped twitter-like feed makes you feel like you were there, even if you’re reading it the next day. I love it.

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  4. I’m not much of an Engadget reader, but there’s one thing they do good, and that’s cover events like this. The time-stamped twitter-like feed makes you feel like you were there, even if you’re reading it the next day. I love it.

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  5. Robert, it totally kicked ass to be on the 2nd row seat with you today and sneaking up to Steve…surreal, thanks dude! (though it was a bit crowded on the seat with the 250 others :))
    Anyway, it shows the way towards a new era of live event coverage/information sharing…truly social network style YAY!

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  6. Robert, it totally kicked ass to be on the 2nd row seat with you today and sneaking up to Steve…surreal, thanks dude! (though it was a bit crowded on the seat with the 250 others :))
    Anyway, it shows the way towards a new era of live event coverage/information sharing…truly social network style YAY!

    Like

  7. Funny that Apple would be so harsh on photos for the people up front when they know darn well Engadget and others will get them anyway. What’s the point? This cat is well out of the bag and what other company get thousands of fans following their announcement life on the net? Like the Greatful Dead, Apple should encourage thing kind of coverage, sit back, relax and enjoy the buzz.

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  8. Funny that Apple would be so harsh on photos for the people up front when they know darn well Engadget and others will get them anyway. What’s the point? This cat is well out of the bag and what other company get thousands of fans following their announcement life on the net? Like the Greatful Dead, Apple should encourage thing kind of coverage, sit back, relax and enjoy the buzz.

    Like

  9. David: actually being harsh on photos up front makes sense. For one camera noise would get out of control (this was being recorded by CNBC, among other outlets with millions of viewers). For two, photographers might jostle for position which would create a visual distraction. For three, some photogs use flash which also creates visual distraction.

    So, I understand the rules even as I was trying to sneak in a shot here and there.

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  10. David: actually being harsh on photos up front makes sense. For one camera noise would get out of control (this was being recorded by CNBC, among other outlets with millions of viewers). For two, photographers might jostle for position which would create a visual distraction. For three, some photogs use flash which also creates visual distraction.

    So, I understand the rules even as I was trying to sneak in a shot here and there.

    Like

  11. I would say that the details from Engadget might have better but I enjoyed your chat session on Kyte way more… The live feel made it more personal and much more distracting from any work that I should have been doing…

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  12. I would say that the details from Engadget might have better but I enjoyed your chat session on Kyte way more… The live feel made it more personal and much more distracting from any work that I should have been doing…

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  13. You did a great job yest… and the chatting during the session made it seem so much more interactive, made me feel a part of what was happening. Though i did have to jump on engadget for the pics. I think the Mac Keyboard is just stunning

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  14. You did a great job yest… and the chatting during the session made it seem so much more interactive, made me feel a part of what was happening. Though i did have to jump on engadget for the pics. I think the Mac Keyboard is just stunning

    Like

  15. Hey Robert. Yeah, Techmeme doesn’t aggregate all the forms of video as deftly as it could if it were omniscient. But there are some strategies for getting your videos linked to on Techmeme:

    Basically, create a BLOG POST that’s the clearinghouse for all your video stuff related to that news event. Create the post when the news happens. Give it an appropriate title. Embed any videos in that post. Link to your steaming video in that post. And add as much text as you can. No text is OK as long as there are videos, but the more text the better, for semantic analytical purposes. Just a few sentences will help.

    Among other reasons, doing this helps because many/most links from other blogs will go to that one post.

    Note this might be a good idea even if Techmeme didn’t exist…

    Like

  16. Hey Robert. Yeah, Techmeme doesn’t aggregate all the forms of video as deftly as it could if it were omniscient. But there are some strategies for getting your videos linked to on Techmeme:

    Basically, create a BLOG POST that’s the clearinghouse for all your video stuff related to that news event. Create the post when the news happens. Give it an appropriate title. Embed any videos in that post. Link to your steaming video in that post. And add as much text as you can. No text is OK as long as there are videos, but the more text the better, for semantic analytical purposes. Just a few sentences will help.

    Among other reasons, doing this helps because many/most links from other blogs will go to that one post.

    Note this might be a good idea even if Techmeme didn’t exist…

    Like

  17. I followed four different live sessions. Despite everything, I think I got most information out of your session. Next time will be even better.

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  18. I followed four different live sessions. Despite everything, I think I got most information out of your session. Next time will be even better.

    Like

  19. Gabe: it’s very hard to do video and text at the same time. What I’ll need to do if I want to be in the news business is get a team to work an event. One guy blogs and links to the video. Another guy live chats and does marketing (Twitter/Facebook/Pownce/email friends, etc). Me? I like doing video the best, if I can do it.

    But even if we did everything perfectly I don’t believe I’d get on TechMeme. Here’s why:

    Your algorithm seems to judge a few things. 1) Inbound linking and voracity of such. Video will never get lots of inbound links and if it does it gets them slowly because it takes time to watch a video, say “damn that’s good” and link to it. While with text you can tell in seconds whether you’re going to link to it or not.

    2) You look at things like # of comments and how quickly they come in. Same answer. Video will get comments slower than most blogs will. Except if you have very viral videos (which mine will never be because they tend to be longer).

    3) You look at traffic levels underneath the whole conversation network. But most of my videos are watched via a player and don’t necessarily show up as visits back to the mother site. Compare how they are consumed to, say, TechCrunch. I almost always read TechCrunch in RSS or on the site itself (comments always drag me back over there). That’s quite a bit different than how I watch most videos.

    It’s OK. I’m going with the player/widget model where the widget gets embedded on another person’s blog and I’ll just have to live with that.

    Like

  20. Gabe: it’s very hard to do video and text at the same time. What I’ll need to do if I want to be in the news business is get a team to work an event. One guy blogs and links to the video. Another guy live chats and does marketing (Twitter/Facebook/Pownce/email friends, etc). Me? I like doing video the best, if I can do it.

    But even if we did everything perfectly I don’t believe I’d get on TechMeme. Here’s why:

    Your algorithm seems to judge a few things. 1) Inbound linking and voracity of such. Video will never get lots of inbound links and if it does it gets them slowly because it takes time to watch a video, say “damn that’s good” and link to it. While with text you can tell in seconds whether you’re going to link to it or not.

    2) You look at things like # of comments and how quickly they come in. Same answer. Video will get comments slower than most blogs will. Except if you have very viral videos (which mine will never be because they tend to be longer).

    3) You look at traffic levels underneath the whole conversation network. But most of my videos are watched via a player and don’t necessarily show up as visits back to the mother site. Compare how they are consumed to, say, TechCrunch. I almost always read TechCrunch in RSS or on the site itself (comments always drag me back over there). That’s quite a bit different than how I watch most videos.

    It’s OK. I’m going with the player/widget model where the widget gets embedded on another person’s blog and I’ll just have to live with that.

    Like

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