Waiting in line for iPhones is glorious

I see that there are people already waiting in line for the Apple 3G iPhone.

I’m an expert on waiting in line for Apple products. My son and I waited 30+ hours in line last year to buy the first iPhone (we were first in line at the Apple store in Palo Alto, CA, which is the one closest to Steve Jobs’ home).

Personally, the line was more fun than using the product. It’ll always be one of the things in my life that I’ll remember. We had famous Apple software developers, famous CEOs and venture capitalists waiting in line, and a lot of other fun people, too.

But I’m going to say something shocking: the people this year who are waiting in line are chasing something that won’t show up.

First of all, the famous Apple geeks aren’t going to show up for an iteration, which is what this is.

Second of all, the TV crews will probably not show up this year. While there’s a lot of “inside the bubble” hype for the 3G iPhone, the hype for everyone else is not even close to what it was for the first iPhone.

Third of all, if Apple has any supply constraints this year the real story will be the plumeting stock price. So, I predict there won’t be any lack of supply and that everyone who wants a 3G iPhone will get one. So, waiting in line won’t get you an advantage.

But, waiting in line for an Apple product is glorious, even if it is idiotic. It’s certainly one way to get on Techmeme without writing a blog.

Ahh, it’ll be a long week of Apple hype.


Off of the tech entertainment train

Today several people noted that I am no longer on Techmeme’s leader board.

Funny, lately I’ve been reading TechMeme less and less and caring less and less about whether what I do appears there. It’s why I went to Washington DC. I knew the other geeks like Mike Arrington wouldn’t link to those videos. Why? Well, as Zoe Lofgren said in the conversation we had with her, politicians are boring. I remember on a Gillmor Gang a few months back that Arrington announced that he was an entertainer. He’s right, and is one of the reasons why he owns the top of the Techmeme leaderboard. Me? I’d rather do something else than be an entertainer. I want to have smart conversations and if that means I’m not going to be on the Techmeme leaderboard anymore, so be it.

This week I was at Hewlett Packard hanging out with researchers who are working at the atomic level to find new ways to make memory and processors that will be far more important to all of us than whether or not there’s some people standing in line waiting for the next iPhone. But science isn’t sexy. You won’t see our video of that on TechMeme either.

Nor will you see the video that we did with the CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association that’ll be up on Monday. Nor will you see the WorkFast.tv video we did with Tim Ferriss. In fact, out of all the videos I’ve done this year I can’t think of one that’s been on Techmeme. Heck, my tour of CERN wasn’t on TechMeme, nor was our visit to IBM’s Research Center.

So, if I’m not chasing Techmeme anymore, what am I chasing? FriendFeed and Twitter. They are, together, where the audience that I really care about is hanging out. Who do I care about? Early adopters who want to have conversations with smart people about smart things.

Well, because FriendFeed’ers care about learning something new about the industry and not just getting entertained by the latest sensationalism.

Interesting that Dave Winer just shipped a new tech news site. Why? He’s disatisfied with Techmeme too. Funny, too, that I was talking with a journalist from a major news organization a couple of weeks back. He said “we only get 1,400 visitors when we’re at the top of Techmeme — that’s statistically insignificant.” I answered back “I am getting more visitors lately from Twitter and FriendFeed and the audience I get is more engaged and is usually reading Techmeme anyway.”

But, just in case, FastCompany.tv is one of the advertisers on TechMeme now and I do read it a couple times a day just to see if I missed something (it’s been a long time, though, that it caught something that hadn’t already been discussed over on FriendFeed).

As another example, look at the kinds of things I’ve “Liked” on FriendFeed lately. Now compare that to TechMeme. Which one is more interesting? Why?

It’s OK if you say Techmeme is more entertaining. It is.

But is that all you want out of your tech bloggers and journalists?