In case you’re not into consumer electronics and other gadgetry and geekery, you may not know that this week sees the start of two major annual technology conferences: The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco.
Usually there’s a gap between the two – or maybe an overlap of a single day – but this year the party planners got it wrong, and now we’re embarking on a week where ‘everything consumer electronics’ and ‘everything Apple’ are head-to-head.
The fact is that they’re both important events on the tech calendar, and you can bet that every tech blogger wants to squeeze the most coverage possible out of them.
This is the week that tech blogs go into overdrive.
Even amongst the big guns who usually push out dozens of posts every day, there’s increased posting, with more pictures, more hype, more speculation, more shaky video footage…
It does appear to be a place where blogs with the resources to pull it off really do shine over the mainstream media, even online. Take my UK-biased point of reference: the BBC. A quick look at their technology news page at the start of CES shows only one article – about Mr Bill Gates no less – and no other mention of CES. In fact (perhaps embarrassingly?) typing “CES” into their search box yields a few scrawny results for last year’s conference.
Take my second point of reference: Tech Digest. Yes, I know it’s shameless self-promotion (I write for them) but I can quote figures. On a ‘normal’ day we post between 15-25 articles. Today we’ve already posted over 50 articles (all neatly tagged, of course), and Monday on CES’s crowded show floors has only just begun! How anyone is going to read all of this is beyond me… (we haven’t even started on Macworld yet.)
We’re fortunate enough to have reporters in Vegas (and no, I’m not one of them – I get to mop up press releases here in London) so there’s plenty of scope for video footage, interviews, and product shots.
This is where the immediacy of blogs is a winning attribute, though for the average consumer the mainstream media may still have the edge when it comes to summarising an event and picking out key products and trends.
It’s a frantic week, especially if you’re interested in both conferences, but fortunately it calms down a bit in mid-January. I don’t think anyone could honestly maintain that level of news coverage all year. It makes up for the pre-holiday lulls, though.