CES is Nerdvana for many gadget freaks like me. I love following the general coverage, figuring out what all the cool new gadgets for the upcoming year is going to be, and also trying to spot trends into what the next IT thing is going to be. But also working for a startup company (Hillcrest Labs) in the Consumer Electronics space adds an extra dimension to the gadget watching, as I try and find all the press/blogger coverage of what we are showing at CES. So how do I do all this and still manage to get my work done? Web 2.0 to the rescue.
CES is a huge show. You couldn’t possibly imagine how extremely large it is. For this very reason, mainstream media is forced to only cover a small portion of it. Even organizations like PC Magazine and CNET for which this is their bread and butter, are not really flexible enough to give complete coverage to the show.
That is where the bloggers come in. Since they are really rather niche organizations, they can go in depth and cover whatever interests them. They don’t have to appeal to the more mass audience that the aforementioned places have to also cater to. For the purposes of CES, there are 3 blogs that have people at CES doing daily (sometimes live!) reports. Engadget, Gizmodo, and The Lost Remote. The first two are doing a lot of coverage, since their niche is rather large: Anything gadget. The Lost Remote deals specifically with TV stuff, so they post less frequently and really only concentrate on TV things. So I scan these blogs (making use of RSS and Bloglines) a couple of times a day.
Now the Web 2.0 coverage is not limited to just those blogs! You want to see pictures, lots of pictures, and nothing but pictures from the show floor? Check out the CES 2006 tag at flickr.com (RSS version). Lots of people photoblogging from the show floor. 1.5 days into the show (and only one day with the exhibition floor open) and already up to nearly 4000 photos. That’s pretty hard to follow as a traditional RSS feed. So I installed Slickr and told it to pull all the images from flickr.com that matched the “ces” tag and show that as my screen-saver. So I can still see all the great photos, just in a much more manageable manner.
And if just reading 3 blogs weren’t enough coverage for you, you can then use Technorati and find all the blogs tagged with “ces” (RSS). This will get any and all blog posts (including this one) that people have tagged as being related to ces (currently, 994 blog posts and counting).
All this stuff and I haven’t even touched on the podcasts. I know Engadget is doing a daily podcast from the show and I’m sure there are other podcasts doing it as well. But I do have other things to do in my life, so I haven’t checked in with any of the podcasting coverage.
If you follow all this advice and still find yourself yearning for more coverage, then I would save your pennies for CES 2007 and book your hotel room early and get yourself to the show. Because that is the only way you can get better coverage (but at least at home you don’t have to worry about the Toilets of CES).