Before I get started, wanted to thank those of you who took the time to vote and/or forward the ballot for Best Coffeehouse in Pittsburgh on AOL CityGuide. We finished second (actually we won according to the rules, but AOL changed the rules... however, that's another story for another blog.)
I had planned on revisiting the TSMR blog and re-thinking it for the new market dynamic of smaller, more targeted events. I've been slowly rebuilding my marketing business, taking a bit more time off from the coffeehouse to do so. Been looking for copy work while I bone up on numerous applications I plan on working with later this year in an effort to provide a reasonable copy/design alternative for small conferences.
The "new' TSMR will be a work in progress in that regard as I try to shed a lot of my "big show" baggage in order to focus on noteworthy smaller events and marketing tactics they use. Hopefully the result will be something any bootstrapper can look at and apply on their own event(s).
It's been a very rough two months going without my own computer. My trusty ThinkPad (purchased December 2002) bit the big one, thanks to being picked up by the screen, which partly separated from the body and somehow resulted in its inability to take a charge (after just spending $190 back in Sept. for a new battery, too).
Given it was going to take about $650 to repair the ThinkPad and Vista was on the verge of being released, I decided to hold off purchasing a new laptop while waiting until the new Vista machines were released. Meantime, I read a large number of reviews of Vista and the various laptops that would run it.
All that Vista research resulted in my buying a MacBook this evening (the black one with 120GB, to which I added an extra 1g of RAM). By this time next week I'll be back online every day. And much cooler, too, from what I hear.
In the meantime, I missed out on a story I really wanted to get into. The most fun thing each New Year is knowing that out of the gate you get to report on CES. There's never been a mega-event that's had it more together than CES.
But this year was different. The big news at CES wasn't in Las Vegas. The big news that week was in San Francisco. It was emanating from MacWorld - the iPhone. Yet everyone in Vegas was talking about it.
And despite any protestations that might be spewed from Dallas, what Steve Jobs did during the week of MacWorld/CES is exactly what's right with the world.
That MacWorld has run across virtually the same dates as CES for so long has always seemed to me to be one part rebellious/one part opportunistic/one part dumb. Mac junkies always ferreted out news from the show, but for the rest of the electronics-consuming public, the noise from CES Vegas drowned out everything else.
Not so with the iPhone. It was big enough to be carried on every network news show. Investors took notice. It was a big BIG deal even though every analyst cautioned that Apple would never have more than a miniscule share of the market for phones.
But what of CES? Certainly things must have been announced there that are earthshaking, no? That's where the big trends in electronics are every year, right?
OK, then. Name one thing announced at CES of similar impact. No fair Googling.
Two things happened that week in January:
1) MacWorld proved once and for all it isn't just for Mac nerds anymore.
2) CES lost its place on the pedestal after a half dozen years as the logical successor to Comdex. It's not going to just disappear like Comdex did, but Jobs saw to it that CES is just a little less relevant (sorry Dan).
If you don't believe me on this, check back next year.