Quick CES Roundup

I’m at the Vegas airport sucking up some of the free wifi. My stay here in Vegas is complete and my flight can’t leave soon enough.

Let’s get the important stuff out of the way, I’m up about $15 on the slots and made back $40 on a pool with other speakers re how many would show up to the presentation. I won, and with the high number.

And, the killer take home – the “must report” about event. I got nothing for you. Hopefully Jobs delivers something next week.

CES fascinating for me because it has so little to do with the show floor. It’s all about the meetings and the “feeling” you get from other players, etc. You can tell a lot about a company by who’s in the booth, how much money is being spent, what they hawk, etc.

A few things I touched directly and then some bigger thoughts. Hopefully then the flight will load and I can watch the movie I ripped for my iPhone for the ride home.

The Gates Keynote at the Bloghaus was a kick in the pants. Whereas I wouldn’t be as arrogant to say it was the pressroom of the future, I’m so glad I went there, instead of the press area. Different groove, and people cared about the tech for tech’s sake, not what it would do to MSFT’s stock price. I mentioned earlier that I’ve give it a “B.” Still feel that way. Nothing of importance came out of it. Was thrilled to see the token Zune picture on a bunch of banners, etc. Always good to be reminded that their new media player ain’t going away.

I did find it a little funny that the first IPTV implementation is in England.

Monday was about the show floor. As always, Microsoft had a nice presence but … this time … the word Podcasting was on the wall and not only were there people who could answer questions in the booth but the lead Podcast dude Rob Greenlee was there on the floor.

I wonder if the two Podcast guys from Apple will be on the floor next week at MacWorld answering questions.

Creative seemed as lost as ever. The big product they were pimping was a device that upscaled your iPhone to a HD screen. Yes, you read it right – iPhone. Around the corner were the very devices they were calling unimportant with big show specials for people who bought there. On the brighter side of things, I did win a copy of Unreal Tournament 3.

iRiver was clueless – at least the guy I talked to.

Never made it to the Belkin booth. Bummer there.

Met the guys from Castgrabber.net. In some ways they’re a competitor to Casgle but they’ve got a retail angle for what they’re doing that makes things interesting. I need to chew on implications. They won my award for worst booth location.

The panel with Kamen, Lawless, Mossberg and Stephenson was very fun. Was great to consider the fine line between embracing technology and dreaming about how to make it better. Chuckled a little when I found out that D’anna’s kids are into Webkinz too. I still hold out my opinion that Dean Kamen is an American treasure. Take a look at http://www.usfirst.org/. Got a clip of him that I’ll upload to YouTube sometime later.

Had dinner Monday night with a bunch of Microsoft MVPs and some leaders there. The Microsoft MVP program is slowly maturing and it’s really fun to be part of it. The MVP program is entering puberty and when we enter our teens, you’re going to see some really good stuff from the partnership.

Tuesday was good too. Again, about the people – so it was mostly meetings (and of course, the presentation). I recorded my part and if it comes out good, I might play it on the show tomorrow night. Had lunch with MediaFly.com and dinner with Podango.com so no complaints there.

I think the big “take home” came after deconstructing the panel presentation with Tim Bourquin and Michael Geoghegan after the event over a beer. We realized that telling Podcast-only stories is getting harder and harder to do as more and more people aren’t making their stories Podcast-only. 12 years ago I remember telling great email marketing stories that quickly became marketing stories. Very quickly we’ll be telling new media stories that had a Podcasting element – but she wasn’t the star.

And I wonder if she ever was.

She is one heck of a channel though

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