John Furrier has been working in technology and starting technology startups for some time and his blog has a lot of good perspectives from a clever guy. John was a founder of PodTech, the video startup, and I had a couple of nice talks with him at CES where the PodTech Bloghaus was a huge hit with hundreds of the thousands of bloggers swarming all over Las Vegas.
I was wondering how the amazing Scoble was going to cover the CES hurricane of news and products and should have known it would be with a hurricane of Scoble video podcasts. I wish I had more time to hang at the Bloghaus but there is more going on here than you can possibly even figure out.
Here’s Robert’s CNBC coverage.
I give Scoble huge credit for having “walked the walk” about blogging for many years and helping others get involved and understand the power of the medium. He’s also been showing companies how powerful corporate style blogging can be and it’s nice to finally see (some) of them “get it” and use blogging to elevate the quality interaction and the amount of connection to their customers and potential customers.
Hey! I’m still looking for Donny Deutsch Donny where are you? Wait – he’s NOT on the road to CES after all. He’s in New York! talking about CES. Tech from New York? Where is that exactly – isn’t that where they make Saturday Night lives and Rudy Giulianis?
More: Bloghaus is now open and John Furrier looks like he’ll do a great job blogging CES. Of course it would be nice would be to get some clues about what Furrier and Scoble are up to with the new non-Podtech startup thing they’ll announce after CES, but I don’t blame them for keeping it a secret during the CES news maelstrom which started … today.
One of the contrasts I’m already noting between this conference and the pure internet conferences is that here it seems many people are only “just starting” to understand the importance and significance of online social media where at the internet conferences this is a given, and in fact many Silicon Valley businesses fail because they don’t realize how most regular folks could care less about many aspects of the social media revolution – they’ll wait for mass adoption rather than become early adopters.
In the gaming session discussing Massively Multiplayer Online games the most interesting observations were about the nexus of socializing and games, though how this would play out did not seem clear to any of the panelists. I’ll try to write more on that session later, but key points were the potential growth of simple free games like Maplestory & Runescape and how those games were monetizing using “micropayments”, where users buy small game items with real money. Also interesting was the discussion of the “secondary markets” where game features are bought and sold for real money. Based on the enthusiasm of the panelists, I think this is a really interesting market to watch.
Hey, who else is blogging CES? 300 of you Techno Spartans ? Put YOUR blog URL in the comments section of this post or twitter me and I’ll put you here. Also make sure you have RSVPd with the CES Bloggers and Bloghaus folks at Seagate and Podtech.
A lot of premier tech bloggers are on board the PodTech / Microsoft Blogging Bus heading for Las Vegas and video-live-blogging from the bus when they can – this really is a cool idea! http://www.mogulus.com/podtech_ces_live
SONY Online looks like they have a great blogging venue at the MGM as well and they are hosting a cool (invitation only) Poker Party Wednesday night at the Hard Rock Cafe.
CES Bloggers (bloggers – RSVP with them for the Atomic Testing Museum party!)
Update: As far as I know PodTech is doing fine as of December 2007, and the rumors back in July were bogus or exaggerated. Just heard from John Furrier that PodTech will again host a “bloghaus” at CES, one of the neatest “social tech” ideas last year in my opinion. I’m a big fan of all that Robert Scoble has done to evangelize quality corporate blogging and really wish PodTech the best.
Mike Arrington is reporting that PodTech is in trouble. I think this is consistent with the idea that content is no longer king – it’s a pawn in the big game to leverage the flood of free content and social networking activity, a game where the winners will NOT be the product of doing the “right thing”, rather winners will be the survivors of the evolutionary process that drives our rapidly changing digital ecosystem. Biological evolution works *away from failure* rather than towards success, and it seems clear to me this is also how internet company evolution works.
Mike suggests that PodTech might survive in modified form by scaling back and lowering their “burn rate” and focusing almost exclusively as a production and advertising house focusing on their own clients. I wrote over there:
Good insight as usual Dr. Mike.
“… get their burn rate very low” ummmm – can you cite any examples of a companies that did this in time to survive?
I enjoy Robert’s perspectives and consider him a real blogging leader and a digital inspiratation to the rest of us, but I don’t have the time to invest in his videos or PodTech’s other rich content. (just the facts please!)
Producing quality content is now playing with pawns rather than kings, and for some time it will be the companies that leverage the flood of free content or help people process the maelstrom of content that will win. e.g Facebook, Google, and your personal favorite winner, TechCrunch!
The painful thing if PodTech dies is that they did so many thing exactly “right”. They saw video and blogging as sweeping new online paradigms, they hired Robert Scoble who is nothing short of a digital inspiration to bloggers and video folks – he’s one of the elite onliners who puts his blog, money, reputation where his mouth is and actually engages non-elites regularly and with gusto and stays about as Web 2.0 connected as you can without exploding. Also, PodTech sponsored what looked to me like CES’s best new idea – the Bloghaus.
But planning and quality don’t necessarily breed success in biology or business, and PodTech may be just one more example of the harsh new evolutionary realities facing any digital animal.
As Paul K infectiously notes business plans are overrated. Twitter’s lack of a business plan may be the flip side of the evolutionary challenges – disorganization won’t hurt them and might even be part of the reasons it’s looking like Twitter will be …. hugely successful.