I lived in Hong Kong for three years in the early 90s, and still like to keep in touch with current events there, so I was pleased to come across Wandering Jew, a new blog from Richard, a Jewish (presumably), British (also presumed) expat in Hong Kong. So far, it hasn’t exactly been updated very regularly, but hopefully that will change now that the blog’s getting some attention (Richard tipped Engadget to some iPod clones he saw in Macau). Of course, there are tons of Hong Kong blogs out there (unlike when I was there, when we barely even had internet access), so Richard’s going to have to work hard to keep up with the competition.
Archive for January, 2006
Despite all the accolades Engadget has received for our coverage of CES, the mainstream media are generally reluctant to give blogs a whole lot of credit. Greg Lindsay has a good item about this over at Media Bistro, in which he discusses the issue, highlighting a recent case where The Wall Street Journal picked up a story that Rafat Ali broke in PaidContent:
On September 20, 2005, he’d broken the story on his website, PaidContent.org, that Viacom was close to swooping up the online film and digital content company iFilm for around $50 million. PaidContent scooped the mainstream press and even the trades like Variety by hours—an eternity in the online news business.
But the next day, a brief, unbylined story appeared on The Wall Street Journal Online with news of the potential deal, attributing its information to “people familiar with the situation.” The fact that the news had appeared on PaidContent hours before wasn’t mentioned. Ali hit the roof.
Ali complained, and the Journal later credited him with the scoop. However, his story will inevitably be repeated over time, as bloggers continue to get access to industry insiders and get scoops that their MSM competitors miss. One thing that bloggers have over the MSM is an obsessive devotion to their topic, which often leads them to do a level of reporting that even trade publications can’t keep up with. This sometimes gets the notice of people in the industry covered by the blog (as Jason Calacanis said today, of a meeting with a certain PC company in Austin, “out of the 30 media buyers/advertising/marketing executives 25+ read Engadget daily”), who sometimes tip bloggers with news ahead of the MSM. Of course, that can lead to nastiness like the Apple-ThinkSecret lawsuit. But it can also lead to a freer and more robust exchange of information and a more vibrant media landscape. Like it or not, bloggers are here to stay, and will continue to break news. And our colleagues in the MSM are eventually going to have to recognize that.
Oh, and as long as I’m quoting Media Bistro, props to my old colleague (from my own MSM days) Dorian Benkoil, the site’s new editorial director. I know Dorian has hit the big time; he already has his own category at Gawker, and their knives have already come out. I’m confident he’ll do a great job—and will develop the requisite thick skin needed to live in the fishbowl of the blogosphere.
The feed on this site only shows my most recent blog posts, so by now everything I did at CES is buried under newer items. But, if you really want to read everything I wrote at CES, this Google link will get you there.
After this one, no more CES ego trips:
Engadget did a spectacular job covering the Consumer Electronics Show. – Jeff Jarvis
Just returned from covering CES with Engadget (full coverage here). It was exhausting, but I have to say I’m very proud of the work we did. And judging from the comments out there, it looks like others have taken notice as well. I particularly like these, from none other than Microsoft’s Robert Scoble:
[I]f you really wanted to see the toys, watching Engadget is actually a better way to go. In fact, I was watching Engadget on my cell phone as I was walking around. Well, that and I kept running into the Engadget crew. I ran into Jason Calacanis at one party on Thursday night and he said “did you see that Toshiba Gigabeat?” I answered, no, cause it hadn’t been on Engadget yet.Of the gear I covered, I’d have to say my personal favorite was the Dell Concept Laptop. Not because I was especially enamored of the product, but because it gave me an excuse to do some real shoe-leather reporting, since Dell whisked it off the stage after showing it briefly during a dog-and-pony, and I got a chance to check it out in Dell’s both before it subsequently disappeared from that venue as well. As far as I can tell, I’m still the only person who was able to get the specs, model number and other salient info about this toy (all gleaned, simply enough, from “My Computer”). I also snapped what look like the only non-PR shots of it available on the net. No, I’m not blowing my own horn here (well, maybe just a little). This was hardly a major scoop, and anyone who took the trouble to wander over to Dell’s booth at the right time could have done the same. But with so many reporters covering CES, it still feels good to know I got something nobody else did.