The Bloghaus was a Bellagio suite sponsored by Seagate and outfitted with massive bandwidth connectivity, uber-LCD displays, free beer, and best of all – very interesting people. It was a great place to retreat for good connectivity and companionship amidst the cultural sewer that is Las Vegas. The Bloghaus completely re-invented the concept of the Press Room.
I’d like to share the stories of a few people I met while there.
First, I’d like to thank Robert Scoble, who runs Podtech, a new media outlet for business related Video blogs that is very good – though personally, I don’t have the patience to sit through long video interviews. Robert conceptualized the Bloghaus and found a sponsor – Seagate – who garnered a ridiculous amount of PR as a result.
Robert and I discussed whether things were getting a little frothy in the Web 2.0 market and pointed to the posh suite and $25 cash handed to me (and 200 other people) at the door (reimbursed taxi fare). His retort was that a venue like this was radically cheaper for Seagate than any promotion officially tied in with CES – and the return was far better.
Bloggers have gained an audience in the tech world for their independent and unbiased views, and companies are seeking ways to harness this new media outlet. The value of Bloggers Google linkage to the Seagate website alone (and the subsequent jump in Google search ranking) was worth 10x the cost of sponsoring the Bloghaus. Smart move Seagate. Robert said this was the begriming of blogger journalism, not the end. We had a long conversation and I walked away with the impression Robert Scoble and Pod Tech are going to change technology journalism further.
When it comes to photography, or composing anything remotely artistic, I am a complete zero. Legos and Model Rockets were my only salvation as a child. As a result, I deeply admire what is to me a magical ability to produce great artistic work. The photography of Thomas Hawk (full catalog here) falls into this category. I found myself sitting next to him as he feverishly uploaded photos, trying to hit a personal goal of 1000 photos of CES (including the uber-popular ‘Babes of CES‘). Turns out, as is usual with talented people, he’s a really nice guy. He even took my picture (warning, this is the four-beer Andrew). I strongly suggest adding his feed to your list simply for the great photos he shares with the world.
Gabe Rivera invented Techmeme, a dynamic newspaper of what is happening in the tech world. He has used the same model to focus on political blogs as well as Hollywood gossip (ugh, must give masses cake). I spoke with Gabe about why people blog- my theory is that many people do it out of ego. Gabe thought many did, but not the successful ones. Like most good Entrepreneurs, Gabe isn’t in it solely for the money. One of the reasons cited for starting his own company- “No one minds my 3PM nap.” Excellent interview with Gabe here.
I encouraged him to take his model and point it at other sectors, namely the financial sector. I impressed upon him that the amount of money to be tapped in this sector was more than all the other areas he was working on combined. He asked some very smart questions.