Lessons learned: Real-time blogging of Jobs keynote

With most companies--those that use Webcasts--real-time blogging of an event isn't a necessity. Apple's Macworld keynotes are a different story.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

With most companies--those that use Webcasts--real-time blogging of an event isn't a necessity. Apple's Macworld keynotes are a different story. Here's a look at the real-time blogging as it unfolded on five sites: ZDNet, with Jason O'Grady's Apple Core, Engadget, MacRumors, News.com and Gizmodo.

The goal of this experiment was to find the key lessons learned for next go round. Here's my timeline as a reader and reactions. All times PST.

8:40 a.m. Tune into MacRumors. Auto reload. Nice touch.

9:00 a.m. Uh oh, where's O'Grady?

9:10 a.m. Ah there's the post. Connection problems though. I'm worried.

9:20 a.m. O'Grady dumps his first batch of observations.

9:29 a.m. Interesting approach by Engadget, which goes with the full quote approach. Engadget quotes Jobs:

"Let me tell you more about what this box does. 720p high def video. It's got a 40GB hard drive, which comes in handy for something I'm about to show you... and 802.11b/g/n, and an Intel processor. It's a really cool box."

MacRumors give us.

9:29 am            stream from up to 5

9:29 am            store on HD

9:29 am            sync 10 most unwatched, sync them up

9:29 am            1 system from iTunes set up apple tv just like ipod, playlist and syncing

9:29 am            stream up to 5 pc


9:29 am            auto sync content from 1 pc

I still find MacRumors more addicting, although you can argue Engadget has more info.

9:36 a.m.

Gizmodo hasn't been heard from for more than an hour at this URL. Perhaps time stamps aren't such a good idea.

Nevertheless, readers comments are giving Gizmodo page views. Froggy says:

damn you... start blogging.. .up to the second means up to the second...

jason, get your tongue off the floor, stop drooling, and start typing.

9:44 a.m. Gizmodo still has nada. Baaaa says: "I prefer giz to others but this 'coverage' is weak."

Stuff happens I suppose.

O'Grady is chugging along. Glad access is holding up.

Quotes Jobs.

Today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products

1. widescreen iPod with touch controls

2. revoutionary mobile phone

3. breakthrough internet communication device

(eating crow on the phone right now)

they are not three products

Steve just produced it from his pocket!

then put it away! (”we’ll see that later”)

News.com's Tom Krazit is going for the mini-blurb approach. Storyish.

9:48 a.m. MacRumors rolling. Their approach is appealing partially because I'm used to watching real time headlines on a scroll. Wonder if this approach works for everyone?

9:48 am            build on top of that - software

9:48 am            has made possible a revolutionary product

9:48 am            PATENTED

9:48 am            far more accurate

9:48 am            multifinger gestures on it

9:48 am            ignores unintended touches

Pictures are good.

Engadget gives us:

9:48am - "So let's not use a stylus, we're going to use the best pointing device in the world -- our fingers. We have invented a new technology called multi-tuch. It works like magic, you don't need a stylus, far more accurate than any interface ever shipped, it ignores touches, mutli-finger gestures, and BOY have we patented it!


no stylus

best pointing device in the world - your finger

multi-touch - it’s like magic

no intended touches


software breakthrough

iPhone runs OS X

sophisticated OS


best networking

awesome security

the right apps

9:51 a.m.

Gizmodo a no-show still. Oh the horror.

9:55 a.m. Krazit doesn't have iPhone mention yet. But looking toward a little more meat on the snippets.

9:56 a.m. Check out Engadget. Interesting stuff:

9:52 - "The third thing -- I want to talk a little about design. We've designed something wonderful." 3.5-inch screen, highest resolution screen we've ever shipped, 160ppi. There's only one button, the "home" button.

"It's really thin, thinner than any smartphone. 11.6mm, thinner than the Q and the BlackJack, all of them. Ring and silent, volume up and down."

9:53am - "We have a 2 megapixel camera built right in, let's take a look at the top. A headset jack, 3.5mm, SIM tray, and a sleep-wake switch. Let's look at the bottom, we've got a speaker, mic input, and an iPod connector."

9:57 a.m. Internal debate at ZDNet over what's better as far as time stamps. Latest stuff first or last? We're split. Latest posts last seems to make sense. Starting to get confused on MacRumors. Of course it could be these 7 tabs I have up.

10 a.m. No Gizmodo yet. Headline tells us they are there though.

O'Grady adds:

3 really advanced sensors

proximity sensor - turns off display and touch screen when taking a call

ambient light sensor - adjusts brightness, saves power

acceleromoter - switches for portrait to landscape

Photos matter. Edge to Engadget in that dept.

MacRumors gives us.

10:00 am          very good quality

10:00 am          widescreen view

9:59 am            the office

9:59 am            showing tv show

9:59 am            scrolling

9:59 am            showing videos

9:59 am            steve says he can play all day with this

9:59 am            applause

9:59 am            scrolling

9:59 am            it is very fast, just like on a laptop

9:58 am            playing the BEATLES

Damn this iPhone thing looks neat.

10:02 a.m.

Krazit behind a bit. Last post 9:45 a.m.

O'Grady is plugging what's next from him. And by the way, rate his blog highly. LOL.

Engadget quotes Jobs.

10:02 - "So that is the iPhone. Pretty cool, huh? We've just started. So again, touch your music, scroll through your songs and your music. Engadget's pictures do rock.

Still no Gizmodo. What a whiff.

Krazit notes in a time stamp of 9:48 a.m. a good point about the no button approach on the iPhone.



demoing the Phone

makes first public phone call with iPhone to "Jony Ive"

another call coming in…

conferenced in Phil (really easily)

10:11 a.m.

Engadget's approach wins me over. The pix and the blogs really work. Also Engadget is keeping up well.

10:12 a.m.

My thoughts: This iPhone thing is really neat. I think I said that already. Stuck with the Q for two years though. Ugh. This has got to be good for Cingular.

O'Grady notes "SMS looks just like iChat." Some folks note they want more than just notes from O'Grady. Maybe they'd like to give this a spin.

10:14 a.m. Engadget is less than a minute behind. Posts:

10:13am - "The third app I want to show you is Photos -- we also have the coolest photo management ever. Certainly on a mobile device, but I think EVER. Let me go to photos, scroll through here... to go through pictures I just swipe them. There's one that's landscape, I can just turn my device and there it is. I can swipe while I'm in landscape." Audience guy: "Awesome." Steve: "Isn't this awesome??"

No post yet from Gizmodo.

10:16 a.m. News.com lagging behind.

O'Grady says:

Photos/SMS/Phone app

now let's look at the Internet communication device

Rich HTML email

works with IMAP/POP email service

Safari on iPhone

first full HTML browser on a phone

10:18 a.m. Check out Apple shares for giggles up $4.16 in real time.


10:18am - "It connects to any POP3 or IMAP email -- Yahoo Mail, MS Exchange, Mac Mail... POP3: Gmail, AOL mail, and most ISPs... let's highlight one, Yahoo mail. Today we are announcing Yahoo will offer free push-IMAP email to iPhone customers. This isn't just IMAP, this is push-email, same as a BlackBerry."

10:20 a.m. No Gizmodo. Something tells me I'm the only one still checking.

10:22 a.m. Latest News.com timestamp is 9:56 a.m.

10:24 a.m. Bad reload on MacRumors.com. Picture really big. Reload fixes to find:

10:24 am          stillshowing whole page, double tap and it zooms

10:24 am          can load multiple pages - to move on page shrinks somewhat and slides off to side of page similar in effect to Expose

10:24 am          going to amazon through bookmarks - dvd section


typing an email with address completion


image scaling

multiple Web pages - Amazon DVD section

10:26 a.m. No Gizmodo yet.

10:27 a.m. News.com's latest timestamp is 10:03 a.m. Adds some context:

"There are touch controls on the video iPod as well--play, pause, etc. The phone is a candy bar shape. There don't appear to be any moving parts; all the buttons are touch-screen except for the home button."

10:28 a.m.


demoing stock information from the Web, looks just like the Stock widget

Weather - looks like the Widget

10:33 a.m.

MacRumors posts:

10:33 am          pushed hard to partner with apple

10:32 am          talking about collaboration

10:32 am          wimax is coming

10:32 am          merge without merging

10:31 am          if we merged - would it be applegoog?

10:31 am          Google CEO Eric Schmidt on stage now

Browser crashes. My thoughts: $@#!$@#

10:54 a.m.

Engadget posts:

10:46am - "Our most popular iPod is $199 -- what's a smartphone cost? Somewhere around $299 with a two year contract."

He's combined the two for a $499 for the combo-- "What should we charge for the iPhone? We should charge more for this stuff!... "

10:47am -

So how much more than $499 should we price it? We thought long and hard about it... it does so much stuff..." He's stalling for the drama. Enough Steve!

"What should we price it at? For a 4GB model we're pricing it at $499 -- no premium whatsoever.

"We're going to have an 8GB model for just $599."


10:54 am          note - iPhone prices include a 2 year contract - FYI

10:53 am          multi-year exclusive partnership

only available from Cingular or Apple

10:57 a.m.

News.com comes up big with an interesting nugget:

10:32--Cisco calls CNET News.com reporter with a statement about Apple's use of the term "iPhone" for its new product. "Given Apple's numerous requests for permission to use Cisco's iPhone trademark over the past several years and our extensive discussions with them recently, it is our belief that with their announcement today, Apple intends to agree to the final document and public statements that were distributed to them last night and that address a few remaining items we expect to receive a signed agreement today."

10:57 a.m. Jobs keynote wraps up. Gizmodo has stuff up, but posts jump everywhere. It starts to dawn on me that I may have been at the wrong URL with a bunch of other people. Confused by the nav going on there. Was I at the wrong URL? I'm guessing this strange approach is designed to maximize page views.

In the end, Engadget gets an "A" hands down with its approach.

Lessons learned:

--Timestamps matter;

--Photos matter;

--Best approach is to throw a few people at the real-time blogging.

--Whether you go in chronological order beginning to end or vice versa seems to be a jump ball.

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