Blogger, or media?

Day one of CES was filled with plenty of fun and a number of surprises, but none bigger than a revelation during registration: bloggers are now their own class of media. Instead of getting my usual orange badge with “Media” printed on the top, I was instead presented with a dull-gray “Blogger” badge. I also received a Blogger bag, blogger lunch coupons, and access to the Blogger Lounge. The Blogger Lounge turned out to be the Media Room-lite, with only a couple of PCs for Internet access and no sign of press kits. I wasn’t brave enough to see what a blogger lunch entails, but there’s always tomorrow. I’m not here to complain, though. In fact, the separation of bloggers from other media at trade shows is long overdue.

Trade show organizers have been combating the issue of unqualified attendees at industry-only events for years. E3 was the most notorious show of them all, having been inundated by tens of thousands of retail employees and just about anyone with a Blogspot account, making it incredibly frustrating for actual industry members to carry out business. In an effort to solve the problem, the Entertainment Software Association made an extreme change and turned E3 into an invitation-only event. The show once again felt like an industry event, although that introduced a number of new issues.

The glitz, glamor, and overall purpose of E3 changed. As a result, media support declined, game publisher interest dissipated, and the Entertainment Software Association eventually announced a reversal to the pre-2007 format. Still, publishers now seem more interested in private events held under controlled conditions, with attendee lists that they set. Did the restricted E3 format force them to change their MO, or did publishers suddenly realize that a booming convention center isn’t the best environment to show new product? I’ll go with a little of both.

Now the Consumer Electronics Association is trying its best to tighten up access to CES. While the show hasn’t become invitation-only, registration for attendees (and particularly media) has become a bit more restrictive. Bloggers are now a separate class, and all other types of badges require proof of industry affiliation. Though it’s not exactly difficult to print up bogus business cards, the extra hoops appear to be cutting down on the number of visitors who are merely prowling the show floor for swag.

It’s slightly annoying to be separated from the rest of my online media cohorts, and it would be great to have access to the library of press kits, but I really can’t take issue with the situation. After all, I still got into the show for free, complete with another awesome bag and four days worth of free food. Blogger or media—it doesn’t matter. The CEA still knows how to take care of the press better than just about any other trade show organizer I’ve come across. Booth exhibitors still perk up at the sight of a canvas badge holder (which is exclusive to media and bloggers) regardless of the color, and as such, my treatment on the floor doesn’t seem to have changed all that much.

Kudos to CEA for coming up with a solution that segregates bloggers from media without making us feel like second-class citizens. When the show’s over, I’ll simply add the Blogger badge to the drawer of Media badges and start planning for next year. Who knows what kind of badge I’ll have by then?

Comments closed
    • thermistor
    • 11 years ago

    #22…Except LIVEBLOGGING at an important event shoulder to shoulder with the traditional media. On other blogs I frequent, not IT related, the term ‘mainstream media’ has been replaced by ‘traditional media.’

    Sometimes, armed with a cam and a laptop, you can get a view of, for example, a political convention and record interviews with folks who would never make the broadcast news cuts, kind of the ‘inside baseball’ people.

    The free flow of ideas on the internet are essentially voted on by the users/participants. If you’ve something compelling to say, you get more hits, and then the things you’ve said move higher in searches, etc. Poor or poorly researched op/ed goes to the bottom and pretty much goes away.

    A blog was actually the first to break some major news about a recent national political scandal; it had hired some investigative type folks who dug through public records, etc. found connections and reported. Gee, seems like investigative journalism to me.

    The internet has enough bandwidth so that if you are passionate about a subject, you can wade through a copious amount of information posted on blogs, and not just get the 50K’ view of broadcast or print journalism, but info from people all the way down to the guy who’s working the back rooms.

    Here at TR, you not only get links to official press releases, courtesy of the online/print giants, but analysis and perspective that the traditional media just cannot provide.

    Sorry for the rambling, lately I’ve been forced to write a bunch of test reports lately at work and I’ve been fighting to get everything present tense subject-verb-object structure, short sentences, and logical build-ups to conclusions and recommendations….now is my chance to NOT do that.

    In short, the line between traditional media and blogging is all but erased.

      • Joel H.
      • 11 years ago

      Thermistor,

      MSM/TM = journalists.
      Bloggers = WTFEver. Some are journalists. Some are journalist-wannabes. Most don’t even seem to deserve a website, much less a platform.

    • Saber Cherry
    • 11 years ago

    @19, But a lot of them seem spend the 99.99% of their time at day job and the 0.001% of it posting.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      I think Meadows was referring to TR staff not the gerbils.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        He sure was.

      • Nitrodist
      • 11 years ago

      So what about the rest of the .009%?

        • Saber Cherry
        • 11 years ago

        Those ones can’t do math.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        eat, sleep, poo, drive to and from the job…

    • eitje
    • 11 years ago

    And I’m on the trade-floor, looking for the answer…
    Are we human… or are we blogger?

      • uknowit90
      • 11 years ago

      That, my friend, is an excellent song!!!

      The Killers’ guitarist, Dave Keuning, is actually from my town. Sweet band, sweet lyrics…

      But, I must say, can I be both human /[

        • eitje
        • 11 years ago

        incorrect.

        Can you be both human… /[

    • allston232
    • 11 years ago

    Well, it’s not too difficult to understand. If you spell the contractions of “you are” as “your,” “it is” as “its” or use “I” instead of eliminating yourself out of the article then you’re blogging, not reporting. Therefore, you are not a journalist. And you never will get the respect you feel you deserve unless you change your way. I hope this is helpful.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      Matt has appropriate grammar, he just doesn’t remove himself from the article. But you know, a lot of other “legitimate” news sources just fix that last bit by saying “this reporter” or “this citizen”. Do you think that’s a cheat, or is it a legitimate out for the writer since it’s been in use for so long?

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        What’s funny is my English and literature teacher in high school got mad at us when we used passive sentence structure. The problems with blogs was already pointed out – anyone who wants to can make one and unfortunately not everyone’s opinions and viewpoints are worth reading even from just an editing standpoint let alone content. The internet is great for leveling the playing field of expression but that’s the bad part about it as well. Another thing that separates journalism from ‘blogs’ (aka editorials) is original investigation or story creation versus just saying what you think.

      • GTVic
      • 11 years ago

      My pet peeve is people who use the word “actually” in every other sentence. It is even worse in a verbal conversation.

        • eitje
        • 11 years ago

        actually, i, like, agree.

      • FireGryphon
      • 11 years ago

      Your tone is a bit harsh. I agree with you in theory, but why attack Matt? It’s not like he’s complaining about his blogger status and saying he should be considered press. In fact, he’s claiming the opposite. I’m not defending Matt here, either. Matt doesn’t need defending. He’s frightfully good at what he does for TR.

      While I share your general distaste for blogs and bloggers in general, I keep in mind that this is only because every douche and his mother gets a blog and cheapens the blogging experience. Should we condemn blogging in general? No! Blogging is quite fine when used properly. In fact, our very own Damage has a blog, and going back to the beginning, his Etc. column was, in essence, a blog; it just wasn’t called that back then.

      Blogging is the passerby comment, not the objective perspective and decision. Each has its place.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Everyone [working at] TR has correct grammar (99.999% of the time) so your point is invalid. As for separating yourself from your reports, a blog is the relay of your personal opinion, so I believe you’re not supposed to do that. That’s why people are blogging, anyway.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 11 years ago

      Editorial articles are now blogs?

    • Fastfreak39
    • 11 years ago

    Well the upside to this is that you get to tell us your experience of the show from the “Blogger badge” while Scott can share his media side of things. I doubt it’ll be much different but you never know.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    Blogging – the media underclass. Kind of sad in a way for tech-oriented shows to not embrace the new media but at the same time it correlates with the decline of ‘real media’ (no offence to TR.) I’m not really talking about tech coverage but true investigative news journalism.

      • neon
      • 11 years ago

      That is a good point.

      If Matt could pull off a “Joe The Plumber” disguise, then he could bring us coverage of CES from a truly unique perspective.

      Or else, maybe just wear one of those ’40s style fedoras, with a big card in the band that reads, “PRESS”.

    • Damage
    • 11 years ago

    Howdy from the press room.

    Neener.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 11 years ago

      So is the Media section some luxuary suite with girls in bunny suits selling cigars from a tray in comparison?

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 11 years ago

        No I heard that the cigars are complementary… and Cuban.

      • CasbahBoy
      • 11 years ago

      OK, I was worried that Matt was the only one there and that you guys weren’t getting proper representation and classification. Enjoy the /[

    • Philldoe
    • 11 years ago

    Sounds like a bunch of bull to me. Your a rep of Techreport, you need to have the pretty orange badge and a TR sticker on it.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 11 years ago

      I would agree. You’re not exactly posting on some random blog here, but for TR. Seems they’re splitting hairs throwing you into the Blog group. Not that it’s a critical insult or anything.

        • FireGryphon
        • 11 years ago

        If Damage is already in the press side of things, Matt can be our agent to scour the show floor as a blogger. Us readers will get both perspectives, and a more complete view of what’s going on.

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