Cisco TelePresence Launch - Media Coverage Afterhoughts

Having had a day or two pass since the demo on Wednesday of Cisco's TelePresence system, I just wanted to comment briefly on the media coverage.

The event was well attended by analysts and media, but from what I can tell, the next day buzz was pretty underwhelming. That's not to say the demo didn't go over well. I thought it went over very well, and everyone I've talked to came away impressed. No question there.

But outside the handful of people on hand, I really wonder who else knows about it today? From what I could tell, the only other visible coverage of this besides my blog post was from another blogger - Paolo del Nibletto from IT Business, who sat next to me at the demo. If you go to his post, you'll also see his recap of the same High Road XMas party I was at - and just posted about - but his is a better read than mine!

Don't get me wrong. It's not like there's nothing else coming. I know there will be feature articles coming from business magazines and the trades - but these will run later, long after the demo. In terms of mainstream news, I didn't see anything. From what I understand, only 1 of our 4 big dailies covered the demo, and nothing ran in their paper, even though I was interviewed for the story. I don't follow all the radio and TV programs, but I'm not aware of anything there either.

To be fair, of course, TelePresence is not a mainstream consumer story, so I can't really expect them to jump all over this. On the other hand, Cisco is trying hard to be as consumer-friendly as Microsoft, and after all, they did spend a billion dollars putting TelePresence together. Canada may be a small market in the scheme of things, but I thought there would have been a bigger buzz around this.

On that note, I can't help but mention that my blog post got a fair bit of attention from the blogger community - none of it based in Canada - here, here, and here as examples.

If you follow my posts, you'll know that I'm an advocate for the legitimacy of blogs as a credible news source. Increasingly, for a lot of tech and telecom stories, it's the bloggers who have the scoop, and more importantly, they have the real deal on the story. Now, I'm just one blogger, and a pretty small dot in the blogosphere, but time and again, I'm finding the best sources are the digital scribes.

I think there are a combination of factors at work here - mainstream media doesn't know the blogger community well enough yet to find the right sources for the right stories, mainstream media doesn't yet trust the blogs as a credible source, and even if they did, their editors wouldn't let them use them. And on the other side of the fence, the bloggers probably don't do enough to build links to the media community, which probably just reinforces the perception that bloggers are too insular, opinionated, detached from the mainstream and lacking in proper fact-finding skills to be of much value. Well, there's probably truth on both sides, and there's a lot we could explore here, but another time. It's late, and I've said my piece on the Cisco coverage.

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