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Drowning in IBC data, media accreditation and what I intend to write about post IBC.

One aspect of going to IBC that has always been difficult for me is the deluge of information to sift through. Even as a plain vanilla exhibition visitor there are for example more compelling free trade magazines than my baggage allowance ever catered for. Most years I took IBC Daily home after the event but rarely got time to actually read them which was a shame because there is some cool writing there too.

Delegating that info sifting to one of the many dedicated sites, relying on their selection of relevant information, is an option. But then you’d first have to choose one, which is back to square one because there are so many excellent places to look. As a contributor to Videonet and Broadband TV News, I can recommend them, but there are many more.

The trade press business model we all operate under is great in that it lets all these vibrant content producers exist. Editorial independence is never in question on the sites I mentioned and rarely elsewhere. But it as a reader, one can get bored with the same company execs being interviewed over and over. Let me know if you’ve ever read anything negative about a company or product, I haven’t.

This year should see twitter really take off around the event. There’s been some confusion about hashtags as people are asking whether they should use #ibc, #ibc2010 or #ibc10. IBC’s official twitter account says the later, but there’s something a bit contrary to the twitter ethos for an official #hashtag to be created, it prompted me to quip IBC: Int’l Behaviour Control. I hope no feelings were hurt; it was a joke. Most conferences I’ve been to have several hashtags, which allow for different transient communities to coalesce, which is good especially for IBC as there are some very very different people involved.

Roaming charges means only Dutch people or those working for very rich companies will be online all the time. Every year, at every conference we are promised Wifi, it’s a bit like Waiting for Godot.

This year I’m thrilled to have been given media accreditation as a blogger so I can add my voice to the cacophony.

A downside is that I now get bombarded with even more information: I’m on the press release mailing list which has been adding another dozen or so hefty emails per day for the last couple of weeks.

They range from the terrible: i.e. a non-descript press release about two obscure companies working together in a part of the industry I didn’t even know existed. I had no idea as to why this was significant and the press release didn’t alleviate my ignorance.

An example on the better side was a press release followed by a phone call from a company called Vidyo. They are hoping to bring the rate adaptive revolution - which as I often say, is not prominent enough in our trade press - to the corporate sector, with a robust videoconferencing solution at a fraction of the current cost (the video stays alive even if the network conditions deteriorate, its quality adapts). I hope to go the their press briefing if I can take a break from my judging duties on Friday, that way I get a free lunch, otherwise I’ll just content myself with a visit to their booth like any common mortal.

Now I’m officially “media”, I am surprised that no targeting seems to happen. In my Video Quality specialty field I received only one piece of mildly significant news. Agama is responding to the IP/Cable convergence by launching a dedicated cable product. Ineoquest, the segment leader, are showing their regular product line-up at the show and had the decency not put out a press release with no information – an example to follow. But I’m sure some of the other players are showing new features that I would have noticed and probably written about, but I received nothing else.

Over 20 years ago, fresh out of University, I helped create a company called the World Press Centre to intermediate press releases. They idea was that journalists received so many press releases that they simply couldn’t handle them. On the other side PR firms and blue-chip companies struggled to ensure the right journalists got their content (preferably friendly journalist being given a head start). It was a pre-internet era and we failed for a variety of reasons. But I see the need is just as strong today. Back to the future, maybe that’s something my entrepreneurial side will look into again if IBC doesn’t bring in enough new work ;o).

Having glanced through most of the voluminous material I received pre-IBC hasn’t really changed my objectives. In what free time I have I’ll be looking into 4 areas:

  • Debunking 3D which is I believe just a distraction (but I’m still open to being convinced otherwise),
  • Implementations of rate adaptive technology, which I believe will enable profound changes in our industry,
  • Content navigation/recommendation/filtering which is an even more critical stumbling block as TV/Internet convergence looms ever closer,
  • Keeping abreast of the latest Quality monitoring and Quality assurance developments, which are one of the last green fields of IP services, especially IPTV.

I won’t be posting anything more here during the show, nobody has time to read during IBC and I’d prefer to party than spend my nights writing.

But I’d be keen to have any information or discussions on the topics above which I intend to cover in depth after the dust settles and I can actually think and analyse a bit. I’m also interested in publishing those blogs elsewhere, so let me know …

Oh yes, media accreditation means getting invited to more parties, which clearly counts on the upside, as long as I don’t think of the diet I’ll be going on as soon as I get home.