This is my first, and possibly my last Macworld.
It's my first, though for many years I've made attempts, most were feeble, to attend. Still I'm here and I have to say that I'm glad I came.
I'll explain (as you knew I would).
I got here too late to watch the keynote on Tuesday, but I did get to the Moscone Center just in time to pass Phil Schiller on the sidewalk. He had apparently just finished the keynote and as he passed within arm's length of me I noticed two things:
- Unlike Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, Mr. Schiller is a relatively short guy. I'm 5' 10", a giant only to pygmies and hobbits, and I think I have a full inch over Phil. I could be wrong, he did pass by quickly and the pavement was uneven, but it is for certain that he is not a tall man.
- Also unlike Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, Mr. Schiller doesn't pit out during presentations. In fact, Mr. Schiller looked about as cool as Obama walking across the street. I learned later that some felt that while he is an excellent presenter, what Mr. Schiller presented at the keynote, and more importantly, what he didn't present, left folks underwhelmed at best. In fact, I've heard it said that even Mr. Jobs may not have been able to distort reality enough to make this particular keynote memorable, which is a shame since it may be the last one presented by Apple at Macworld.
Another point I should make is that while Macworld is all about Apple products it isn't all about Apple. The primary reason to attend this convention, at least for the folks in the media and for vendors, is the to actually put faces to names you deal with regularly, and to see, touch, fondle and, if warranted, drool over new products these vendors present. (I confess I drooled liberally over Canon's 5D Mark II full frame digital SLR, HP's Photosmart Pro B9180 printer, and LaCie's 2 Big and 5 Big Quadra Storage solutions.)
It's a shame that Apple feels it no longer needs a venue like Macworld because I, for one, believe it does.
While the media events that Apple puts on are nice there's no way I or many other media players can attend, especially given the ordeal that I went through getting here. That severely limits media access to Apple, which, in turn, limits the unique perspectives often found at smaller media outlets. I'm not talking about the rumor mills or the fringe sites thought they do provide a welcome service and perspective, I mean the smaller organizations who are reporting serious news about Apple and its products.
Having personal access to Apple, at least once a year, is definitely worth the trip for these folks, it puts them on equal footing with the larger organizations and, as I've mentioned earlier, allows them to offer their unique and often insightful points of view.
You can't get that from an Apple Store, where the environment is tightly controlled.
Which brings me to why this may be the last Macworld I attend.
While Macworld isn't about Apple, the company, it is the place to see Apple, the company, in its purest form. Seeing Phil Schiller up close, watching the many presentations that showcase Apple products, interacting with others who see, watch, and hear the various goings on at the convention is something you can't get at a media event or Apple Store. Without it the reason for coming to Macworld is diminished.
Maybe that's what Steve Jobs wants, to lessen the public face of Apple, to remove him and other Apple notables from focus and to let the public focus on products. If so then he will accomplish it by pulling out of Macworld, but in my never so humble opinion, Apple may pay an unquantifiable price.
Yep, I'm glad I came, but I come again? I'm not so sure.