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January 06, 2006


Jeremy Pepper

Well, Cline still looks shell-shocked. :)

It was just an odd feeling - companies hoping they got a hit, but not sure. That might have just been South Hall.

Matthew Podboy

Interesting take, Jeremy. I didn't sense desperation but maybe we were in different places. I felt enthusiasm and excitement for the year ahead. We'll have to see how it plays out...

Matthew Podboy

I appreciate your perspective, Eric. It's unfortunate that Yahoo! had a network glitch during the keynote. It threw off the flow and may have caused the celebrity appearances to look like way to direct attention away from the demo. My heart goes out to the PR folks who were surely scrambling behind the scenes to fix the problem. I'm sure that was the longest keynote of their career. Semel is a Hollywood insider and I hope those connections will produce more Yahoo! content to enjoy. I think their Yahoo! Go services news - once it's delivered - will be fun to try out. As far as celebrities at trade shows - it seems to be a trend that we'll have to get used to. Every major keynote used a celebrity - Gates/Timberlake, Otellini/Tom Hanks, Yahoo!/Cruise, Google/Williams. I like to see technology pulled into the entertainment and music scenes (look at all the top bands that were hired to play corp parties) but that's just me.

Jeremy Pepper

Cline looks shell-shocked.

I had a different take on the show: it was an odd mix of guarded optimism and a little desperation. The show is more PR than sales nowadays, and the events showcased that.

Still need to post my photos, though, and finish my CES thoughts.


Sorry, but I got to keep you honest on this one. Tom Cruise's appearance in the Yahoo! keynote, arriving fresh on the heels of a glitch in their CES Keynote (in which the screen frooze up and the two Yahoo! vice presidents on stage started into a little improvisational stand-up) felt both incoherent and stilted. Cruise said nothing to advance the discussion in a meaningful way (C'mon Paul, you can do better than that). In what appeared a rather limp bait and switch strategy, it appeared to me as though Semel brought Cruise out on stage in hopes of glossing over the demo glitch with a strong dose of celebrity. For me, the effect only highlighted their product's apparent failure, and seemed to undermine the audience's response to the Cruise appearance, which was not as thunderous as one might expect for an A-lister like Cruise. Semel and Cruise screened two different cuts of the upcoming Mission Impossible trailer, which I have to say -- with all due respect to Cruise and his movies which I have enjoyed very much -- it semmed almost laughable that Yahoo! would think that giving CES attendees a look at theatrical trailer would be a good use of their keynote. To me, it felt more like an act of desperation to appear more connected to the studios then their competitors, Google, who announced a similar offeringslater in the day with Google Videos, which was not without its own complications.

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