Why I'm Not at CES

The Consumer Electronics Show is a pageant of products barely distinguishable from one another, let alone the models released the year before. It is my pleasure to report to you that I am not attending this year.

I'll miss seeing my pals in the industry in Las Vegas, one of my favorite cities to visit (and favorite cities to leave). I'll miss talking to vendors and PR folk over limp shrimp cocktails and aggressively thumpy music to which no one will dance. And I'll miss that hope that by wandering through row after row of identical vendor stalls I'll find a product interesting enough to write about that miraculously hasn't been covered by the literally hundreds of other bloggers on the floor.

Instead I'll sit here in my comfortable office, sipping good coffee, listening to the sounds of my snoring dog while picking out the highlights from the press releases, all of which were sent out over the weekend while other bloggers were rushing around trying to figure out how to make snapshots of HDTVs interesting.

I'm being a bastard, of course, and I really will miss a bit of the frantic experience of trying to cover such a massive show with a relatively small team. It's a challenge I've rarely been able to execute, but I enjoy the attempt. But I do think that CES is generally a distraction for everyone in the industry, and like the Electronic Entertainment Expo before should be scrapped or overhauled. It's a waste of money and energy that would be better directed towards a company's bottom line and the media's sanity.

Ultimately, I had to ask myself if you guys would be missing out on anything if I didn't travel to CES this year and cover it from the ground. I don't think you are.

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