January 08, 2010

The CES News River Sends Gadget Blogs Into Overdrive

Google Reader Volume Spikes During CES

Watching the trends in technology news publications is a lot like watching the seasons. It's fairly predictable, and has its ebb and flow. The more sites and stories you read, the greater the value, and the more "liquid" the pace seems to be, as spikes and valleys are smoothed. But no more evident is the acceleration clear from one week to the next as the week of CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, following the hangover doldrums of a post-Christmas holiday. The glut of news from this week, with CES kicking off in Las Vegas, not to mention Google's Nexus One announcement earlier on Tuesday, has most prominently put gadget blogs Engadget and Gizmodo into hyper mode, with many other tech outlets looking to draft behind their lead.

While this is not a huge surprise that both blogs are stepping on the accelerator for this event, the data shows just how much more.

In the last few months, it has not been uncommon for me to scan about 1,000 articles a day in Google Reader - skipping most, sharing a few, and reading others in full. Giving 10 seconds to each story means about 3 hours a day, and 5 seconds a story makes the time needed about 90 minutes.

In the lead-up to Christmas, and the week afterward, my usual forays into Google Reader, as well as FriendFeed and Twitter, were significantly lightened, with news at near standstill, saw fewer items at a pass, totaling about 700 items a day, and half that on the holidays themselves, or on weekends, scraping just over 200. Quiet indeed.

Engadget's Coverage Skyrockets During CES Week

But in the last two days, by themselves, Gizmodo and Engadget have delivered well more than 200 posts per day. While Engadget delivers an already-aggressive 40-50 stories on a given workday, the CES waterfall has pushed them to triple or quadruple output, with about 150 new stories flowing. (Keep in mind they are the official blog of CES, so many stories are no doubt prepared in advance.) Meanwhile, Gizmodo, no slouch at about 70 items a day per usual, is keeping apace with just under 150 items a day. This acceleration with both sites, as well as the padding from traditional tech networks that are also following CES, has pushed my aggregate workload to about 1,300 items a day, double the holiday rate, and 25% ahead of normal.

Gizmodo Doubles Down Efforts for CES

There are other ebbs and flows you can count on from the tech Web. You can always expect spikes around Macworld and other Apple events, and you can expect drops on US-only holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. But there's nothing like CES for pushing the sheer volume of coverage up to a new level. The coordination required by an editorial team at Engadget and Gizmodo on the week of CES is sure to be intricate, and is something to be impressed with indeed.

Of Note: Chris Saad recommends checking out CNET's CES River as well for CES News and updates.