For the first time in a dozen or so years, I'll be making a pilgrimage to the International Consumer Electronics Show, happening in Las Vegas on January 8th - January 11th. This time around, I'm going courtesy of crayon client Panasonic and I'll be blogging, vlogging, photologging and Tweeting about my experience the whole time.
Exciting for me but that's not the real story. The real story is that I will be joined by five social media guests (plus my doppelganger Jaffe) that Panasonic has invited to document and share their own CES experiences with their communities. This program is one of several things that we've been working on for Panasonic -- look for more programs to go live in the coming weeks -- and it's a worthy experiment in how large companies can partner with citizen journalists, if I don't say so myself (which I must since I had a hand in putting the program together.)
Here's the low down:
What We're Doing
Panasonic has invited a handful of guest content creators, culled from the social media rank and file, to join them at CES 2009. They're flying them out and giving them front row seats at press conferences, new product announcements, exhibit hall presentations and more. They're putting some of the latest and greatest Panasonic gear -- digital cameras, standard- and high definition camcorders, and more -- in their hands. They're setting them loose to document their CES experiences.
In marketing speak, this no doubt sounds something like influencer outreach meets product sampling meets branded infotainment. But it's really more than that. It's just one of several things crayon is doing with Panasonic to put real people at the center of the company's "Ideas From Life. Ideas For Life." positioning. In other words, Panasonic is a consumer electronics company with a decidedly human focus -- to not just make great products but to make products that help people live better. So who better to tell that story than - you know -- actual people. And what are so-called influencers but people who like to tell stories to their own loyal communities.
OK. OK. So Who's Going?
We've assembled a veritable content creation dream team that includes a top blogger, a well known vlogger, a professional podcaster, an author and social media CEO, and a documentary film maker. I think we can look forward to diverse perspectives and content to suit just about any appetite. You may recognize some familiar faces in a montage below-- but even if you don't, I've laid out their details below.
Cliff is a full-time podcaster, whose GSPN network produces nearly two dozen podcasts including series devoted to Hanna Montana, LOST, Heroes and other popular television shows.
Steve is a video blogging pioneer and citizen journalist who produces several personal vlogs and contributes to media outlets such as CNN iReport and Rocketboom.
Chris is a well known social media veteran whose blog ranks in Technorati’s Top 100, a co-founder of the PodCamp “unconference” movement and a frequent conference speaker.
Melissa is a creative coach and documentary filmmaker, currently working on her own independent film Life In Perpetual Beta. Web (Life In Perpetual Beta): http://lifeinperpetualbeta.com
Web (personal blog): http://www.melissapierce.com
And What Do You Get?
Well, what happens in Vegas certainly won't stay there this time. We've asked our guests to create lots of content and share it with their communities -- so if you can't be at CES in January, you'll still get to witness the sights and sounds of the show through the eyes of our guests. Be sure to follow the gang on Twitter and subscribe to their feeds, because I'm sure they'll be blogging, vlogging, podcasting and Tweeting like nobody's business.
If you do plan to be at CES, we're also organizing a Thursday night Tweet Up on Panasonic's behalf (January 8) where you can hang with our guests, each other and all your newfound CES buddies. Stay tuned to this blog and my tweets for the details, as we make them available.
For my part, I'll be sharing my thoughts on this blog of course, but also plan to set up a dedicated lifestream-like object so that you can see everything as I upload it throughout the show. I hope to share lotsa cool stuff in January and hope I'll have the chance to meet some of you at CES. Let me know if you plan to be there.
Stay tuned for more details as they become available.