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Why I'm in New York to buy my iPad; the new PR

So, later tonight I will join a line in New York to buy my iPad. Why here and not in Palo Alto?

Because I'm sensing a world shift and wanted to be here to participate in it.

What's the shift? Well, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple and the ecosystems that depend on them are increasingly going to compete on media, not on speeds and feeds.

We're already seeing this with Apple, even as it brings out a device with four times as many pixels on it that most reviewers are saying is stunning. Read those reviews at

These changes are underlined by Wall Street Journal reporter +Yukari Iwatani Kane who says she's not buying an iPad. She isn't impressed by twice as many pixels:

I theorize that we'll get more and more bored with hardware over time and make more and more of our decisions based on the media that's available on that hardware.

New York is a leader in media, far more than San Francisco is (to highlight this tomorrow I'll be on Fox Business News talking with Varney and Company -- the network is headquartered in New York).

While walking around New York with Glancee and Highlight on today I saw just how different the communities in both places are. In San Francisco I see engineers, VCs, CEOs. Here I've seen people involved in advertising, financial institutions, and many media types. Last night I had dinner with Jeff Sica. Valley types know him as a financial manager, his firm is at . But he also helps make movies, including Hugo, through his involvement with New Deal Studios. He deftly switched talking about economics to talking about the next UFO movie and how the aliens were developed in it.

It's guys like Sica who are the new power players in the war between Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple and sitting with us at dinner was PR maven at Davos +Nichole Rhodes (she seems to know everyone who was hanging out at the Piano Bar in Davos), who got me invited to meet up with him at New York's famed private Grand Havana Room.

Sica bragged that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, had just been there too which underscores that I'm not the only one interested in New York's shifting role in the tech industry.

It's this crossing of media, tech, finance, and startups like Foursquare that make New York so interesting. If Amazon can get movies or TV shows that iPad can't, that will make it more interesting to consumers (and vice versa).

Tomorrow I will visit as many startups as I can before hopping back on the plane to come home with my new iPad but I will be back a lot, I sense, as the ecosystems move their attention from the semiconductor-focused Silicon Valley to the media-focused homes of New York and Hollywood.

While waiting for the first iPad I met many of the developers who now are the rock stars of the iPad development world. Tomorrow it won't be apps, but media, that will get us to adopt new things and make the new rock stars of the world.

Are you sensing the same shifts going on? I hear that up in Seattle Amazon has only one company they are aiming at: Apple. They know that if Apple wins the media deals their business goes away (look at all their latest offerings, everything from eBooks to music to movies -- most of those businesses are headquartered in New York).

Anyway, meet me in line at the Fifth Avenue Store after about 3 a.m. in New York and we'll discuss this new power center more.

By the way, there's a new PR thanks to new people discovery apps Highlight and Glancee and Kismet and +Nichole Rhodes is hardly the only PR person on them. I have half a dozen PR folks, from +Brandee Barker (formerly of Facebook) to +Brooke Hammerling to quite a few agency folks on the service.

PR is all about relationships and walking around New York you can see just how powerful these new tools are. Within seconds of passing through the tunnel into New York I was chatting with an engineer at Foursquare on that service and I've found it to be bringing many interesting people, including many in media, into my life here in New York and that trend will just continue.
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But the problem still stands... you're buying a new iPad. ;)
+Robert Scoble if I may I thought the iPad release date had been pushed out until the 19th of this month. 
These applications. These iThings. Sending stuff to and from outer space? Hot Dog. Wonderful stuff. I remember the TV, boy... what a thing. As long as they don't use em to send pictures of cats. The moon should have men bouncing on it, not pictures of cats off of it. #howsthisinternetthingwork #internetetiquette
NYC is definitely much less of an echo chamber than the Valley.
4x more pixels. Otherwise Apple would have had a problem with backwards compatibility of the iPad apps, something to do with iOS not being flexible enough to allow for different types of screens, on iOS you are basically stuck with 4:3 forever. I don't have to stand on Fifth Avenue at 3AM.
Pick one up for me Scoble.
Ha ha!
dorio x
You already have an Ipad1 or Ipad2? Save your money
I'll never get standing in line to be among the first to buy an Apple product. It seems quite silly to me.

I'll order online, thank you very much.

OK, I don't buy Apple products anyway, but if I did.....
According to +Mike Elgan , you can get your iPad at Walmart at 12:01am +Robert Scoble ;) no need to wait for morning.
And ... make time in your schedule on your next trip to the Big Apple for a photowalk!!
You should find a WalMart...They start selling them at Midnight!
New York City has always been the media capital of the world, Robert! Glad you discovered us!
+Robert Scoble really? Which dell laptop? I'm a lifelong dell user but I'm truly starting to hate them. The quality and cs have fallen sharply in the past 4 years. 
Desperate for that new iPad? Buy it at Wal-Mart at 12:01 a.m., find the Wal Mart in NY
I expect Google Play to add Play Subscriptions soon. Those will be similar to Netflix, Amazon Prime, but will be even more aggressive and more Global. Basically, Google will make consumers expect they must have access to all content on a basic subscription. $5/month for unlimited Audio, $5/month for unlimited Video, $5/month for unlimited Text and $5/month for unlimited Apps. $20/month for everything in Google Play Unlimited.

I actually believe that Google can make it so big and so successful that politicians will decide to regulate it so content owners can't actually decide not to be a part of it. Proprietary exclusivities for contents based on ecosystems/hardware can be deemed anti-competitive behavior and anti-trust. If politicians don't get involved, then at least Google can become so big with Play Subscriptions that no content owners will want to be excluded of getting access to all that money.

The calculation is that 100 million Android/Google users (Just 7% of Android/Google users at the end of 2012) voluntarily paying $20/month for Google Play Unlimited, that's $24 Billion per year for content! Google can promise to give 95% of it back to content creators based on measured popularity and ratings (through verifiable transparency on popularity/quality measurements). Who in their right mind in any content/copyright corporation would voluntarily not accept getting access to that huge amount of content subscription money?

Carriers and even Regions/Countries can get large rebates if they add all their users/citizen to the Google Play Subscription plan. For example a carrier can pay less than $10 per user to provide them all with Google Play Unlimited for free. Thus it becomes a differentiating feature. A country can add all their citizen to Google play by enforcing a Google Play Tax of $5/citizen/month which can also be regulated on the basis of income/wealth and corporations can pay a large part of it through taxes also.

When 2 Billion people in the world are paying an average of $5/month, that's $120 Billion per year for content. At that point, Google can promise to give 99% of it back to all the content creators and only keep a 1% transaction fee. Google shouldn't need to make money on controlling/owning content, instead Google makes money on monetizing always better cloud services. There can still be ads or other monetization for Google to provide cloud services with the bandwidth for Quad-HD 2160p video streaming on-demand.
+Robert Scoble A lot of the industries that are being transformed by technology are based in NYC such as fashion, media and the arts. The financial industry alone is changing so rapidly the next generation may not even know a Wall Street that we have. When I am in New York I can feel the vibe of technology taking over giant industries in ways not fathomable a decade ago and I love it.
Robert, my son works in the City if you're looking for a great bar or unknown great thing to do. Just LMK & I'll send his cell.
This isn't really that new - PR is HQ'ed in NY (and for some part, Chicago). As is advertising and marketing. SF is just an outpost, and the bubble mentality always derides the rest of the country and doesn't get how the rest of the country thinks or uses technology. Yes, NY has a big of that coastal mentality too, but it's also always on.

Enjoy the city and have a bagel for me.
So are you going to the Apple store at Grand Central Terminal? LUV that place! <3
try consuming digital media you want out of US. you need tor, gift cards and sometimes the main blocker: a US based credit card.
Los Angeles is a media capital, not NY. NY is more about ads and finances.
As with the dev center shifting to NY: good luck finding good engineers there.
What's a point of standing in line? Just order it online and spend your valuable time somewhere else.
Thanks for the shoutout Scoble! Though I could never keep up with you, I like to try out most of the new products that come my way. Those that help me manage my business better (Dropbox, Evernote, Asana) and keep me connected to different groups of people (Highlight, Path, Quora, GroupMe, Twitter, FB) make such a difference in new v. old PR. I agree, it's all about relationships...and sometimes how to build on those in real-time as you're walking down the street in NY, Austin, SF or wherever.
And you didn't just pre-order it and have it delivered to your desk because?

Instead you help lend fuel to Apple haters that it is all just about fanboyz who will buy the latest shiny-shiny from Apple regardless of what it is?
Intresting, especially when you think about the two very different software and media worlds Apple and Microsoft act in. Apple software all works together, but all media and software must come from apple, while Windows allows for a lot more media freedom at the cost of efficientcy.
Interesting hearing about the differences at the human level between cities even with such a global connected industry.
Thanks for shedding the light +Robert Scoble. You sure are a tech wizard and always years ahead of time.
I wonder if there will be a shift back to hardware as a feature over media and apps towards year end with products like google goggles and clones.
The more input you can take from the world the more you can transform it for your users.
Yes +Douglas Crets but queuing is something we Brits perfected, and not something to be copied surely?
Amazon most definitely has their sights squarely on Apple. I know people don't really get that. Amazon is a retailer and has all the these other businesses. But i know a number of people inside Amazon and the focus and resources they are throwing behind the Kindle effort clearly shows what they feel is important.
This is one of the best posts I've seen from you Robert (that's not to say I don't like your other posts) - great observation!
Good post Robert! I agree with you, i think the 'convergence' that was all the rage in the late 90s is about to become reality.
++quote++I theorize that we'll get more and more bored with hardware over time and make more and more of our decisions based on the media that's available on that hardware++/quote

And more and more people will move to devices which play all media
Welcome to the neighborhood. I look forward to seeing the line around the block tomorrow morning. Bring an umbrella, it's supposed to rain overnight/in the morning. :)
Amusing item on breakfast tv here in Australia this morning. People still queueing outside the Apple store, even though they could cross the street and buy an iPad from the Telstra store without having to line up. But then I guess those who did would miss the vibe of the line :)
+Robert Scoble. I'm at Renzos next to the Palo Alto Apple Store and no line yet. Looks like rain though. I'll order the new iPad online when things settle down - and I like the engraving when ordered online :-)
+Robert Scoble it's a one special kind of people you can meet at the Apple store at the product launch day... Rather specific one.
Meanwhile, sickly Foxconn workers look on in disgrace... Yes - it takes a truely shameless kind of people!
Welcome to NYC Robert - can't wait to see you on FOX tomorrow morning - Robert Scoble - great American blogger!
dorio x
+Robert Scoble i will go in line just to meet you and not buying an Ipad. Hehe
Of course, it's always been about content. Even when YouTube launched, users were adding Simpsons episodes. The rise of social media, blogs, video, podcasts, Flash games, and the like have allowed some of those outside the system to get their foot in the door and compete. But consumers always seek out the highest quality for the lowest price, where both values are variables. It just so happens that Hollywood and New York have worked long and hard at the problem.
PR - the cost a company is willing to afford in place of doing the right thing.
+Robert Scoble Arguably, since NYC is on Eastern Time, you could have gotten it 3 hours earlier than people on the West Coast, if each store started selling based on its own timezone. But your statement about meeting people at 3am suggests it goes on sale at midnight Pacific Time, regardless of the local timezone.
More to your basic point, I agree that content may be more important than hardware. Though I'd be disappointed to see a world where I need to buy multiple devices because the media I purchase at their respective stores is incompatible with other players. (Imagine needing to buying separate cable boxes for HBO and for ESPN!) It's challenging enough to need to install separate eReaders and Music stores on the same device to purchase books and songs which aren't available on each store.
I wish I was in NYC for the latest launch but it's all good :) I agree that more decisions will be made based on the content ecosystem for each device...which will become even more of a factor when apple breaks into TV en force. I'm very disappointed in just about all of the set top boxes so far...they all have unique strengths but no single device has created a unified ecosystem of apps (netflix, vudu, amazon video, pandora etc) and local media streaming.

I'm personally using Playstation Media Center on my home windows PC to stream media to my playstation which works very well. My PS3 has some "app" options, but isnt fully there yet. I have high hopes for apple...and especially hope that they can overcome their obsession with all things proprietary and allow a full suite of apps. sky...i love the intersection of hardware, content and apps...especially the way you present them, are living on the bleeding edge and constantly digging and refining your perspective in the space.
Yeah, have an umbrella with, showers, 44F ☂ ☂ ☂
Great post. This is why I chose, and keep choosing, to be in New York. I started as a filmmaker, but very quickly realized that there was a huge opportunity to make content in the digital space for brands and media companies alike. I considered LA, but there seemed to be this exciting fusion between tech and content happening here. I agree with Evan that it would be very sad if the licensing issues don't get resolved quickly and our media becomes increasingly segmented, but hopefully we can all combat that with our voices and wallets.

Enjoy our fine city (and your new iPad), Robert. I hope to share a moment in it (the city) with you on one of your visits. 
It is more fun to be in a line to the 5th Avenue Apple Store than you can imagine. That line will be long because some people will be there way before 3 am! I was there for when that Apple Store opened and posted photos on Flickr. Do join up for a photo stroll, Scoble, as they are wonderful in New York. Now I am in Arizona. As for this content competition, I guess news from March 14 is old for now, but in case anyone missed it, Amazon is on the move:
I wish I was there with you Robert. I wussed out and pre ordered. I'll be stuck in my house till the FedEx man comes.
Robert, did you trade in our previous iPad?
Great points, +Robert Scoble - I'd only add that the hardware that will matter to us most is the hardware that phones, tablets, netbooks and TVs communicate with to enrich our lives. The general computer is the verb, the networked devices and sensors are the objects, the subjects are our desires.
+'I'o pua'a uahi Papale: thanks. So, is "PR" an acronym? If so, what does it stand for? Again, I'm sorry, but I simply cannot find anything which gives me to understand what this means, what it means for there to be a "new PR," and what all this has to do with the apps +Robert Scoble listed (Kismet and so forth). Thanks in advance, Scott.
I still can't believe anyone lines up overnight for an iPad. There were many stores that had no line up at all!
Well, Robert knows how to find - and create - scenes...
Apparently, there's some sort of nexus between location aware social media apps and traditional public relations? Is that what this "new PR" is all about? +Robert Scoble?
Today on Stuart Varney you nonchalantly said you got in line at 8am as if it were no big deal. Did you oversleep or what? Varney's right though, you were glowing... or was that your party glow?
Yes, +Greg Krajewski, i agree with the import of your comment — that Robert is authentic. And maybe — not to be as generous as you — most people don't even have many "forward thinking" thoughts to express, because they are so busy processing thoughts about their daily routines and "keeping up with life." Of the remaining smaller group of forward thinking people — the futurists, who do boldly offer their commentary about how they see events unfolding — there are few who have as much experience and comparative knowledge in high tech as Robert to confidently express their stream of consciousness. What i find endearing about Robert is that he's a real guy who doesn't try to hide "what he's got" behind a thick and costly robe, despite having a Klout score of the biggest Hollywood celebrities and top presidential candidates.

I learn so much from what Robert shares, and so i feel a need to say so every now and then. And i agree, Greg, a big thanks is in order.
100% agree that the new battlefront for tech is actually media. Of the big four (Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple), Amazon and Apple clearly understand this and embrace it. Not sure Microsoft fits in that group. Microsoft may be hamstrung by not acknowledging the shift in tech from enterprise-oriented to consumer-oriented, much less the importance of media. I think Apple's clear understanding of the importance of media to any new tech is why iTV will be a game changer -- not because of the tech, but the way they'll integrate media. 
Media still controls our opinions and original/genuine content is STILL king. NY is Genuine and they don't steal ideas. In fact they call each other out on it and discourage copycats. Exactly why we ran our first +Geeklist hack-a-thon ever in NYC, not San Francisco, but the $ for tech still flow deeper in SV and the connections are priceless in SF. For NYC the scene is much more vibrant and collaborative now in my opinion. In fact Shai Goldman of SVB wrote this great post today on NYC's 40 hottest startups. ( Likewise, our biggest investor (Great Oaks VC - who are awesome) to date is in NYC and we have a little shared office space there in Chelsea on 26th. Ok, I'm biased, being from Philly and NYC in my early biz years. Also great VC's like Andy Weissman/USV and others like Matthew Turck from Bloomberg Ventures are up to great things. Oh and 10Gen is there, MongoDB rocks!
I <3 NY!
we r gonna get a Apple I Pad if they ever go down some my husband is an Apple fanatic!!!
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