It’s over. It was "big." So what did it mean? Let’s look at the ways:
1) Public Policy Issues: Well, it means that—if we elect a Democrat president and that Democrat (he or she) picks Federal Confusion Commissioner Michael J. Copps as Chairman—American households will get a new entitlement: a computer in every home (sounds better than a chicken in every pot?). A computer (what kind? how big?) plus a guaranteed broadband connection to go with it? Maybe even a subsidized one like telephone universal service? The Bush Administration, in charge still for a few more months, has had its own FCC agenda in the person of Chairman Kevin Martian. That agenda can be crystallized in just one word: indecency. Cable didn’t clean up… so, well, you know, he played dirty.
2) Public Policy Personalities: FCC folks were all over the place… and the contrast between yesterday’s commissioners ( Michael Powell and William Kennard) and today’s could not have been any starker. You are free to draw your own conclusions. We comment, you decide.
3) Paddling: "Canoe" is coming… someday.
4) Stocks: A slight show bump… but here comes a set-free (sort of, that is, with debt) Time Warner Cable.
5) New Orleans: Appreciated. Both ways. Scary, though. Housing costs skyrocketing while wages stagnate. Lots of areas still looking like war zones. Not everyone smiles like Ray Nagin, either. Hotels and restaurants busy on the higher grounds. Big river keeps right on rolling. And Cable Cares… really. Legions of volunteers actually doing things. Pretty good corporate participation. I got to help build a playground over real Mississippi River mud… and, like a number of others like CTAM‘s Seth Morrison, tossed the sneakers and socks at the end of a glorious, sweaty day.
6) Show Floor: Pretty busy. Pretty noisy. Fun. Best tchotchkes: at the ION booth… emergency cell charger and airplane friendly liquid carrier.
7) Attendance: Good. Lots of important and semi-important folks. But the category that seems to be lacking are the folks who actually run the systems. Shouldn’t decentralization mean they go to the show, too?
8) Shorter Show? Hah. If you mean from Fri night thru Wed morning, this shorter show stuff is a crock. It’ll be interesting next Spring as we try out the new formats… Apr 2—7 in DC? By the way, Apr 1 of 2009 is the 20th anniversary of CableFAX.
* Barco Library: Is one of those unique things about the Cable Center. So, here’s a plea: "Dedicated to chronicling cable’s varied and colorful history, The Barco Library houses the largest collection of cable telecommunications equipment, photographs, and marketing and promotional materials in the industry, and they would like to build their materials from the 1990s-2000s. The Cable Center accepts donations of single items up to entire collections from companies, networks, programmers and vendors, as well as individuals. Contact Lisa Backman, Barco Library Manager, at email@example.com or 303-871-4679 for more information or to make a donation." Here’s a special plea for stuff from defunct networks and/or companies. I think we should mount a special exhibit of just that!
* Up Next: The next gathering of the clans will be in Philadelphia for Cable-Tec Expo, June 25 — 27. Looking forward to this (got a CEO panel with Matt Blank, Neil Smit, Mike Zafirovsky and Steve Burke) with the highlight the Chairman’s Reception at Ralph’s Cafe… can’t wait to see it.