This year, MacRumors’ coverage of the Macworld San Francisco 2008 keynote address knocked it out of the park. Reviews were universally positive, and it makes me really proud of what we’ve accomplished.
What makes this accomplishment even more impressive is that we’re a relatively rag-tag crew pulling it together against better funded sites with far better keynote access. No one at MacRumors is a full timer. At present, we’re still a combination of part-timers and volunteers.
In the end, I was unable to get a “keynote” media pass to Macworld. No big surprise — despite our size, MacRumors doesn’t get much recognition from Apple (or IDG). This, however, means that I had to buy my own ticket (Superpass) into the Keynote, and stand in line to get a good seat. Of course, the night before I became nervous about not getting a good enough seat… which means I ended up on the sidewalk at 1am (and I wasn’t first in the Superpass line) the night before trying to get some sleep. I got maybe an hour of sleep before people starting milling about, and I started getting uncomfortably cold. So, I ended up chatting and moving around (to keep warm) for the next 7 hours while I awaited keynote access.
In the end, it was me and Jeff Longo in the Keynote providing updates from mid-way-back seats. We had a volunteer crew at home handling the server side and processing data. But that was enough to provide the best keynote coverage on the web.
I like to think that due to our limited resources, we’ve had to work smarter and harder in order to keep up. We also aren’t restricted by the ever-important “page view” metric that tends to drive the more commercial sites’ coverage. We employed additional servers and multiple Content Delivery Network (CDN’s) to support keynote traffic, but due to our efficient setup, we are able to run it at a fraction of the cost.
I’m sure competition will increase, especially after our success this year, but we’ll continue to step up our features. This year, we added large (640×480) photos, and an iPhone/iPod touch formated site. There will be more to come.