For the first time in more than 20 years, I am off to Las Vegas next week for the NAB Convention. Over the years, our company has gravitated to the NAB Radio Show always held in the fall, skipping this spring mega-convention.
But this year, we're going back to broadcasting's biggest show, and based on the emails that I've received over the past few weeks, it looks to be a much different convention than the last one I attended that featured cart machines and Optimods.
First up, it's Kurt Hanson's RAIN, which is always a stimulating day, featuring some of digital's best and brightest. I was fortunate enough to attend RAIN's first Canadian conference last month, and this lineup looks great. And I get to say hello to Steve Dahl.
Then on Tuesday, I'll be moderating an NAB panel, "Mobile is the 7th Medium" - a title inspired by mobile guru Tomi Ahonen. I'll be joined by NPR's Kinsey Wilson, Entercom's Lance Richard, and Verve Wireless CEO Tom Kenney.
It will be a wide-ranging session, covering mobile listening and usage, strategic application design, developing on different platforms, monetization (like iAd), and the future of this space. Among the many questions we'll bash around will be whether the iPad is a mobile device, and the need for radio to develop for this it. This is a topic that Triton's Jim Kerr and I have been "debating" on Twitter over the past couple days, and I know the iPad is very top-of-mind for many of you, too.
Speaking of Twitter, I've been working on my thumb exercises because I plan on being active - http://twitter.com/fnjacobs - to bring anyone who cares updates of sessions, displays, product, and the vibe from the NAB and RAIN. (And the good news is that at 140 characters, my tweets will be shorter than these blog posts.)
So between this blog and Twitter, I'll do my best to keep you updated on RAIN and the NAB at a time when many people are looking for answers as this industry tries to redefine itself once again.