iTWire has a great post about the blog coverage of the TiVo and iPhone launches down under. It is a bit of meta-blogging, blogging about blogging. And I couldn’t agree more with that they have to say. A pitfall a lot of tech blogs fall into is forgetting the target market of the products they’re covering and making the mistake of reviewing them from the perspective of a tech geek and not a normal end user. This tends to lead to negative reviews as geeks are looking for loads of features. I know I’ve fallen into that myself. We tend to want all the bells and whistles and can be disappointed when something isn’t there, losing sight of the features that are there that will appeal to the target market (which is rarely the geek market). More succinctly:
Members of the digerati seem to be so immersed in the digital lifestyle that they often forget they’re not the average user. Just because something doesn’t meet the needs of the digital elite doesn’t automatically make it crap.
That’s been happening with some of the coverage for the launch of TiVo in Australia. Since some of the networking features won’t be rolled out until a future software update a few of the tech blogs have been fairly negative about the Australian TiVo. But they’re ignoring the features the TiVo will have as a DVR, well above and beyond other DVRs in the market. And even without all of the additional features, it will have some of them which is another advantage. As iTWire nicely put it:
I agree that waiting for extra features is frustrating but, purely as a Personal Video Recorder (which is its primary purpose), Australia’s TiVo will be very impressive straight out of the box. Much of the criticism seemed to come from fanboys of other high-end PVRs, plus Seven and Nine-haters who were venting their spleens.
Yes the lack of ad-skipping is annoying and just reinforces the fact that Australians get screwed by the local networks. Yes the networks are bastards for withholding EPG data and dragging IceTV through the courts. That doesn’t change the fact that the Australian TiVo is a great solution for the average man on the street, if not power users. Some media centre owners believe the world is conspiring against them, but they have to accept the fact that media centres aren’t for everyone and the average person doesn’t want a computer in their lounge room.
The same article also talks about similar negative blog coverage regarding the Australian launch of the iPhone. Local cell carrier Optus is offering 100MB to 1GB of data per month on its Australian iPhone plans, which a lot of geeks feel is too little. But for many users that’s plenty for checking email via IMAP, a little web browsing, etc. You’re really a heavy user to need more than 1GB/month – lots of video streaming, etc.