My so-connected life


Back in May 2006, my life was consumed by one of the most exciting projects I’ve had the pleasure to work on –  The UK launch of the Slingbox. It was brought to market in time for the World Cup (just), and the reactions we got from a media point of view were almost exclusively in one of two camps:

– “Great! we’ve been expecting that”

– “So it does… wait…. you can?…. hang on… say that again.”

The fun behind launch was mainly due to the fact that we were talking about a really cool product, and secondly the team behind it was full of enthusiasm and placed a massive amount of value on PR, both traditional and working with bloggers. At that time, the UK blogging scene was pretty nascent, and actually having a client place value on outreach to this unknown quantity was a refreshing change and part of my migration towards working in social media.

For those of you who don’t know, The Slingbox is a device which allows you to watch your own TV from anywhere you have an internet connection, whether that’s on your laptop in a wi-fi enabled cafe or via 3G on your mobile.

The launch was probably ahead of its time –  these days, there are tens more gadget blogs to talk to about great new products. What’s more, the Slingbox story is much more complete. They’ve brought out more products, taken HD and mobile into account and continue to support more devices to “sling” around the world, such as Apple TV and the XBox 360. Add to this the fact that in the UK, we’re only just getting into internet-anywhere culture, with most recent phones (such as the Nokia N95 I’ve recently acquired) being built with web-enabled applications in mind.

So whilst it’s a product that has been around for a while, only now am I convinced of the full value of buying one (or getting one for free – as in my case). There are more accessible broadband points out there, more enabled devices and we’re just so much more connected than even two years ago. It’s still a little tricky to set up even with the most popular home routers, but I can forgive that. I wish the team luck with future launches, but I think there’s still a story to be told as the basic concept becomes that much more available to the mainstream audience.


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