What I learned by sitting in an Apple store during WWDC

Yesterday morning I was in the San Francisco Apple Store. I was watching these sites:

1. FriendFeed. Refreshed it every 15 seconds.
2. MacRumorsLive. Automatically was refreshing on a browser.
3. TechCrunch, when I could get to it.
4. Engadget. Refreshing every 15 seconds.
5. Gizmodo. Refreshing every 15 seconds.
6. TechMeme (which, now, is showing all the best posts).

Plus, there were lots of Apple fans in the store and many were doing similar routines to me (refreshing pages trying to learn the latest news).

So, what did I learn?

Well, for one, FriendFeed was better than any of the other sites. Why? Because it had all the sites and more. Most of the time I learned about the latest Steve Jobs announcent on FriendFeed 45 seconds before I saw it pop up on MacRumorsLive. It was consistent enough that it amazed me.

Plus, the commentary was higher quality there.

Plus, people would point out who had the best stuff. The community was doing comparison shopping in live time and it was glorious for someone like me.

At the end of the day I knew before anyone else in the store that there wouldn’t be anything shipped yesterday. There were still 20 people in line when I left and they didn’t believe me that a phone wouldn’t be coming. I said “I have friends at the show and they say there’s nothing coming.” They wanted to believe. I let them believe and left.

I did something different this time, though. I “liked” each good Tweet, each blog, each photo, etc. that came in. Hundreds of them. I wish I could repost them all here, but that wouldn’t be any fun because it’s pretty much old news anyway.

But my Discussion page was rocking and rolling with new things showing up there every few seconds. Overall the consensus was FriendFeed was best, MacRumorsLive was close second, and Gizmodo had the best photos.

Some key points that are being missed:

1. The new iPhone is NOT that much cheaper. Yeah, it’s $199, but you have to sign a two-year-contract and the 3G network plan is $10 a month more expensive. So, do the math. It isn’t cheaper.

2. The camera continues to disappoint. It really sucks compared to my Nokia N82. When I get my new 3G I’ll do some demonstrations.

3. Video? Not a word. Steve Jobs usually makes a big deal of things when he has them, especially sexy things like video. Nokia is safe for another generation because of this one feature alone.

Other things I liked?

1. GPS. I wonder if Apple is going to do something really cool with this.

2. Battery life. Longer is better and this delivers.

Put it all together and I’ll buy one. But I’d buy one even if it were a pile of dung. Why? To be able to tell you it’s a pile of dung, of course. So take that with a grain of salt.

Anyway, the lesson I learned is that FriendFeed was a major winner today.

Oh, and VentureBeat deserves the credit for posting to FriendFeed directly. That was a major reason why FriendFeed was faster than the other major blogs. Look at the conversation underneath each post, this was happening in live time and was really great for me to see how things were being perceived.