Actually, the partyStrands system was one of the highlights of the evening, as the interactive system that allows users to search and select music on the projected on the wall interface, as well as send text and photo messages to the same interface was very cool. People not at the party could also see that screen in action through the web.
Another sponsor I got to check out in detail was Gotuit Media, which has a cool form of metatagging video content which makes it easy to both jump around video playlists extremely fast without all the rebuffering, as well as allowing for search within video content and to jump to specific spots in videos.
The scene was pretty good, it was crowded for a while but not as crowded as I expected, and I talked to an interesting mix of entrepreneurs, tech observers, established companies, and quite a few venture capitalists. We’re not looking for venture capital, but I still got a lot of brain picking from them asking me numerous questions about advertising and where it’s headed. It actually made for some decent conversations.
Perhaps the highlight/lowlight of the evening was when Mike Arrington took the microphone to thank people and do a little presentation. As he started to talk, many people continued their conversations. After a couple of attempts to ask people to be quiet so he could speak, he said “You know, the crowds in Palo Alto are a lot more polite.” This was met with a round of boos and “Screw you!” comments. I’m sure Arrington was partially kidding, but the whole incident came off as funny, yet uncomfortable.
Overall I feel it was worth the sponsorship, but there wasn’t really anything revolutionary about it either.