Having spent the last few hours at Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch Meet-Up, I sit here struggling to find some criticism of the event simply for the sake of a buzz worthy post. The fact is, the party was flawlessly executed from logistics to music, drinks to demos, and all with a crowd of industry elite akin to the red carpet crowd at the Oscar’s.
I had a blast catching up with a dozen old Yahoo’s who have moved on to exciting ventures; Derek Dukes was exceptionally elusive about Underlying at t1me.com, I had a chance to catch up with Rob Lissner who I haven’t seen in years and is now heavily involved with Facebook’s entertainment advertisers with Mike Murphy, Paul Borrud and the gang. As you can imagine, the Facebook group was somewhat incognito but I was lucky to catch a moment with Chamath Palihapitiya. I bumped into Stanley Wong who is developing an intuitive search technology at SearchPhysics. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch Rob Solomon, CEO of the brilliant travel search engine SideStep who I hear was chatting it up with Matt Heist who, last I heard, is now GM of Yahoo! Shopping.
AdBrite had a strong showing; the turnkey ad server supporting publishers and advertisers has reason to be excited about the ease of use and quality of their advertising platform. Their presence was no small coincidence for me given the recent news about Paul Levine leaving Yahoo! Local. Rumors suggest AdBrite’s development of local advertising technologies which should attract your attention.
edgeio continues to expand its extensive classifieds platform adding web service “Classifieds Boards” to an already comprehensive listings business. John Dowd is even working closely with TechCrunch, powering the CrunchBoard.
The team from oDesk was a blast and their support of Z is much appreciated. They’re serving talent shortage through managed outsourcing, connecting remote talent such as contractors, engineers, and designers, with employers in need of resources where ever they might reside.
Wink’s Michael Tanne and I had a great discussion about the unique opportunities in our respective vertical search markets; their approach to finding people, aggregating data to deliver comprehensive results while keeping an eye on relevance rings as true in local. And speaking of people, Yoni Avital, founder of MatchActivity, shared his thoughts on their transition to Wannago and its intriguing ability to connect people with similar interests. GroupSwim co-founder Tom McCleary introduced their brilliant strategy to aggregate groups so one can combine the dozens one might have on Yahoo, Google, and other platforms into a central, single location; in much the same way Profile Builder, launched at the party but as of the time of the post still not accepting registrations, is centralizing the management of social network profiles.
I was honored to bump into Diigo’s founder Wade Ren. Diigo is, by far, one of the best web research platforms allowing users to save, annotate, and share snippets of websites enabling users to collaboratively evaluate and consume content. And it was a pleasure catching up with Reshma Kumar and Daya Baran of Silicon Valley WebGuild. I’m really looking forward to the next Searchnomics event.
Saving my favorite for last, and reminding me it was a night of coincidences, Pandora was in charge of entertainment. It was hard not to notice the significance of their new sponsor, my alma-mater, Hewlett-Packard, who’s ‘Parental Mind Control‘ Back to School campaign leaves one with vertigo. Pandora’s music player has gone through a number of improvements since I last used it and has been playing remarkably well in the background as I write; heck with iTunes! Their Music Genome Project continues to be an initiative with which I’d someday personally like to be a part.
They really threw a great party this year and I’m already anxious for the next but, ah-ha! a criticism comes to mind: the line for free margarita’s was a little out of control.