I did not have the pleasure of attending Michael Arrington's TechCrunch open house extravaganza Friday, but I hear Mike is planning a NYC party.
Shout-out to Mike: I am looking forward to it!
Attendee coverage of Mike's party has the air of a post-mortem, rather than a continued celebration.
Why so many party poopers? Why does an annual thank-you party signify a bubble?
For Dave Winer, all that the party lacked was an an appearance by the 1990's Internet mascot, the sock puppet:
Next party will have to be in Moscone, and they'll call it a trade show. Watch out for parties where the beer and wine are free and the lines at the bar are short. As the night goes on, lots of really rude drunks. Maybe the bubble is peaking? The last one peaked (imho) when the big topic of discussion was which pet food IPO was going to be bigger.
Winer found some solace, far from the "maddening crowds."
Winer echoed Robert Scoble's review of Mike's party:
Don’t worry about missing these. They are just great ways to collect business cards and meet the hot geeks. The bubble is back!
Can we only interact online, or in exclusive tete-a-tetes?
Rafat Ali's gracious NYC party in June, which I did have the pleasure of attending, received the same unjustified, hyperbolic backlash, which I recount in my coverage of the party, in "paidContent's 'blowout' NYC mixer: Internet bubble redux, or new rational entrepreneurship?":
I was struck at how different the atmosphere was from the 1990’s venture-capital funded Silicon Alley 'launch' parties I attended, literally almost nightly for a period of time...
I disagree with Jeff Jarvis’ take that the mixer was 'jammed with guys in nametags making pitches for their companies to anyone who would stand still and even those who would not.' Thanks, in part, to paidContent’s emphasis on meaningful business networking from the get go, many of those '500 people signed up and sold out the place in three hours,' came armed with print-outs of targeted business contacts to connect with, gleaned via paidContent’s online pre-party attendee networking tool.
I was happy to find out I was on attendee’s short-lists and those fellow party-goers that I had a chance to network with had real-world, forward thinking ideas for Web based businesses and the confidence to put their own financial and 'sweat' equity behind the ideas.
So, unlike Jarvis, I do not 'fear, frightening news for the industry and economy.'