There's a breathless hush in the office this morn, but it's nothing to do with cricket. Last night was the CNET Networks UK Technology Awards — for which no cute name exists, least of all the CNet UK New Technology Surprises — and with the bonhomie and general excitement that comes with 500 dressed-up industry figures in one place comes the inevitable butcher's bill the morning after.
Graeme Wearden reported that an ebullient chap on the T-Mobile table took one look at his business card and said "Excellent! Excellent! Yours is the only site I don't delete. Look forward to reading it every day. It's fantastic, you do a really good job." "Oh thank you," said Graeme. "Very kind of you to say so."
"Not at all, not at all" said the chap. "I love silicon.com."
"Is that so?," said G. "Well, they do a very good job of serving the CIO audience. Have another look at the card."
He did. His face fell. "Ah. ZDNet. Hey, I enjoy that almost as much as Silicon. It's very nearly as good"
"Almost good enough not to delete", thought G, making his excuses and leaving.
He was not the only man disappointed that evening. "What happened?" I ask editorial bossman Matt Loney, who slid into his seat at a very respectable hour of the morning looking remarkably chipper.
"Mm." he said. "Well, I was trying to mollify one of the shortlisted finalists who hadn't won, when B_____ appeared at my elbow. He insisted that he was a duck, and that he'd given birth to me."
"That's atrocious," I said. "Doesn't the man know that ducks are oviparous?"
"I tried to calm him down," said Matt, "but he was most insistent. All we could do was send him home in a cab — but it took me an hour and a half to get his address out of him. By then, the bar was closed."
"Hence your notable state of health," I said. "Hence."
If only the rest of the office had taken on such responsibilities. One member of the editorial team's sole contribution to the online leader conference this morning was "it hurts too much to type", and that was more than some managed. But by common consent the event was a rip-roaring success: expect more tales from the years to come.