Too much to possibly cover, and TechCrunch Disrupt this year is in a very crowded and cramped venue -- the Manhatten Center, which is sort of this Beaux Art movie theater. You feel like you're at the Rocky Horror Picture Show with your umbrella in the 1980s...
The lines are very long for the credentials, and the start-up floor is nearly impassible. On the one hand that can build excitement and hub-bub, but on the other hand it's annoying because if you stop to look at somebody's interesting display, you are holding up all traffic right behind you which cannot pass to the next booth. Really jammed.
Half the value of this expensive conference is being able to meet and network with other people, but there isn't an easy conferencing and lunching area as there were in past years -- you have to hobble up some stairs and sort of perch among movie seats.
Then the main speakers are on the 7th floor, meaning thousands of people are queuing up to get up to the 7th floor on the few elevators.
But as they say, Mikey likes it. Arrington yesterday said he loved the venue -- and from the speakers' perspective, and it's really for them as they pay for most of it, it's much more comfortable and normal. The other venues were like giant garages or air terminals where the echos and noise were drowning them out.
Yes, Arrington was there, he is back and undeterred by the scandals surrounding his name lately, which he put down very firmly, ultimately with the most persuasive testimony coming from one of his main frenemies, Paul Car.
He was very forceful and brilliant as always, not just using the usual TC interviewers technique of asking non-public companies what their profits are, always a good gag to see if any of them bite, but delving into the back byways of the VC world.
Bill Gurley did not mention Linden Lab, unfortunately, but you can understand more the entire virtual world of VCdom that he lives in by listening to him speak. Because he sounds laconic and mid-Western, there's a sort of disbelief that he's really this really rich guy. But obviously he understands math.
The most interesting (for me) presentation came from State.com No, not Slate.com, but state.com -- and yes, somehow, miraculously, they got that domain because state.gov never thought to try to park it, I guess. Well, the State Department is the largest non-profit in the country, as its hapless employees will often tell you...
The presentation of Slate.com came as the surprise new product in the slot between speakers -- which means they paid for it, and probably handsomely, as a handsome marketing budget is probably behind all this.
It's a new aggregated opinion platform, so naturally you have to ask how it differs from things like Quora or all those annoying voting platforms that skew toward the "progressives" which I've trashed in these pages.
It's intriguing in that it promises to "get your voice heard" even if you can't crack the 2000 ceiling at Twitter, which is where most of us are. It means that through the magic of search, which is going to remain magically free of SEO on this game *cough*, you will be "found" if you are "worthy".
A discussion of it here on TC where I object that unless this operation has absolutely bullet-proof free speech values at least at the level of Twitter, it will be merely a toy for whatever political force decides it needs this to advance itself (and that's what we have to figure out).
It also means more free labour at the content collective farm for all of us, as we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us with a social platform that is "useful" -- as they scrape all our data, for the Obama machine's next elections or whatever it is that they do. More to come.
I was glad that Glide won the audience poll; I'm not sure that they will take their service beyond were Loic LeMeur tried to take his video chat platform whose name is not even memorable to me now and which died, but it looks just a lot more spontaneous, organized, and easy to use so maybe...looking forward to try.
More to come soon.