CommunityNext Opening NightMEGAN MCCARTHY — The CommunityNext conference opening night open bar at Blue Chalk Cafe was far more entertaining than most of the dry, posh networking events held in the Valley. Noah Kagan of Entrepreneur27 put together the conference to focus on "successful online communities and social networks" and, with conference topics including "How to monetize with ads and not piss off your audience" and "The Patent-Pending skinnyCorp Method for Creating Online Awesomeness and Other Cool Stuff", one would expect a fun-filled opening night. Photographer Lane Hartwell accompanied me to the event last Friday night in Palo Alto. Check our full gallery, and hit the jump for more details and a few select snaps.

So, who was there? Unfortunately, Fark's Drew Curtis, a speaker at the conference and the one guy I wanted to meet, wasn't flying in until the next day. So I missed my chance to have a beer with the king of the Farkers. Boo. I spied Techcrunch guru and Valleywag fan Mike Arrington, who politely asked Lane to refrain from taking his picture. He was much kinder to me, shelling out for tequila shots when we both ran out of drink tickets. (For the record: Patron, no salt, no lime.)

As the night went on, the venue opened up to the general public. Suddenly, there were girls! And dancing! And then, commotion. It's a barfight! Two of the infiltrating inebriates started shoving each other by the stairs, while a group of peaceful conference attendees surrounded them and gawked. Among the venue's biggest hits were the LEDs imprisoned in ice cubes, which even now may be making their way through the intestinal tracts of recently inebriated youngsters.

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