CARLSBAD, CA — D, the Wall Street Journal schmoozefest which opened today with a round of golf at the Four Seasons Aviara Resort, is not the conference for the rest of us. It attracts a host of tech and media CEOs who agree to be harangued onstage by Walt Mossberg, the sexagenarian of sexy gadgets, and Kara Swisher, the diminutive media commentaterrorist of AllThingsD.com. In exchange, they get to seem classy and witty, if only by comparison. It is the sort of elite event to which Valleywag is not invited. We showed up anyway.
Security may prevent me from attending the formal program. But the hotel bar is lovely, I hear, and I intend to camp out there, to overhear what I may and hold court with brave (or incautious) tipsters. Folks I'm looking forward to running into:
- Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who threatened to shoot me
- Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer, or rather, his rumored chaperone at the event — Marcy Simon, Google CEO Eric Schmidt's ex-girlfriend
- Yahoo president Sue Decker, who is negotiating a divorce at the same time as a merger
And that's just for starters. See why I don't get invited to these things?
For you, gentle reader, I can endure a few awkward conversations and more. Peruse the list of speakers, think of questions you'd like me to ask, and I'll do my best to buttonhole them for you.