What recession? More than 10,000 revelers are expected for this year's SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas this week. With no real work at hand, they're hitting the parties hard — especially the unofficial ones.
Take last night, for example. The conference's official happy hour was packed, while the cocktail party hosted by Break Media, CollegeHumor, and other panelists from the "Comedy on Television and the Web" panel was far more relaxed. Attendees included CollegeHumor's Ricky Van Veen and The Office's BJ Novak. In between buying dozens of Kamikaze shots, Break Media CEO Keith Richman complimented Mahalo's Jason Calacanis's poker game. (Calacanis is a noted gambler, so much so that we sometimes wonder if he might have a problem.)
We arrived at Digg's Second Annual Big Digg Shindig at Stubb's BBQ too late to see the live Diggnation taping — though we hear it was packed shoulder to shoulder — but just in time to see fanboys mob Diggnation host Kevin Rose and dispensable sidekick Alex Albrecht for autographs en masse.
After a stop at an impromptu Next New Networks party, we headed to the Driskill Hotel. Microcelebrity egoblogger Julia Allison was flanked by fans who showed up after she sent a message on Twitter seeking reassurance of her self-importance. She has actual fans! Three of them!