Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Coming to Silicon Valley is always a good excuse to throw a party. Last time I came, Kara Swisher and Megan Smith hosted the party at their house and it was great. (Thanks again Kara and Megan!) This time, I decided that I should probably invite more people so we had it at a restaurant called Zibibbo in Palo Alto.

I think about 150 people showed up. The criteria for invitation was that I invited old friends, friends who came to the spectrum conference at Stanford and new friends I have met over my blog. People were also allowed to invite their friends. Interestingly, 150 is the magic number from The Tipping Point of how many people you can have a real social relationship with...

Anyway, it turned into a great party because not only did many of my old friends and new friends show up, but I made even more friends because everyone brought their friends. So... where do I put all of these new friends?

I just revamped my blogroll. I dumped blogs which were not being updated frequently, blogs I wasn't reading and obvious sites that I don't have a personal relationship with. I added blogs that I have recently begun to read and blogs of my new friends I've met either physically, in the comments section of my blog or through the emergent democracy happening. Now my blogroll reflects my network of friends instead of some ranking of popular blogs. You can go to Technorati for that.

I would like to apologize to anyone who I forgot to invite. I have a very bad memory and this was sort of an emergent party. I'm sure I'll have another one soon. If you want to get invited, just post comments on my blog a lot. ;-)

There are some bloggers who have written about the party: Chris Pirillo, Gnome Girl, Jason Defillippo here and here, Dave Winer, Marc Canter here, here and here, Kazuya Minami, Frank Boosman, Robert Scoble, Ross Mayfield, Kevin Marks, Doc Searls, Andrew Kimpton

But... parties are never as fun to read about when you weren't there, I know...

Special thanks to Amy and Barak for the flawless planning and execution



That's the downside of living in Rochester. (That, and the fact that the temperature just went up to 1 degree Fahrenheit a few minutes ago.)

Ah, well. One of these days I'll get to meet all you cool people in person.

The party was great Joi and I had an incredible time. You are the greatest (Not to mention HOT) host :-)

Now think of an icon so Jason can make one for your blogroll :)

Wow, that was an incredible party and I'm honored that you invited me to it. Anytime you're in Silicon Valley, let me know.

Joi, you inadvertently organized the "Who's Who" celebration of 2003. Six degrees of separation? You whittled it down to ONE. And wait until Gnomedex; we're dragging you to Iowa, kicking and screaming. Now I'm off to work on your favicon before I do my show.

Of course, the problem with such gatherings being blogged becomes more apparent with each blog entry and comment about it. It's not just a gathering of friends, it's the a "who's who" celebration of 2003. Be there or be square (a shape which doesn't fit well into the "inner circle").

Hard for it not to make those of us who don't live in Silicon Valley feel a bit like personae non grata. Seems like the wagons are already beginning to circle, via public posting of sly references to "you had to be there" in-jokes. Feh.

I suppose this goes back a bit to what I posted earlier about stats. There's something unsettling to me about knowing that hundreds of thousands of readers will be viewing the post-party schmoozing, feeling like the degrees of separation between them and the "who's who" of blogging have just gotten a lot bigger.

(And yes, of course this is partly sour grapes. I would have loved to have been there. But I'm hoping I would have avoided much online public discussion about it afterwards--at least of things other than descriptions of cool ideas that got floated, or pictures of the food :-)

Now I'll stop being such a curmudgeon and go play with my kids.

Had a FANTASTIC time, Joi. Thanks for putting it together.

Joi, thanks for inviting me; I enjoyed it a lot (and blogrolling me too - I must investigate Jason's blogrolling thingy to encourage me to update mine).

Liz, you know what big parties are like - the chances of exchanging more than a few words with anyone are low, and though I said hi to a few 'luminous' people, I have had deeper conversations wiith most of them by email.
It was a lot of fun to see people I've been conversing with for months in person, and I had a great time, but to me these meetings make it clearer that the 'famous' are people too, fallible humans with their own thoughts and motivations.


Don't worry, in each part of the world there's going to be a celebration that the rest of us will be jealous of.

Silicon Valley continues to be a magical place for innovators. There's just so many of them here. My wife talked with Holly Near, who is a professional singer.

For me, it's just good to cement relationships with people and to get a quick comment on the day's news. It's pretty amazing, though, to be sitting at an six-person-table with Marc Canter, Holly Near (her husband, who was interesting too), Paul Mercer, Kim Polese, and my wife. Every table was like that too. I wish we could record the conversation at every table and comment on it today.

I just like being around interesting people. They make you feel alive.

"It's not just a gathering of friends, it's the a "who's who" celebration of 2003"

I agree that those types of declarations are unfortunate, but not merely because they make people feel excluded, but because it's just not true. There were lots and lots of great people there, no question, and Joi, you and your team did a tremendous job in organizing it, but there were dozens of other people that could have been there but weren't able to make it, and it's not accurate to describe the party as anything other than exactly what it was, a really fun and engaging event that will hopefully lead to similar events elsewhere.

Saying thanks doesn't even cut it. It was well worth the trip. I met so many cool new people I lost count and came up with so many new ideas my brain hurts. I'll get on your icon dealio as soon as I get back home. Although with any luck I'll be moving back out here. I miss my geeks!

>I agree that those types of >declarations are unfortunate, but not >merely because they make people feel >excluded, but because it's just not >true.

The problem is, we haven't seen this kind of party in Silicon Valley for a couple of years. We all try to put labels on these kinds of events. This one was a remarkable event no matter what anyone says about it (I've been to a few Silicon Valley events in my time, since I've lived here for 30 years and I don't remember ever being in one place with so many interesting people. Maybe that's because I haven't been hanging out with the interesting crowd until the past few years, though).

Ah, don't worry about my kvetching. I'm mostly just envious. I don't get to spend enough "face time" around people excited about these technologies.

I do wish more people would post about some of those fabulous ideas that got bounced around, instead of just the lap dancing and the critical mass of coolness...

I don't know how many "great ideas" got bounced around. Parties are a great chance to catch up, see everyone, and get a sense of the agenda for the next few months (and hear about what people are doing).

What really sucks is it's hard to get an idea of what was really discussed. I could only talk to six other people other than to say "wow, so honored to meet you" to a bunch of people.

These are a good chance to get up to date on toys, though.

Hey Joi,
I think you were just pissed that you couldn't make it to the Tokyo Blogger's party so you organised your own where you where. So... OUR Tokyo Valley Who's WHo super duper party of 40!! (yes it highlights the fact that we were a LOT) went really well and we hope you'll be part of the next one.
for pics portraits of people present and links to all the Tokyo Bloggers's site to discover, enjoy and then include in your Blogroll, check out: :: Japan-Sync
Enjoy your stay, and safe trip back.

Definitely want to make it to the next Tokyo Blogger's party...

Liz. You just have to come to the next one. We have decided to make this a tradition. Several people flew out from the East Coast. This blogging is to make sure you make an effort to make it to the next one. ;-)

Joi -- Well, it worked. :-)

What I'm really hoping is that the grant will get funded, and there will be parties along with the workshops in Tokyo, Volda, Vienna, and Silicon Valley every year. (Rochester, too, but I'm guessing the turnout there would be lower... ;-)

It was a great party, Joi - thank you!

Damn. I wish I could've made it too. But then again, I did get to go to Blogosphere. Nonetheless, these are great events if not for the simple reason of putting faces to the name and having a little tactile time with terrific bloggers (OK, I couldn't resist the alliteration. Joi, next time we're just gonig to have to team up and do something in Southern California. Lot of bloggers here, and still close to SFO. Geee. And I hear Liz might be in the area this summer. Just might have to start checking the calendars...

Great party, Joi!

Now (drum roll) for the latest pix, which are currently uploading right here. The first two pix are inside and outside the men's room at the Madonna Inn, where, to my surprise, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich was speaking. I got a pic of him standing on a raised platform, since the guy could easily fit inside the average podium.

Hey, I got some pretty surreal shots using Night Vision, don't you think?

Party sounds fabulous, Joi! Wish you could join us in Austin for South by Southwest Interactive!

Now let's get on with building an alliance that (shall I say politely) can 'balance' the Borg of Redmond.

We've got all the pieces - XML-RPC, RSS, OPMl (thanks Dave!) and now it's time to build a distributed, decentralized (thanks Kevin!) world of interconnecting services, tools, communities and meshes.

Marc. Exactly. The Open Society of Web Service Tools against the tyrany of centralization and proprietary standards!

Hear, hear!

That's exactly the kind of thing that I'd love to get lots of students involved in.

More on this coming on my blog later this weekend. My frustration with proprietary courseware tools is peaking, and I *really* want an open-source alternative.

Leave a comment

5 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Making room for more new friends....

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Joi Ito's party from Gen Kanai weblog
March 4, 2003 1:49 AM

So I missed the big party this weekend that Joi Ito threw in Palo Alto. It sounded like a wonderful Read More

Partay! from Jason DeFillippo's Weblog
March 4, 2003 4:01 AM

Gnome Girl at the Apple Store Chris and Gnome Girl get ready to Party! Ben & Mena from Movable... Read More

Joi Ito's Party from T & M - Thoughts & Musings
March 5, 2003 4:28 AM

Like about 150 other people I too was at Joi Ito's party in Palo Alto on Sunday night. In yet Read More

Re: Things to ponder from Stochastic Aleatory Ontological Expostulations
March 7, 2003 5:46 AM

...Perhaps not-so-coincidentally, 150 people were invited to Joi Ito's recent weblog party, and he rebuilt his blogroll afterwards to reflect that. Read More

On March second of last year I went to a party with Chris and Chey that basically changed my life. Just reflecting...... Read More