birthday bash

by Eszter Hargittai on October 6, 2006 cakeYahoo! hosted a party the other day celebrating the third birthday of and the registration of its millionth user. I found out about it thanks to a listing on Upcoming. It was a fun reason to return to Yahoo! headquarters just a few days after Yahoo! Hack Day.

There was some overlap in attendance, but I thought the demographics of this crowd was noticeably different from that of the one at Hack Day. There were more women and I no longer contributed to skewing the average age – toward ancient – considerably.

In the background was a screen showing additions to the site real-time. It’s fun to imagine the dozens of users, at any one minute, clicking on their bookmarklet (or whatnot) entering information and contributing to the overall value of the site.

The first person I met reminded me of the shallow shmoozing that went on at Silicon Alley parties in the late 90s. (I’m sure they went on at Silicon Valley parties as well, but since I was living in NYC at the time, I have experience with that bit.) He wasn’t even a user. Worse yet, he spent most of our brief encounter questioning the service. Why bother showing up? I won’t embarrass/dignify him with a link to his company’s Web site.

I did better with the next round of folks I met. I stumbled into a group of people who already knew each other through a Flickr meetup group. We spent a good chunk of time sharing our adminiration for that service and community.

Next, I went over to say hi to Andy Baio whose links page has often inspired posts around here. We’ve exchanged emails about numerous things in the past so it was nice to meet in person finally. I also got to meet some folks from the Flickr team including its co-founder Stewart Butterfield, and Matthew Rothenberg whom I look forward to seeing next week when I go back to Yahoo!, this time for research purposes.

Finally, I ran into our CASBS Librarian Trisha who, conveniently for me, took a picture of the swag, which consisted of a cute T-shirt (the back shows the party information as a entry) and stickers.

Overall, it was a fun event. It’s neat to be in the area and have the ability to just hop on over to these things.