As promised in my PubCon 2006 Night Life post, I've got a bunch of videos from Thursday evening. All of the videos I've got so far are from Amanda. Andrew's content is stuck on his phone because he lost his USB transfer cable.
The videos have been recompressed using DivX (with MP3 audio) so they should be playable on almost every computer. That also had the wonderful side effect of reducing the total file size from 585MB to 54MB. In any case, getting to what you're here for... The videos!
When was the last time you saw a web site that wasn't selling something? Can't think of one? Neither can I. Every site I've been to in the recent past has either been directly selling a product, offering to trade something you have for something less valuable that they have, or showing you advertisements (either fixed or adsense).
My first thought on the recent overabundance of advertisements was "When the hell did everyone get so greedy?" At what point, did content get bumped to second-place behind ads? At what point did we start to not only tolerate ad-filled sites, but to accept them as the norm? That thought, of course, was followed by "Damn... I've got to get that ad-blocker plugin for Firefox..."
As a server administrator (that's part of my day job), I know that hosting is expensive. I know that shared hosting rarely works out once you've got enough visitors coming to your site to pay for it. I know that Virtual Private Servers (VPS) are overpriced and often perform worse than the cheaper shared hosting does. I know that dedicated server hosting generally means that you either need to be a server admin yourself, or that you've got to dish out a few hundred dollars per month to hire someone to do the work. I understand the problem. What I don't understand is why the perceived solution to that problem is to fill your web sites with tons of advertisements.
So, if you read the LinkWorth blog, you'll already know that something interesting happened to the group of us that went to the Viva Las Vegas Lounge on Thursday night. I want to toss out my perspective on that night (as, possibly, the most sober person in the group). To give you a hint of what's coming, let me plug in a few key phrases like "Beer", "Dirty Vodka Martinis", "Limousine", and "Tattoo Parlor".
The day started off pretty much like Tuesday and Wednesday did. We got up early, took the monorail to the conference, learned about SEO and whatnot from the presenters, had a few drinks at the Ask.com reception, etc., etc., etc... This night, however, we had plans to go big. Before we even left Pennsylvania, my boss mentioned that he wanted to meet up with the guys from LinkWorth. I didn't really know who they were, other than that we had been working with them for years. Now, Thursday was supposed to be our "free night", where we could do whatever we wanted as long as we didn't get arrested and as long as we didn't miss the flight the next day. However, trusting that the people I was traveling with would make this an interesting night, I said "alright" and tagged along.
After dropping our laptops and swag (if anyone nabbed more green silly putty than I did, I'd be surprised) off at the hotel (we stayed at the MGM, by the way), we started our trek to find the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel. About 40 minutes later we arrived at the Casino and proceeded to the Lounge. Much to our surprise, Jim Breuer was there, just wrapping up a show with the Sirius Radio guys. After the requisite photo snaps, we all set out to find the guys from Linkworth. This is where we ran into a problem. See, we'd never met them before. We had ZERO clue as to what they looked like. Our only recourse, of course, was to simply walk up to EVERY table in the lounge asking "Are you from LinkWorth?" After making our way to the opposite end of the lounge, we finally ran into them at the very last table.