Matt Cutts may have missed the Yahoo Publisher Network party in the Hugh Hefner Playboy Sky Villa at the Palms hotel, but he was one of the few. I got up there late last Tuesday to find it packed with those enjoying some down time after Pubcon. And while it was a very, very close thing, I had to give Microsoft the edge in the party challenge. That’s because they set up shop in the Palms the next night in the Kingpin Suite, with a two lane bowling alley. I love to bowl, so this was a slice of heaven. Below, more about swimming at Yahoo, bowling with Microsoft (including Natala Menezes making two strikes in a row in high heels) and yet a third night at the Palms for Greg Boser turning 40, along with why if you see some SEO in bed with someone else, to paraphrase Matt Cutts, it doesn’t mean they share a deep rapport.
Sadly, I don’t have photos of my own to share from the Yahoo party last Wednesday night. But it was great, with lots of fun, dancing and actual swimming in the outside pool that started up at the end of the evening. Lee’s got a bunch of pictures over here of it. What a setting!
The next day, the party train started early, with drinks being offered to me at the show itself. I discovered that Nathaniel Broughton had started a Pubcon Drinking Game where different speakers were worth different points, if you could buy them a drink. I was pleased to learn I was among the 5 Pointers, along with people like Greg Boser, John Battelle, Jennifer Slegg and — naturally — Matt Cutts. Given Matt’s popularity, I’m surprised he wasn’t made a 6 Pointer all on his own!
I found this out because Chris Hooley caught me outside the show, to buy me a drink. Actually, he had a bag of little airplane sized bottles of alcohol, prepare to catch speakers and gather up photos. Outstanding game optimization. Each drink also was labeled with his DrinkBait.com URL. I had nothing but admiration for his technique, plus who am I to turn down a miniature bottle of vodka?
Yeah, that’s us above. You’ll find everyone Chris caught over here, including this dude:
You can’t see it, but that’s whisky for Matt. Apparently if you’re from California, like me, it’s vodka. Kentuckians like Matt, it’s whisky.
Matt needed that whiskey, by the way — not that he drank it (in public). Let me illustrate what it’s like to be next to Matt after a session ends and people are hoping for some Google goodness:
The man is surrounded by Cuttletts. No, I literally mean surrounded:
After the next day’s super session with search reps, I watched people actually leap out of their chairs and race each other to the stage to be first in line.
Every time I see Matt mobbed like this, I can’t help but think of that classic scene in Tapeheads where some groupies surround a band shouting out things like “teach me to read.” Please, please rent that film — John Cusack, Tim Robbins, Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles (“Roscoe’s the name, and they call me the king. Grandmaster of the chicken and the waffle thing…). It’s a real restaurant in LA, too — and good, I’ve eaten there. Anyway, rent the film, then watch Matt and the crowds, and you’ll appreciate it even more.
Thursday night, it was bowling time. Raised a middle class boy in North Orange County, bowling was something you did practically at birth. Three years in a junior league, and I loved every game day. My average never really came up above 145 or so (that may sound good to some, but not when your parents would routinely break 200). Despite not reaching the scores of my parents, I still had fun.
When we arrived at Microsoft’s bash, the lanes were only occasionally being used. The bowlers among us quickly seized the high ground and organized a match.
Jim Stob from Position Tech had the stance:
Tim Mayer from Yahoo looked impressive:
And both were on my team, so even better:
Note that I’ve got the high score. A paltry 112, for shame.
Against us, Todd Friesen, Eytan Seidman of Windows Live and Melanie Mitchell from AOL. Todd looked impressive from the start, Eytan was strong, but Melanie seemed a non-contender. First she gutters, then gets three pins, then six.
After that, it’s comeback city:
Spare! Strike! Spare! Strike! Strike! She took the top score of all of us.
After that, we did another match with different teams. Vanessa Fox from Google wandered off during the middle of this, so Natala Menezes from Microsoft adCenter stepped up to fill in.
All of us were in bowling shoes, I have to add. Natala was not. She was in high heels and didn’t figure she nee