The story of the Alta Vista party at SXSW

We were tired of waiting in line for the Google party at SXSW. So, what did we do? We went to Twitter, just like CNET said.

Who throws the best “unofficial” SXSW parties? The same guy who throws the best “official” ones, of course!

Scott Beale!

What did he do last night after getting tired of waiting in the Google line?

He found a bar that was empty. Sat down in the back. And Twittered “Alta Vista Party at Ginger Man.” In the video I shot of the Google Line, you see Francine Hardaway as she found out about Scott’s party and follow us as we walk down to Scott’s party. At the end of the video you see Scott Beale explaining the whole thing.

We were among the first eight there. Soon there was 50 or so. Gotta love Twitter!

Why “Alta Vista?” Well, Alta Vista is the search engine that Google basically relegated to a footnote in history (it was #1 back when Google was born).

Of course Scott got revenge. The line for his party later in the evening was even longer than the one to get into the Google Party. Which, of course, he apologized for on Twitter.

32 thoughts on “The story of the Alta Vista party at SXSW

  1. That altavista party was the best one I went to. Free beer was good too of course! See, it does pay to stalk people on twitter (thanks laughingsquid!)

  2. That altavista party was the best one I went to. Free beer was good too of course! See, it does pay to stalk people on twitter (thanks laughingsquid!)

  3. The sad tale of AltaVista is one that every startup should study.

    Great technology for its day – but short sighted people who never saw the potential of search.

    Wonder how much politics and egos had to do with their decline.

    Ironically, brin and page were encouraged to invent Google because they discovered that one could use the LINK: operator in Altavista.

    It was bizarre when the man who oversaw AltaVista’s decline was hired by Yahoo – who also declined in search share

  4. The sad tale of AltaVista is one that every startup should study.

    Great technology for its day – but short sighted people who never saw the potential of search.

    Wonder how much politics and egos had to do with their decline.

    Ironically, brin and page were encouraged to invent Google because they discovered that one could use the LINK: operator in Altavista.

    It was bizarre when the man who oversaw AltaVista’s decline was hired by Yahoo – who also declined in search share

  5. A “footnote in history”? Robert, that’s a bit harsh. Couldn’t you have gone with something like “a now largely forgotten *chapter* in history”?

    How soon we forget even the roots of Altavista — which grew out of DEC (“Digital Equipment Corporation”) once the second largest computer company in the world but now also largely forgotten.

    bob wyman

  6. A “footnote in history”? Robert, that’s a bit harsh. Couldn’t you have gone with something like “a now largely forgotten *chapter* in history”?

    How soon we forget even the roots of Altavista — which grew out of DEC (“Digital Equipment Corporation”) once the second largest computer company in the world but now also largely forgotten.

    bob wyman

  7. The Austin Zealots brewclub was also at GM that night. But they went in the front because of all the bird droppings. When locals tell you not to sit under a tree, it’s a sign…
    (The tweets convinced me to go to GM but I hung out with the brewcrowd. Still got a chance to chat with Merlin Mann.)

  8. The Austin Zealots brewclub was also at GM that night. But they went in the front because of all the bird droppings. When locals tell you not to sit under a tree, it’s a sign…
    (The tweets convinced me to go to GM but I hung out with the brewcrowd. Still got a chance to chat with Merlin Mann.)

  9. Very funny!

    I love how this sort of proves that social media competes with search engines!

    When people are looking for something to DO – social media connects trusted sources of information (a Tweet from a friend/follows) that tromps any monolithic algorhythm of Page Ranking (the party list).

    The social aspect of Twitter (friends tweeting friends) meant probably that the coolest people arrived earliest — which is an in real life example of the social filter beating out Google’s policies (represented by the bouncer/list keeprr).

    Best,

    Gib

    PS: AltaVista is always on my list for Babelfish, which seems slightly better at translation than Google’s tools.

    PS2: relegate is a great word.

  10. Very funny!

    I love how this sort of proves that social media competes with search engines!

    When people are looking for something to DO – social media connects trusted sources of information (a Tweet from a friend/follows) that tromps any monolithic algorhythm of Page Ranking (the party list).

    The social aspect of Twitter (friends tweeting friends) meant probably that the coolest people arrived earliest — which is an in real life example of the social filter beating out Google’s policies (represented by the bouncer/list keeprr).

    Best,

    Gib

    PS: AltaVista is always on my list for Babelfish, which seems slightly better at translation than Google’s tools.

    PS2: relegate is a great word.

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