Web 2.0 was a schwagfest. Welcome back to the bubble! Please put the foosball table into the break room.
The sachel is not what I was expecting, but more useful, as it turns out, because the shoulder strap on my beloved and near-antique Adobe bag, which I’ve been carrying around since Adobe bought Aldus in 1994, broke on the second day of the conference. And it’s a whole lot flashier than the cotton sacks they used for Etech and the MySQL conference.
The wifi-finder would appear to be a smart choice for the Web 2.0 crowd, but I haven’t actually taken it out of its package yet. It’s useful, but not immediately so. I already know there’s a wifi network in my house.
Akamai’s binder clip, if that is in fact what this thing is, is a hilarious choice. Because, you know, nothing screams “high-speed, high-availability, globally distributed content delivery network” like a binder clip.
The tin of mints from Outcast PR was purely a selfish choice, I think. The Outcast reps were on a mission to sign up as many clients as possible. This meant talking to as many attendees as possible, at length, and shaking hundreds of hands. They probably considered issuing commemorative Web 2.0 Alcohol Swabs too.
Microsoft bought everyone dinner, and put a card worth $20 in free music downloads at every place. I left mine behind. I couldn’t think of $20 worth of music I was eager to get, especially not when I’d have to sell my soul to get it.
Google’s two contributions are utterly useless, but were the most talked-about items of the conference. Who ever heard of faux ice cubes? They’re not cold, but they light up. They represent an unequivocal victory of form over function, yet conference attendees left with pockets bulging (and glowing). OK, maybe that was just me.
The handheld fan is the least-effective fan I’ve ever seen. But! The blade lights up and makes cool geometric patterns as it spins. Who doesn’t need one of these? I ask you.
Read more on conference schwag from Robert Kaye.