Learning the ropes at Tech Cocktail DC

Tech Cocktail DC last night was tons of fun and I found myself networking with some great people. I met up with Shashi Bellamkonda again and finally got to meet Mashable’s own Adam Ostrow. It was pretty cool finally meeting these people and talking to them as opposed to just simply viewing Twitter updates. I think one of the great things about these types of events are the demos and the free giveaways that exhibitors have :). If you want to try and get in on the ground level for these new applications, then this is a prime opportunity.

Last night’s event featured exhibitors from Network Solutions, AOL, WhyGoSolo, AwayFind, and Aequitas Technologies, along with several others. I learned a great deal especially about how Network Solutions is branching out to offer more services to its customers to try and increase their market share. From my conversations, it seemed that they’re just inching into the “traditional” online marketing arena like SEO, SEM, website design, etc. and not entirely set on trying to encroach on the social media side. But what’s good is that you can have that one-stop shop for all your web needs – buy your domain and have Network Solutions build your site and generate traffic for you. No need to have a separate agency do the work for you.

There were a few applications that I don’t think I personally would buy into kind of stuck in the back of my mind. I know that AOL is developing a bunch of social media tools to try and reach to the masses, but there was one that was far-fetched. Pixnay is one such application. The point of this site is to allow the “community” to vote on two individuals to see who’s “hot or not”. This is something that I’m not sure how people could easily adopt. Why would someone choose to join a social networking just to help pick the prettiest of two people? There’s no user-generated community sharing of information aside from offering opinions why someone looks better in a swimsuit, suit & tie, dress, or who looks the sluttiest. Yes, the site has functionality, but I’m not seeing what the marketing plan would be to offer services to the community to promote sharing – beyond your pictures. Perhaps Pixnay will take away all those spammers that are on Myspace…you know, the ones that ask to be your friend and only offer webcam videos of them acting skanky.

Tech Cocktail DC was really cool and more socialable than I thought. Conversations were abundant and I got to meet plenty of people. Kudos to Eric Olson and Frank Gruber for setting up a great event. Too bad I wasn’t able to get any videos or pictures of the events – for some reason I didn’t think that it would be good time for photos when I wanted to network instead. If you want to find photos and video from Tech Cocktail DC, try and search for “techcocktaildc” or “#techcocktaildc” on Twitter.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."