Last night was a book launch at a St Kilda hotel. It was a theme party so many people turned up wearing their flannelette pj's, something I declined to do. There were buff and effeminate boys dressed in shorty pyjamas and hot pink balloons, and in the corner a made-up double bed which the author retired to after his introductory comments. There he lay with his shirt off and a naughty grin like some grand nabob while the punters queued to climb in bed beside him and get the book clutched in their hands personally signed by the author.
Not really my usual crowd you might think, and true enough, but it was actually fun. I had a few drinks, snaffled my share of passing canapes, and had a few interesting conversations. The most interesting conversation was with an English guy who had similarly and thankfully abstained from the pj theme.
He was the CIO of a tech start-up with a very interesting product. I don't want to bore my readers with details of what I do for a living, but one of the areas I've been delving into recently is social networking in the business context, and more precisely what is now called collective intelligence. Of course a lot of that is pretty huge now, but by and large has yet to be properly leveraged by the community. That will come and think actually is the next big thing. This guy had a tool to facilitate that very cleverly.
We discussed that for a while, and then the general business, as well as the joys and perils of working for yourself. We agreed there was a genetic pre-disposition to be independent no matter how fraught it can be. We touched upon what I do - which is the real reason I was there, to network - and agreed to hook up putside the party. Job done I could relax and enjoy.
I'm an open minded character but the idea of climbing into bed with another guy in front of a bank of cameras didn't appeal to me, so I turned up the chance to get my book personally autographed. Instead I had another drink, another nibble, spoke to some people dressed in their smalls, then Donna arrived.
She promptly ran into a guy who had hit on her at my birthday celebrations, had gone out with once and then dumped. That was embarassing, but that that's how life works in my experience. It was fine though, all very pleasant as I stood by a head taller than the guy half an ear tuned in while I scanned the crowd. Nothing doing.
We left, a pretty pink presentation bag in our respective hands, and a late hamburger dinner in Bridge road on the cards. Another night.