Geeks Never Partied in High School? Pfft. TechSet Sets the SXSW Party Standard at Speakeasy

Categories: SXSW, Tech

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Shannon Cottrell
Baratunde Thurston, Brian Solis, Nicole Jordan, Krystyl Baldwin, Melissa Jun Rowley, and Robert Scoble posing pretty at TechSet party

After a day of panels, (some painful, some filled with win), tech club reunions, impromptu hotel lobby drinkups and unconference geek-out sessions, South by Southwest Interactive nightlife officially kicked off with the return of the TechSet Party at downtown Austin's tri-level roaring '20s-themed hot spot, Speakeasy. Always fashionable but never late, we arrived at 7:00 PM sharp to be graciously greeted by the soiree's purple-feather-boaed host, new media expert Brian Solis. The previous night Solis mentioned the event was going to have a "Lady Gaga feel." It didn't, but feather boas and shutter shades always make for nice liquid courage enhancers, which as we all know, geeks rely on more than anything on occasions like this.

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Shannon Cottrell
​As we made our way through the bottom level, a rising crowd of techies
began to shuffle in, ready to get their drink on and devour some sweetly saturated Austin-styled fried goodness. While the whole happy-hour vibe in the first room was quite quaint and nerdy, we were in the mood for some swank and sex. So we sauntered to the back lounge where Britney Spears' pumped through the speakers, and lingerie-clad waitresses set the tone. For a second, we thought one of the servers was our favorite Los Angeles-based sex columnist AV Flox, but that would have been too good to be true.


At first, we felt like we'd found a gold mine because we had the entire area to ourselves, but eventually we started to get antsy and wondered where the hell everyone was. Three flights of stairs and multiple pairs of burning quads later, we made it to the rooftop level and found our swank and sex. Vibrations of the first danceable music we'd heard all night and elevated go-go dancers marked the scene. Beautiful men and women, publicly on the prowl, schmoozed, thew back, and bounced to the beat. (And I didn't catch any glimpses of the white man's overbite.)

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Shannon Cottrell
Alana Joy

The usual suspects, social media influencers Stephanie Michaels, Robert Scoble, Cathy Brooks, Jeremiah Owyang, and party co-host Stephanie Agresta, and a slew of others made their way up the stairs throughout the night and all came full circle. But for every good conference party there is another party that could be better. So after going through the three stages of saying goodbye, we exited stage left and headed out to our next destination.

Favorite OH of the party: "The geeks on the first floor never partied or got any in high school, so they're trying to make up for it now, even though they're like 35."

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Shannon Cottrell
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Shannon Cottrell
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Shannon Cottrell
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Shannon Cottrell
Francisco Dao and Nicole Jordan

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