As soon as I checked in, Maryam pulled out a huge roll of bills and began pulling out fives and 10s. It turns out she was giving visitors $25 apiece for cab fare. I thanked her and declined the offer.
Inside there was a TV playing back video of a Bill Gates interview, an open bar and buffet, a bedroom with Xboxes running on big screens and a dining room table filled with bloggers. About 15 of the 30 or so people there were blogging, and I saw three using what appeared to be the notorious Acer Ferrari laptops.
(Microsoft’s press team didn’t send one to me, by the way, and I wouldn’t keep it if it did. I do get loaner products to review sometimes but I don’t keep them.)
The Bloghaus was sponsored by Scoble’s new employer, Podtech, and companies including Seagate. Microsoft promotional materials were all over the place as well.
Everyone seemed nice and most were having fun — much more fun the roomful of sweating, stressing reporters jockeying for space in the CES press room. But it felt like I was back in college and had stumbled into the wrong frat house.