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Hey, wait a second: Why am I the only one working at SXSW? For everyone else in the Valley, the Austin conference is just a sanctioned spring break party. Clearly, I'm an idiot. I just spent three hours snapping photographs at SXSW's Bit 16 opening-night afterparty, without so much as a beer touching my hands. The Scoot Inn, a dingy dive bar east of downtown, hosted the event. I ran into Julia Allison first thing. I heard Kevin Rose was there, too, but I never spotted him. (Curious.) I chatted up Automattic's Matt Mullenweg, and Mashable's Pete Cashmore, as well as Glenda Bautista, Mullenweg's ballsy Bronx belle (pictured here with friends). It was a good time. But the ROI on SXSWi? Hard to spot, if you don't run an Austin bar, restaurant, or convention center.

I took this up with Sarah Lacy, who was on hand — finally, someone else at work! — filming for Yahoo Tech Ticker. I asked her, do people come to SXSW and party because they're too busy when they're home to go out and socialize? "No," laughed Lacy. "They're partying at home, too." There goes that theory. Pictures from the party: