Reporter’s Notebook: At the D conference, D is for digital dons

Carlsbad, California: Every year for past five years, Wall Street Journal columnists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher put on the swankest show in tech, the D conference. It is a carefully curated gathering of some of the most famous (infamous) and the powerful names from the world of technology, finance and media.

The conference, now in its fifth year, kicks off tomorrow, though the pre-conference festivities didn’t take long to get into full swing. Just walking the lobbies and sitting at various lounges at the Four Seasons Resort, even my jaded eyes were rather impressed by the attendees. Is that John Chambers walking by, looking elegant in his immaculately tailored suit?

What is Jim ‘Facebook’ Breyer (Accel Partners) talking about with Frank Quattrone? A new private equity fund perhaps – after all it is the in-thing to do these days. Sling Media’s Blake Kerkorian, is deep in conversation with someone, looking as if MLB threw him a sinker. Maybe he should have commiserated with a clean shaven Mike Ramsay Ramsey of TiVo!

The bulge bracket venture funds are well represented, and so are the media folks. Ariaana Huffington was busy schmoozing, promoting her blog network’s new focus on business. Quincy ‘CBS’ Smith is here with his posse – of course talking about Jay-Z.

And this is before even the stars of the show even got there. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are all set to make a joint appearance tomorrow late in the evening. But before all that happens – Palm is going to announce a new device, Steve Jobs will keynote and Steve Ballmer will share his thoughts. In short, a busy day ahead with lot of work!