Internet Week New York's party scene off to a testosterone-fueled start
Thrillist and Digg both threw the first two massive parties of the week, one of which featured '90s nostalgia and the other of which featured lots of dudes.
NEW YORK--Predatory women of the Samantha Jones variety would've done well to hightail it to Brooklyn on Wednesday night. Social news site Digg took over the massive Studio B nightclub for an Internet Week New York party and live taping of the Diggnation video podcast, and the place was filled almost exclusively with men under the age of 30. There were more getting turned away at the door. Ladies, I'm sure they could've used some hugs.
It was an event that the Silicon Alley Insider's Dan Frommer described as "two thousand sweaty dudes in a room in (the Brooklyn neighborhood) Williamsburg, paying $6 a beer to watch Digg founder Kevin Rose and sidekick Alex Albrecht perform 'Diggnation' live." There were also a few announcements: sister company Revision3 Networks has picked up the popular video show Epic Fu, and New York is officially Digg's biggest market with over a million visitors a month.
(Side note: Maybe that's why it's so infamously hard to find single men in New York. They're all sitting at their laptops hitting the Digg button on every story about the iPhone they can find.)
Kevin Rose was also completely hounded by fanboys with cameras after the Diggnation taping, something usually reserved for female tech celebrities. He retreated to a back room where he was spotted among digerati buddies like wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk, who was reportedly behind the presence of several bottles of Diggnation-branded wine.
Earlier that night I'd stopped by the Hiro Ballroom nightclub for another Internet Week soiree thrown by newsletter start-up Thrillist, which has the kind of wild-party reputation in New York that Yelp does in San Francisco. There was a '90s-vintage "Information Superparty" theme, which meant that everyone got to bounce around to "Gettin' Jiggy With It" and "Steal My Sunshine" while a VJ mixed visual accompaniments of Lewinsky-era Bill Clinton and Web 1.0 AOL IM conversations. (There's a backstory to the AOL homages: Thrillist co-founder Ben Lerer is the son of former AOL exec Ken Lerer, and the start-up is part of the Pilot Group, the investment firm run by ex-AOL president Bob Pittman.)
While it's geared toward the "dude" market that Digg has captured, Thrillist managed to pack its party with a far more mixed-gender crowd. Good show, fellows, good show.