Last night I attended a big social media gathering at MCCXXIII (1223 for those not into roman numerals) on Connecticut Avenue. It was pulled together quickly by Robert Scoble, noted tech blogger and roving fastcompanyTV producer. He hooked up with Andrew Feinberg of Capitalvalley.net to preach the gospel of new media to Capitol Hill. Gary Vaynerchuk of winelibrary.tv joined them to throw a “Wine, Politics and Geeks” party Wednesday: http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/769544/
Thanks to them all for a fun event and to Gary specifically for some pretty drinkable free wine. Gary was there, but I didn’t see Scoble or Feinberg. I really wanted to hear first hand what kind of reception they got on the Hill, what specifically might come from it, etc. I’m sure he’ll write it up soon. Here’s how Robert describes the trip — pretty impressive itinerary of stops:
Tonight my 14-year-old son, Rocky (my producer), and I leave SFO to start what is bound to be one of the most interesting weeks in our lives. One thing we’re going to try to do is bring you along whenever possible. Before I get to that, though, I can’t say thank you enough to Andrew Feinberg of Capitol Valley.net and Washington Internet Daily enough for getting us into see some really interesting people. He, and his team, have been doing all sorts of work with us for months to make this trip happen and he’s been doing it for free without any expectation of anything in return. Unbelieveable guy and team and all of us at FastCompany greatly appreciate his partnership.
TUESDAY: Most of these interviews will be 15 minutes and we’ll be literally running from one interview to the next. I am not sure which ones I’ll be able to Qik, but we’ll try to Qik at least some of them:
- We have the morning mostly free to get acclimated and get our press passes and all that.
- Noon. Senator Tom Coburn. (R-OK)
- 1:30 p.m. Rep. George Miller (D-CA)
- 2:30 p.m. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Speaker of the House.
- 3 p.m. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
- 4:30 p.m. Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)
- Private dinner to thank Andy Feinberg and his team for planning this schedule, then a night-time photowalk of the Washington Mall.
- 11 a.m. Kyle McSlarrow, President of National Cable and Telecommunications Association.
- Noon Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL)
- 1 p.m. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA)
- 2 p.m. FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein (D)
- 4:30 Erik Stallman (Tech Counsel to Rep. Zoe Lofgren)
- 6 p.m. Party with Gary Vaynerchuk and Jim Long (about 200 already signed up).
Even if Robert didn’t make that last stop on Wednesday, the gathering demonstrated the vitality of the local DC tech scene. (Despite what the Wash Post may say: http://cparente.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/is-somethin-lacking-in-the-dc-tech-scene-or-the-coverage/) And the power of social networking — it was pulled together with very little advance notice, then promoted via Facebook, Twitter, etc.
It was a strange sensation standing in line to get in at 6:15 on a Wednesday with the sun still shining. I joked with others in line they better make this line move, with all the people using Twitter at this event they could have a “digital riot” if the wait was too long. Maybe the club thought that too, since then the line started moving and we all jammed in.
I ran into loads of developers, evanglists and contractors, most of them very excited about the changes taking place locally. Companies and organizations are realizing they need to think about communicating in different ways, and they are allocating budget and resources to make it happen. And they need help, which last night’s attendees are only too happy to provide. I took a few shots to try and convey the scene.
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