That was the rallying cry for the Reddit party in New York's East Village on Saturday night, the latest stop on the social news site's "Drankkit World Tour 2007"--an event series that has made it to San Francisco and Boston so far, with Toronto, Chicago, D.C., and a few others still to come. The Gotham installment took place in a woefully undersized Alphabet City dive called The Hanger Bar, and was not-so-woefully under-publicized. Reddit had reason to keep the rabble out.
That's because the beer was free all night long. Guess that's what happens when Conde Nast snatches you up.
There were no costumes involved, unlike the Boston Reddit party on Halloween, Most of the people in the crowd were avid Reddit members who'd put their usernames on their name tags; they seemed to be a quirky and sociable bunch, and a few people remarked that they'd be interested in seeing what the demographic differences would be if a similar party were thrown by Reddit rival Digg. (Who knows?) Reddit founders Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian were actively talking to their guests and keeping the scene at the bar under control (Ohanian wanted to give the bartenders a hand, but the establishment's rules banned him from getting behind the tap).
Also spotted: Alley social fixtures Nate Westheimer of BricaBox and Michael Galpert of Worth1000 were making the rounds--it's tough to show up at a New York tech event and not run into either or both of those guys. Gawker Media's Scott Kidder was also there, attempting to dissuage rumors that his employer's "Guide to Conquering All Media" had been selling rather poorly.
Iminlikewithyou.com founder Charles Forman was making quite the social splash, wearing a name tag that said "Mark Zuckerberg" and passing out obscenely large business cards that got everybody's attention. Some interesting developments for his aesthetically impressive social networking experiment, like games and some taggable videos, are on the way.
When asked "How's business?" Forman replied, "What business?" with a laugh. If only the rest of New York could be so laid back.
A couple of local music start-up execs were in the house too, with social radio site Jango and music blog hub The Hype Machine representing. Hype Machine co-founder Anthony Volodkin was getting some light-hearted jabs for the sociological disconnect between his trademark shoulder-length hippie hair and the slick BlackBerry he kept checking for new messages. Someone told Volodkin that he should make an appareance in one of those BlackBerry ad campaigns that attempts to deconstruct the brand's uber-corporate image. You heard it here first.
The hot trend in New York's digital scene: operating a Tumblr blog. The homegrown start-up, fresh off a relaunch and new venture cash, is the latest cool way to waste time and share too much information with your friends.
The Reddit party might've seemed like a small dotcom event, but there were a few reminders of Reddit's parent company--namely, a handful of "Nasties" in the crowd. Kourosh Karimkhany, general manager of Wired Digital (the Conde Nast division that owns Reddit), was around, as was Ted Nadeau, general manager of CondeNet, the media conglomerate's Internet division. There were also two Portfolio.com bloggers bantering about, like, the economy, or disgraced Wall Street honchos, or something like that. (Dude! It's a dotcom party! You're supposed to talk about nerdier things!)
I wasn't the only press in the house. Valleywag's local "Alleywag," Nicholas Carlson, was carrying around an imposing SLR camera and attempting to capture any potentially scandalous moments--of which there weren't many, except when a drunken brawl reportedly almost materialized outside the bar, but nobody's really sure whether that was directly related to the Reddit event anyway. We were sad that nobody from the Silicon Alley Insider was around, because then we'd have a three-way race to see who could get a quality blog recap up first.
Vimeo founder (and Tumblr investor) Jakob Lodwick and videoblogging Star magazine editor-at-large Julia Allison are indeed dating again, for the record. Lodwick reported that Vimeo's foray into high-definition Web video has been going extremely well, and that the Connected Ventures brand is considering a white-label initiative so that businesses as well as lip-dubbing hipsters could take advantage of the video-sharing technology. We also talked about 20th-century Russian literature. Don't ask.
Speaking of novelty business cards, Julia Allison's take the cake: pink, with "Julia" in a handwriting-style font on one side and the URL of her personal Web site on the other. You know, I've been thinking. That really ought to be my new goal in life: get my name recognition so high that I can carry around bright red business cards that say "Caroline" in a Roy Lichtenstein-worthy comic book font, and have everybody know exactly who I am.
Then I'll know I've made it in the big city.