I wanted to attend two different events on U St dealing with social media, but ended up only stopping by each due to time constraints and prior commitments. No video yet, as I’ve got some equipment on order.
I first swing by the DC Social Media meetup on the roof of Lost Society, the city’s newest upscale bar/lounge/roofdeck, at 14th & U. From the looks of things, 6:30 was too early to catch much of a crowd, seeing as how 250 RSVP’d yes on the Facebook invite, but only about 30 were there. Because the other event I had in mind was a discussion, I decided not to stick around this event, in order to catch the programming. From the photos posted by the organizer, it looks like it didn’t get that full, so I’ll most likely devote more time to attending the next one. I generally won’t be writing about straight networking meetups, since they are only events in the loosest sense of the word. Lost Society itself is the type of venue that is very nice to look out and comfortable if not full, but I can see the place being loud and crowded Thurs-Sat, and therefore not much good for conversation, generally.
The other event was across the street, hosted by the DC Arts & Humanities Council, and the last in a series of four discussions called “Dishing the Dirt on DC”. This one was a panel on the ABC’s of blogging, with 4 practitioners on a panel and about 50 attendees on the closed in roof of Tabaq. Two of the bloggers, Dan Silverman of Prince of Petworth, and Philippa Houghs of the Pink Line Project, do it full time, while the other two, Rachael King, and Amy Melrose who runs my favorite, Free In DC, get some financial benefit out of their site, but not enough to being collecting “full-time money.” Of the 20 minutes I caught before leaving, that was probably the most interesting aspect – a few folks invented a media outlet for themselves that eventually pays their bills.
Otherwise, the information imparted early on was more or less what you’d expect. The blogs were started out of some necessity in the author’s life and became successful largely due to timing and niche. PoP is probably the most intriguing success story, since it’s both expanded outside of its original intended neighborhood, and because it relies a bit too much on the “here’s a thing, what do you think?” mechanism in its posts. FreeInDC has got to be the most remarkably straightforward idea that no one had previous to its founding, born out of a sensible frugality. Pink Line Project now produces events, which illustrates that a successful media venture of any ilk can be parlayed into something bigger and more proactive. Had I stayed for Q&A, I could have better evaluated how good the event was overall.