The Shorty Awards, Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn
February 11, 2009
I almost made this the first 140 character long JAOLM. But I've got way too much to say about the little event that could -- a who's who and who's not and who doesn't care if they're a who of the Twitter world. Who are these people who dish about their work, their days, their lunch, their sex lives, their causes, their sneakers, their exes, their passions, their hair, their bald heads, their apps, and their chiseled abs? They're just people like you and me. Well, some are people like MCHammer and the bassist from AFI, who are a lot cooler than me. Either way, we're all winners even though some are officially Shorty Award winners: people who excel at producing short content on Twitter.
I don't think Manhattan self-quarantiners know how easy it is to drop into DUMBO. The F unloaded me in less than 20 minutes. There was already a small line outside of the Galapagos Art Space and grumbling had begun from early arrivers like Nichelle Stephens, who "...knew this was going to be a cluster___." I ran inside when it was announced press could enter and immediately found Danielle Nuzzo from Porter Novelli, whom I had just met the night before at the I Heart PRNewser party. She scooted me, Gaetano Pollice, and John Capone (both put lots of elbow grease into Media and OMMA magazines) in quickly.
There really was food! One should never assume that when food is mentioned it will actually appear. There were tiny sandwiches and crunchy things to dip in saucy things. Unfortunately, the food was laid out at the entrance, making the constant deluge of people pile up at the list station, getting snagged like trout in the food station, and then plop out sweatily at the coat check, which then turned the area into a grunting, grousing swarm of twits. It's OK to call them twits, it's a person who tweets on Twitter. Anyone have a shotgun? It's for me for saying all those ridiculous words. You know who wouldn't miss me? The film crew from Brazil.
Why? Because after I grabbed a picture of Noah Mallin (@nmallin) and Anthony Iaffaldano (@Brooklahn) I jogged to the front of the stage to grab a shot of Greg Galant (@gregory... who also seems not to remember me every time I see him. Odd, that) at the podium and tripped on something. It was a foot. I turned around and saw a dude with a big fuzzy mic lounging against a booth. I apologized, inched out, took a picture, and stood there. I felt a tap and turned around and came face to face with an angerball. "!@#$ you" said the man with the video camera whom I had not seen sunk low in the settee behind fuzzy mic guy.
I was stunned, so I returned his sentiments and moved back into the crowd a little. Angerball lurched from his seat, stalked around Fuzzy Mic, glared into my eyes, pointed his finger almost into my nose (which could have been helpful, I've been very stuffed up) and said "You can go $#% yourself for standing in front of my camera for so long." "I didn't do it purposefully!" I croaked. It's shocking that a stranger would talk to me, to anyone, like that, and I was floored.
As I retold the story to Joe Ciarallo (@joeciarallo), Brett Petersel (@brett), and Nick McGlynn (@nmcglynn -- who was also there shooting) the reaction was indignant, but I did find a few journalists in the crowd who blew it off as status quo for media. I don't accept that.
This was the Shorty Awards, a fun event celebrating the power of 140 characters and organic formation of weird vertical relationships. If you miss your shot, no one dies. If you aren't positioned right, you don't step on a landmine. If you don't get footage of Rick Sanchez lulling partygoers into an alcho-nap, no one in your family dies. Perspective, people, please.
This black hole of horrible human nature did not taint my night as I captured Matman (@Matman) whispering sweet nothings into Toby Daniel's (@tobyd) ear and met Dario and Dave of the newly renamed @hootsuite (it was @britekit), winners in the Best App category. I spied a bow tie and darted behind the audio booth to gently harass the wearer who turned out to be Hunter Burgen, bassist for AFI. He and his dapper fedora-topped pal were keeping to themselves until I assaulted them, completely unaware of who Hunter was. Just imagine asking a dude in a successful band what instrument he plays and if it's a local band and then eat your own face. It's how I preferred to disappear at that time.
Instead, I ran away and found Martin Sargent (@martinsargent) who won in the "weird" category. Around the corner from Martin came the adorable duo of Alyssa Galella and M Rinklin. We involved a mystery fellow in our conversation before realizing he was Daniel Latorre (@danlatorre), Social Media Product management at Scholastic.com.
I don't need to run down the list of winners for you -- you can find them here -- but I will say that I have never enjoyed @MCHammer more. The popular opinion was that he should have hosted the entire event -- he was so charismatic, humble, and genuinely excited about being involved in the scene. Overall the night was fun, the space was a little small, but full of personality, and 99% of the people were just there to party.
AND while there was a dark patch, I now have a great story about how I was cursed out by a Brazilian film crew on my 32nd birthday.
Big party plans? Send invitations to firstname.lastname@example.org