VideoNuze VideoSchmooze, Hudson Theatre, New York
October 13, 2009
I always approach an event that is fearless in declaring itself a "schmooze" with trepidation. The word alone barfs up images of three-piece suits, power ties, leering men with bad teeth and worse breath, and women in tailored suits backed into corners by schmoozers struggling to secretly remove their weddings rings. Luckily, I've just got an overactive imagination; last night's VideoSchmooze event: "2009 Broadband Video Leadership Evening," hosted by VideoNuze Editor and Publisher Will Richmond, wasn't creepy at all.
First of all, this event drew quite the social/tech media journo crew. MediaPost's own Gavin O'Malley was there, hunting for an outlet for his plug, Contentinople's Ryan Lawler was talking biz and taking notes, I saw New York Times TV and digital media reporter, Brian Stelter (never met him, just recognize hin from photos). Just before the panel got down to business, the bearded and spiky-coiffed Brian Morrissey, Digital Editor at Adweek, sashayed in, missing the schmoozefest completely. I guess the panel of Dina Kaplan , COO and co-founder, blip.tv; George Kliavkoff, EVP & Deputy Group Head, Hearst Entertainment & Syndication (and formerly Chief Digital Officer, NBCU); Perkins Miller, SVP, Digital Media and GM, NBCU Sports & Olympics; and Matt Strauss, SVP, New Media, Comcast, pulled 'em in like gummy sweet flypaper, although at 2:05p.m today I can't find a peep online about the night.
The Horn Group crew of Ben "Don't call me Bill or Barbera" Billingsley, Evan Goldberg, Nate Hermes (the new Joe Ciarallo, who is now full-time editor of Mediabistro's PRNewser), Nicole Matthews, and Susan Turner helped usher people through the check-in line and into the event. Each guest received one drink ticket, and after that it was a cash bar. Dear [whatever deity or nondeity you care to insert], NYC drink prices are ridiculous. How about throwing professional events a little bone, Millenium Broadway, and chopping those 9-buck beers down? Sheesh.
After spying Ryan Lawler, I met Travis McElfresh, VP, Technology for Onecast, Inc., which he described as "The Hulu for news." That's great if a person knows what Hulu is in the first place, but Travis obviously knows his audience -- this WAS a video schmooze, not a flipbook schmooze. Anyway, Onecast has a bunch of partnerships with outlets, which means you can catch headlines on your Android device, iPhone, or the Webby Web that you may have missed -- or if that's just the way you prefer to consume. Of course, because I have a BlackBerry, I'm never high priority (thanks BlackBerry!), so a BlackBerry (that, of course, supports video) version will be available in two weeks. Maybe BlackBerry's new tagline should be "BlackBerry: you get it way later than everyone else." McElfresh was there with his partner in crime, Anthony Bontrager, President at Onecast, Inc.
I saw some blast-from-the-interviewing-past faces in the form of Michael Chin, SVP at KickApps, and Alex Blum, CEO of KickApps, and also met the mPoint, Inc. crew, who seemed confused by my photo direction. I think I might make people nervous. That's the social side of the night for you! I was about to suggest you head to Twitter search and type in the hashtag for the evening, #vidschmze, to see what the Twittering few were saying, but shocker of all shockers, archived (from the night before?!) tweets are "temporarily unavailable"
One more thing. Has anyone else noticed that everyone starts their "you might not like what I'm about to say" statement with an Obama-eque "look"? He might consider copyrighting/trademarking that and kick-starting his T-shirt business.
Also, if you hadn't noticed - today's captions were written by MediaPost's body language expert. Or me. What should tomorrow's theme be? Give me ideas in the comments section!