On Wednesday, two luminaries of the social media scene, Robert Scoble and Gary Vaynerchuk or “Gary V”, came into town for a small get together that quickly exploded into a 500-person party at the club MCCXXIII (1223) on Connecticut Ave in Northwest DC. A swanky place usually filled with Euro-hipsters and famous athletes with lots of bottles of Krystal for sale, it became the “domain of the geeks” for the night. But with Gary V’s free supply of quality wine from his business (WineLibrary.com) the sober masses got their drink on at no cost. Quickly, the night got wild and nerdy because that is the way we roll.
For those of you not familiar with our out-of-town rock stars, Robert Scoble is a former Microsoft evangelist that made his name with his blog “Scobleizer” that treated Microsoft and other technology topics without bias and because he was very vocal and early to the game he grew a large following. During that time he co-authored the book “Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers” with Shel Israel. He eventually left Microsoft to be part of the PodTech management team and really helped pioneer the video podcasting field. He currently works for Fast Company as a video blogger for their new property “FastCompany.TV”
Gary Vaynerchuk or “Gary V” as he is known to almost everyone the owner of WineLibrary.com and does an awesome video podcast show called WineLibraryTV. According to Wikipedia, “Vaynerchuk gained widespread notoriety as the host of Wine Library TV, a daily internet webcast on the subject of wine. Vaynerchuk’s informal, “hyperkinetic”, and “disarmingly honest” style described as “unpretentious, gonzo approach to wine appreciation” is in contrast to conservative wine industry norms, but resonates with a younger demographic and has found a significant following among groups who have previously found the wine-world inaccessible. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, GQ, and Time, appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Ellen, WLTV has been called “must-see underground TV”, while Vaynerchuk himself has been described as “the first wine guru of the Web video era”, and by Rob Newsom, a Washington State wine maker, “outside of Robert Parker, probably the most influential wine critic in the United States.”
The event started up with a massive influx of people from all over the DC metro (MD-DC-VA) region and it quickly swelled to 500 people taking over the top two floors of the venue. They drank, networked, smoozed and twittered the event for a play-by-play of the people showing up and the topics floating around the room. This mix of people included congressional aides, FCC people, new media consultants, bloggers, podcasters, software developers and of course Scoble and Gary V fans.
The thing that people seemed to get from the event is that the DC area is growing in its presence as a Web and Social Media 2.0 hub and that people will always come for good free wine and great conversation no matter where the venue is in the area.
We are looking forward to having them come back in the area for another get together that will probably need a bigger place to accommodate a sold out crowd and more wine to keep us feeling classy. Thanks to Frank Gruber of AOL for helping get the venue on such short notice and Scoble and Gary for stopping by. You stay classy DC…
Here are a few shots that Shashi took at the event:
Credit: Shashi Bellamkonda