The Observer’s Guide to Geekery at Internet Week New York

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All of the city’s young digerati will be Twittering about Internet Week New York starting Monday, June 1. Expect everyone from your regular Googlers and Facebookers to College Humor’s Jake & Amir, AOL’s newly minted executive Tim Armstrong, Barry Diller, Digg’s Kevin Rose and even Al Gore out on the town.

The “week” is packed with so many Web media panels, start-up contests and boozy mixers that organizers tacked on another day for the fest. It ends on June 8 with everyone shaking off their hangovers and trading their T-shirts for suits at the 13th Annual Webby Awards, hosted by SNL’s Seth Meyers and featuring honors for Jimmy Fallon, Trent Reznor and Sir Tim Berners-Lee (he invented the Internet!).

The Observer checked in with David-Michel Davies, who is chair of Internet Week and executive director of both the Webby Awards and the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (phew!), who said he expected “north of 15,000 attendees” total to the various events. Any company or group could host an event and slap the Internet Week label on it, so the schedule is pretty packed. We asked Mr. Davies to name a few of his favorites, and added in a few of our own, too, for your own guide to getting geeky at the fest.

Monday, June 1st

The Observer is partnering with YouTube and the Webby Awards for a Kick Off party. (Full disclosure: The Observer’s publisher Jared Kushner is on Internet Week’s board.) This cocktail party is by invitation only so expect the best and the brightest to be mingling at the Puck Building starting at 8 p.m.

Everyone else will navigate through the (now car-less!) Broadway in Times Square to attend Ignite NYC, one of the week’s most popular events that features several five-minute presentations of tech and geek culture. This year, Area/Code’s Kevin Slavin,’s Rachel Sklar, PR 2.0 guru Brian Solis, Girlwonder Molly Steenson and others are slated to present. Nick Bilton, lead researcher at The New York Times’ research and development lab, will be hosting the evening’s The Ignite Film Festival Competition as well. The party starts at 7 p.m. at New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street.

Tuesday, June 2nd

For breakfast, how about a discussion on the city’s digital business and how it can save the economy? Mr. Davies will host a panel, titled Start Me Up: Investing in the Digital Industry, featuring Steven Brill, co-founder of Journalism Online; Marc Cenedella, founder of; Jalak K. Jobanputra, senior vice president of the NYC Investment Fund; and Rachel Lam, senior vice president and group managing director at Time Warner Investments, to talk about the possibilities, starting at 8 a.m. at the Time Warner Center Corporate Headquarters on 58th Street between 8th and 9th avenues.

Observer reporters will be at Start Me Up and the invite-only New York Women and New Media breakfast at Le Parker Meridien on West 56th Street, co-hosted by’s co-founder Dina Kaplan, Daily Candy’s chief operating officer Catherine Levene, Gilt Groupe’s chief executive Susan Lyne, Huffington Post chief executive Betsy Morgan, and Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the mayor’s office of film, theater, and broadcasting, this morning.

In the afternoon, stroll through the FIT Great Hall at 227 West 27th Street and see technologies built here in the city at New York Tech Meetup’s Demo Pit. They will be hosting the showcase from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Afterward, you can head over to the FIT Haft Auditorium on 27th Street between 7th and 8th avenues for the official NYTM event. Head organizer (and newly dubbed vice president of product development for AnyClip) Nate Westheimer will emcee the evening, in which entrepreneurs will present their latest projects. The lineup so far features the new State Senate Web site,, Jason Calacanis presenting—for the first time—a new version of, Aviary, Livestream / Procaster, UpNext, and MakerBot.

If that’s all geek to you, and you’re more into being a mini-Frank Bruni restaurant and business reviewer on Yelp, head over to their kick-off event for Yelp Passport to Chelsea, a week-long party with Chelsea’s local businesses wooing opinionated online reviewers with discounts to restaurants and local shops. At the kick-off, participants can pick up their passes and gift bags and get a tour of the Chelsea Art Museum, at 160 11th Avenue, where the event takes place starting at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 3rd

At 9:25 a.m., at the all-day Creativity and Technology (CaT) gathering at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, some of The New York Times’ brightest minds, including Mr. Bilton, along with the’s senior software architect, Derek Gottfrid, will speak on “The New Old Media,” according to the schedule. Expect them to show off some of The Times’ latest online projects and experiments with monetization.

Silicon Alley Insider is hosting an all-day conference and start-up contest at Startup 2009, beginning at 8 a.m. at NYU’s Stern School Shimmel Hall, 40 West Fourth Street. Speakers include Facebook (META) co-founder and Obama boy Chris Hughes; Mr. Calacanis; John Battelle, former chief executive of Industry Standard and founder of Federated Media; and AlleyCorp chief executive Kevin Ryan, among others.

Al Gore, College Humor’s Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld and MTV’s Tom Green will be speaking at the Digitas’ Digital Content NewFronts 2009 (kinda like a Web version of TV’s upfronts). Only folks with an invite will be allowed into Skylight Gallery, 275 Hudson Street, for the event, but you can watch via live webcast starting at 11:30 a.m.

Mashable founder Pete Cashmore will be speaking on Social Media Marketing at 92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street, along with Steve Rubel, senior vice president and director of insights for Edelman Digital, starting at 6 p.m.

Consider sneaking out early at 7 p.m. to head over to New Work City, 200 Varick Street in Suite 507B, for the Summer of Gov presentation, hosted by Matt Cooperrider and featuring the best local open government projects. Or, for a sillier affair, slip on your Sperry Top-Siders and try the College Humor and Guest of a Guest Yacht Rock party at the Hotel on Rivington Penthouse, 107 Rivington Street, starting at 8 p.m. We hope the DJ drops lots of Hall & Oates.

Thursday, June 4th

Barry Diller will be welcoming former Googler and current AOL executive Tim Armstrong and News Corp.’s new digital head Jon Miller at the Founders Club’s invitation-only party at a private rooftop garden overlooking Rockefeller Center.

Starting at 7 p.m., a bunch of geeky stuff will be happening at Webby Webster Hall, where there will be a live taping of Diggnation, hosted by’s Kevin Rose and Alex Abrecht. If the Digg fanboys get overwhelming, head to Thrillist’s “The Internet Is Out of Control” party at 8 p.m. at M2, 530 West 28th Street. Gawker is hosting one of their signature boozy rooftop parties for the Interactive Advertising Bureau at their 210 Elizabeth Street headquarters at the same time.

Friday, June 5th

PSFK, a Web site for ideas and new trends, is hosting a Good Ideas in Collaboration Salon, in which entrepreneurs and creative professionals can mix and mingle. Speakers include Mike Brown Jr. of Virgin Group; Ben Lerer, founder of Thrillist; Sam Lessin, chief executive of; and Mr. Westheimer of AnyClip and NYTM. The salon starts at 3 p.m. at the Art Directors Club, 106 West 29th Street.

The evenings main shmoozing and boozing event will be the Webutante Ball, a “classy prom” hosted by Jessica Amason, lead blogger at and columnist for, and Gawker’s cameraman Richard Blakeley. There’s an open bar with free vodka for an hour, starting at 6 p.m., and a Webutante King and Queen will be crowned ($20 on Rex Sorgatz?). You can vote here. Arrive in formal attire at the Empire Hotel, 44 West 63rd Street, 12th Floor, for the rooftop party by 6 p.m. From the invite: “Eat your heart out Chuck Bass: we may not have private planes, but we’ve got Twitter and we’ve got style.”

Sunday, June 7th

Time for Twiffleball! Angelwish and Social Media for Social Change (SM4SC) are co-hosting a Wiffleball tournament between eight teams. All proceeds will benefit Angelwish, which provides easy ways for people to grant wishes to millions of kids living with H.I.V./AIDS around the world. You’ll have to roll out of bed early to show up for the 9:30 a.m. start at Adolph Ochs Playground, 440 West 53rd Street.

Reward your Wiffling with a cocktail and meet Barely Political’s Obama Girl at M1-5, 52 Walker Street, for Next New Networks’ $99 Music Videos Season 1 Wrap party.  The show hooked up indie bands with video artists to create music videos shot in one day, with just $99. Party starts at 7 p.m.

Monday, June 8th

Tonight is, of course, the finale, The 13th Annual Webby Awards Gala, which will feature lots of nominees and honorees walking a red carpet at Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall Street, starting at 5:30 p.m. for cocktails before the big show, which begins at 7 p.m. Special guests will include honorees NIN’s Trent Reznor, Late Night’s Jimmy Fallon, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, comedy gals Lisa Kudrow and Sarah Silverman and Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane. Cheers, Webby Winners.

The Observer’s Guide to Geekery at Internet Week New York