New York City is known for its culture, its cuisine, and its natives’ ability to curse in multiple languages. It’s less known that The Big Apple also has a burgeoning tech industry. But we New Yawkers have something that Silicon Valley or Redmond does not: We have Internet Week, a festival for the digerati and the people who love them.
The fifth annual Internet Week, which will take place from May 14-May 21, is a chance for the interconnected to meet in meatspace. It’s more than a collection of technical lectures: In its way, it’s a homage to New York City, the mecca of the financial, advertising, and fashion industries. David-Michel Davies, co-founder of Internet Week and the executive director of the Webby Awards, said that the event is a “place for all these [people] to come together, rather than being siloed into these industry verticals.” In other words, Internet Week is a way to bring every single one of industries together in a fun way that’s accessible to the public.
The words “industries” and “fun” in the same sentence? I wasn’t sure it was possible either until a saw a listening for panel about food blogging called TECHMunch, a panel with tastings. TECHMunch—a play on the start-up website, TechCrunch, but obviously yummier.
Internet Week is serious about the “accessible” too. In the spirit of crowdsourcing, seven the panels were chosen by vote at the MakeTheStage website. These panels are there because you put them there.
Although almost 70 of the 200+ events will be held at Internet Week’s headquarters on 82 Mercer Street—and a $60 pass will get you unlimited attendance for all five days at that location—the rest will be spread over venues across New York City. Locations include the Soho Gallery for Digital Art (an exhibition on the art of iPhone/iPad apps); Heartland Brewery (a look at planning tools through beer goggles); and the World Financial Center Winter Garden (a music and video exhibition); and many others.
As for the non-Mercer St events, most are free, but they require RSVPs. Only few, such as the Last.FM concert, will cost you. But no matter what, it’s better if you get yourself signed up ASAP.
And if you don’t, you may be missing speakers such as Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s General Manager and inspiration for the movie Moneyball; Mitchell Baker, the chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation; or David Karp, founder and CEO of Tumblr.
Can’t make it to New York City? Davies says that many of these events will be streamed on the Internet Week website.
Personally, I’m seriously looking forward to Internet Week, and it’s not just because they have a Webutante Ball. Even though some of these panels look like something only a marketer could love (read the schedule of events to see what I mean), many of them, such as “Do Some Good: Looking for My Next Job,” can appeal to even to the not-so-very tech savvy.
Davies said, “There’s going to be a very interesting and diverse collection of events happening throughout the city. I really encourage people to get out there from behind their desks and enjoy some of what the Internet has to offer in the real world.”
See you there.