Paid Content for free, Meetup for pay



Last night I attended the beginning of the Paid Content event, as well as the NY New Tech Meetup.
I met Rafat from Paid Content, and he seems like a really good guy. I do have to say, though, that the MediaBistro guys nailed the vibe pretty well with this:

We were in force — that means two of us — at the PaidContent zoofest mixer last night. Stood outside a midtown nightclub in a rope line, doing our best impression of dot-com-bubble days, then went inside and joined the crush…Ate a fig. Shook hands. Left for air. Whew.

I ran into Donna Bogatin from ZD who had this and this to say about it. It was nice catching up with Donna. Here’s my photos of the event.

A source tells me the panel didn’t go so well, as the WSJ guy kept doing long monologues. Basically I heard he talked too much. My source said it was better that I left. Sorry to hear that. I hope I can go to the next one – I had heard great things about the one with Arthur Sulzberger.

I actually didn’t check my coat (which I heard was a good move, as my source told me it took them 45 minutes to retrieve theirs) so I bolted out at about 10 before 7 to get down to the Meetup at Cooper Union.

Now, the Paid Content event was free, but the Meetup last night cost $20. Usually, one would think the opposite.

However, in this case, the folks who paid to sponsor the paid content event were not great speakers (so I hear) but the non-pay-for-play Meetup speakers were a lot of fun.

Brent Halliburton of got the crowd riled up about his WIkipedia for orgcharts. I had seen this at Web2.2, and was excited he came to NYC to demo. Urbis seemed cool.
I didn’t get Linkstorms at first, but having looked at their website, it’s more than an ad that has a DHTML or Flash menu that drops down from it. It can really help advertisers drive people to action or to new information from a very small ad (potentially) like a logo. The presenter claimed that 23% of people went through the menus, and 40% of those clicked through to somewhere else. Anything past a 1% click through is a lot, so a 9.2% click through is impressive. UPlayMe presented – social connections around music or media (they also showed videos) you’re watching/listening to. Seems gaming connections are in the future for this company, which I think is a better model.

The evening started with a cool presentation by Steven Levy about his new book and also about the famous home brew computer club of Silicon Valley and how it might have had a similar vibe to what the current meetup is like. Photos from the event.

Glad I paid my $20 (and got good food and drink afterwards) instead of staying at the very crowded free event.