My whole life is about META. I worked at TV stations so long that at times I felt more interested in TV station culture and life than I was with the actual delivering of the information. The latest gossip about where a reporter or news director had just gotten a new job always enthralled me. When I worked a radio station for five years, I became just as fascinated by that dying media culture as I was by the act of anchoring news broadcasts each afternoon. (That’s actually the job I miss most. Too bad the pay was shite.) Anyway, now that my life is steeped in social media, there’s nothing I love more than a huge Web site celebrating just how popular and cool it is. So it was with my first ever live Diggnation show/performance in San Francisco last Saturday night.
One would think that after spending years of my life on the social media site Digg, I would have made it to at least one Kevin Rose/Alex Albrecht on-stage booze-fest. Alas, no. I’ve never been to even one Digg meet-up. Amazingly for me, I was surprised at how much fun I had, and how fanboy-y I am. I am sad that there may not be any more of these come the end of the year, because Rose is starting a new show.
The guys have a surprisingly cool set-up. They are sponsored by Ford, GoDaddy and some others. They had large screens set up all over Club Mezzanine, so I could see the two no matter how far back I was. And it was not easy to get close. I was simply shocked at the love shown to both these guys. The large crowd of several hundred people was noisy as hell, and didn’t hold back. The beer and the promised rock show afterward didn’t hurt. Although not many people stuck around longer than the show itself, unless they were trying to meet the two and take a picture with them.
To be honest, the main point of Diggnation is to go over some of the best stories on Digg at the time, but the hosts didn’t really get a chance to do much of that. Most of the time was spent getting to the stage, (They journeyed through the crowd to get there, which seemed to me to be an unwise choice, but what do I know!) chugging beers, harassing their cameramen and producers, and shooting the shit. They also spent at least a quarter of the time giving out free schwag, which ranged from shirts to memory sticks.
I was quite happy when a good friend of mine, Steve Elliott, who runs the Village Voice Media site “Toke of the Town,” got a huge shout-out from Kevin Rose himself.
He specifically pointed out the picture on Elliott’s Digg profile page, and showed the crowd the massive pot plant next to Steve in his avatar. Rose called Steve the greatest “weed digger without a doubt,” and brought up the fact that the vast majority of Steve’s submissions have involved marijuana.
It’s an appropriate shout-out considering the massive amount of work Steve has done on social media with regard to the legalization fight all over the U.S. Toke of the Town articles primarily concentrate on the efforts in various states for and against legalization.
Albrecht and Rose had to have consumed at least three drinks on stage by the time the show ended. They then moved over to the side of the club where they took pictures with fans and signed autographs. Wading through that huge group of people took more than half an hour but my buddy James Tamplin and I eventually got close enough to talk to the guys very briefly, as the rock music played loudly behind us.