Hundreds of Diggnation fans, Diggers and general tech industry geeks barraged the Knitting Factory last night for the Digg.com Meetup L.A. -- the crowd on Hollywood Boulevard started lining up at 8 a.m. with attendees setting up folding chairs, the general vibe reminiscent of a Star Wars or LOR premiere. A meetup of Diggers in Digg.com's second largest market coupled with a live taping of the Revision3 show Diggnation, the scene could have been mistaken for a tailgate party if not for the solid iPhone-to-person ratio of 1:1.
Digg founder Kevin Rose and Revision3 producer Alex Albrecht know how to throw a party, having already held meetups in San Francisco, Chicago, London, Austin, and New York City. With over 700 people in attendance, the critical mass factor of Digg fans is a formidable force. As Albrecht, co-host of Diggnation and Los Angeles native concisely put it, "For people who don't do music stuff, that's a pretty packed music hall."
Diggnation, a Man Show for inter-web fans, is basically Kevin and Alex sitting on a couch chugging beer and talking about random stories on Digg. And it has a MAJOR cult following -- hundreds of fan boys (and a few fan girls) whooped ecstatically at almost anything the two hosts said. To offset the testofest, Candice Michelle (the "Go Daddy" girl) provided eye candy and a much-needed female presence. Fervent and passionate, fans came all the way from Sydney, Austrailia to watch the wacky antics and crazy chemistry go down live. And they were not disappointed -- in bizarre Hollywood fashion, actor Lavar Burton opened the show with a sing-a-long of the Reading Rainbow theme. Overheard in the crowd, "This is weirder than the party with the chocolate syrup and the midgets." Well-played L.A.
The topics of Diggnation usually range from silly to serious, and I
believe Kevin took some time to reflect on the Steve Jobs news and
reveal a new digg_200 feature on Twitter, but the crowd was so raucous
that it was hard for those in the audience absorb any content
whatsoever over the entreaties of "CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG." It was uncanny
to watch the throng of dudes primarily in their '20s go wild for hours.
And there were A LOT of them; Kevin Rose is the 2nd most followed
person on Twitter (#1 = Barack Obama).
With the L.A. live taping of their show, Digg returns home. Kevin Rose
actually conceived of the idea for the site while working at Comcast G4
in Santa Monica. As Rose himself said, "I just wanted to pay my rent,"
echoing the sentiments of almost all of us Angelenos living the dream.
And L.A. showed the love right back; at some point someone reached
onstage and fondled Digg CEO Jay Adelson, prompting Rose to comment, "I've never seen Jay's **** grabbed at a meetup before." Stay classy Los Angeles.
The show commenced with a poster signing and entertainers David
Starfire and DJ Culture spinning - the crowd definitely got its groove
on, autographed iPhones in tow. The analog interactions and riveting
conversations flowing through the room at the post Diggnation "meetup"
portion of the event proved that Digg plays a real life role much
similar to it's online function--a tool to expose you to experiences
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outside of Digg for you to discover. That in mind I popped into Teddy's
across the street to compare.
Guess what? Digg Meetup L.A. for the win.￼