If you went to significant parties in Los Angeles during the dot-com boom, you know Coco. If you were at Timothy Leary’s bedside when he died, you know Coco. If you worked on any of the West Coast incarnations of the computer-graphics convention Siggraph, you’ve heard of Coco. And if you were ever worried about children and computer literacy in Los Angeles schools, you would have done well to find Coco, who was inspired by her two young daughters to create sigKIDS — a program to bring young students to Siggraph, from which millionaire software designers emerged. Los Angeles burners have hung with Coco on the playa. And if you are connected to just about anyone on the Los Angeles branch of Tribe.net, you are probably connected to Coco.
Coco Conn is a connector. She had ideas about the Internet before most people knew what a computer was. She now manages thousands of blogs at Oversee.net, but she was teaching people to create their own media before anyone had coined the word “blog.” Coco, born in Holland but an Angeleno since she was 17, still throws legendary parties for fringe luminaries (John Perry Barlow, Daniel Pinchbeck, Esther Kaplan) where people meet their future spouses and screenwriting partners.
I first met Coco 10 years or so ago, when she and I had been dating a guy named Steve .?.?. at the same time. I ran into them at a party, in the middle of it all. Bracing myself for the awkward rush of feminine scorn, I walked over and defiantly introduced myself. I think Steve would have liked a confrontation; Coco did him one better. “Aw,” she said, smiling, reaching out a long, graceful hand to stroke my hair. “Steve has great women.”