SoCal native and the “Golden God of Tech” Michael Arrington was born and raised in Huntington Beach so it came as no surprise that the L.A. contingent was out in full-force at this year's Techcrunch Crunchup Real Time Conference and summer party at the August Capital offices in Palo Alto.
There for the first time and repping L.A. was Francisco Dao of Twiistup, Neil Patel, Tyler Crowley of Mahalo, Laurie Percival and Sean Percival from Lalawag, Docstoc's Jason Nazar, AV Flox, Shira Lazar, Dani Dudek from MySpace, and Mike Macadaan who found out at the event (ha, ha, in real time) that he was in line for the senior VP of Product at MySpace.
The bare bones format of the conference, which took place in the historic Fox Theatre, underscored a major difference between Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. When the presenter for Echo, a comment aggregator, presented his product with little fanfare, the response to a comment that he was “no Steve Jobs” from the peanut gallery in the press row (which included us, Techmeme's Gabe Rivera and Techcrunch's M.G. Siegler and Eric Eldon) was, “Well, this isn't Hollywood.”
Much like Hollywood, the most engaging stories that came out of the real time conference were ones that actually took months to build. During the “Social CRM” panel, Porter Gale from Virgin America recounted a story about how Dr. Carla Munevar tweeted from a plane about her graduation dinner and then the people in row 11 conspired to buy her drinks.
Those people in row 11 were actually LAWeekly.com and — forgetting we were in a tech conference — we gasped, “That was me!” interrupting the panel from the audience.
We left the conference portion with Eric Eldon's tweet/question “how do you define what's real-time versus not real-time (this second versus 30 seconds ago)?” reverberating in our heads, reminding us of one of our favorite aphorisms, “The future is now, and now and now and now. And now…”
Or as Lalawag founder Sean Percival put it, mysteriously high-tailing out of NorCal the morning after the party, “Maybe I'm just allergic to the real time Web. Need to get back to L.A. where few things are real, or on time.”
If Percival had stayed, he would have been able to make a Saturday night impromptu dinner organized by Jason Nazar of DocStoc , Debbie Landa of Dealmaker Media and Digg's Matt VanHorn (a.k.a son of dabootysmackmom) who brought together new media notables from Silicon Valley and L.A. like Gabe Rivera from Techmeme, Atomic Online's Ashley Smith, Gawker Media's Brian Lam, Microsoft's Adam Seligman, Twitter's Ryan Sarver, Pandora co-founder Tom Conrad and Bebo's Jessica Alter and Michael Arrington himself, who broke bread (or in this case tortilla chips), in real time.