When Brian Oberkirch showed up at our last nextNY gathering, we talked about how, if this were the Valley, we would have had 50 pictures of us uploaded to Flickr before the night was through. Instead, we had to find somebody with a camera... one of like 5 people out of our group of 150 with a Flickr account.
And we have a whopping 11 bloggers among us... (Actually, 12... that I know of. Someone didn't even bother adding their name to the wiki.)
Are they disinterested? Not at all!! In fact, we're running an "Community Conversation" about all the nuts and bolts stuff it takes to take your idea from napkin to real company, called "Startup 101".
In just a couple of days, we're basically all filled up... 45 attendees... pretty much all young entreprenuers building startups, outlining ideas, consulting others. So, they saw something informative and jumped all over it.
But, I'll bet you I'll be the only one there with a camera.
New Yorkers seem to have a different view on the value of buzz and splash... at least in the tech community. Maybe its the fact that, despite being the 3rd largest area for startups in the country, tech is never going to be the #1 thing going on in this city, so people don't even try to be "rockstars". Tech buzz is slow in this town, contracted with actual tech action which has heated up and is boiling over at the moment. There are a ton of new startups popping up everyday and lots of great events to go to.
It just doesn't seem like it sometimes if you check out all the usual Web 2.0 channels.
Perhaps its a PR issue.
So I was thinking... what if, instead of spending all their PR resources on promotion of their own companies, what if a big group of VC firms, tech companies, etc. got together and all chipped in a little bit to put a blogger on the street. Arm them with a camera and a digital audio recorder. Let them blog every event, do podcast interviews at the NY Tech Meetup, and Flickr the nextNY events to death. And seriously, there are a ton of events. We've got conferences and user groups... dodgeball tournaments, too! Maybe the WSJ or the NYT should do it... but seriously there needs to be someone whose primary focus is making sure everything going on in NYC is properly reflected in the Web 2.0 glob of buzz.
Buzz goes a long way... it goes a long way when you've got college grads from Carnegie Mellon and Urbana Champlain deciding whether to code their way east or west... when you've got companies trying to figure out where to set up shop... or even when people here are deciding whether or not to manage IT systems for Goldman Sachs or be the CTO of their best friend's startup. We all need to be doing a much better job of representing our NYC community here on the web, but I think supporting someone doing it fulltime might be a good addition to the conversation.