Internet Week 2010: Roundup and Highlights

From Martha Stewart’s Twitter troubles to a cameo from Edward Norton, The Daily Beast handicaps the highlights from the events of the year’s geekiest week.

Nate "Igor" Smith

GIRLS WHO ROCK Benefit concert

Thursday night was a big music night for IWNY. While Ford was launching their Fiesta model with a rooftop Cobra Starship concert, a ladies only lineup was assembled to benefit She’s the First, a charity created to support education for girls in the developing world. At Santos Party House downtown, performances by Kat DeLuna, Shonetelle and Lenka were declared “ AWESOME” and “ just precious”. It wasn’t the most geek-star studded event of the week, but at least it was for a good cause.


The party for new media types held monthly at the Lower East Side’s Sweet & Vicious bar held its Internet Week version on Thursday night. The Tweet gallery was mostly complimentary of the event, declaring, “ this place is crazy!” and describing the swag bags as, “ f------ bomb!” More than 100 people checked in to the soiree via Foursquare, which did not go unnoticed by co-host Nick McGlynn. Uncouth tweets shuttered the event’s live twitter feed and the margarita machine reportedly overheated, but an appearance by actor Andrew Keegan apparently assuaged disappointment. Also in the crowd: Matthew Caldecutt of DKC News, Stuart Tracte of Beer Diplomacy and CNBC’s John Carney.

View Our Gallery of the 2nd Annual Webutante Ball

Yahoo! Provoke Summit

Internet Week Chairman David-Michel Davies predicted the event would be “ really fun,” and the Monday afternoon affair apparently lived up to the hype. Much-loved artist/humorist/speaker Ze Frank offered the keynote at Yahoo!’s summit, espousing connectivity, authenticity, crowd-sourcing and creative uses for hate mail. Blogger Farrah Bostic summed up some of his insights, writing “The child-god, he mused, is at the heart of so much of the joy and serendipity of the Net, but also has left it a bit of a ship without a rudder,” while social-marketing guru Rosie Siman declared the keynote as “ absolutely entertaining." Other thought-provokers who took the stage in the summit’s panel: Seth Goldstein of Stickybits, Bre Pettis of Makerbot, and Matt Szymczyk of Zugara.

Mashable Media Summit

Tuesday’s all-day summit had a lineup featuring startup stars like Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley and Justin Bieber-haired Ricky Van Veen, co-founder of CollegeHumor and Notional. Van Veen, before calling Internet Week “Fashion Week without the attractive people,” offered insightful nuggets like “what works for the Web is also badly needed on TV,” and was interviewed by All Things D’s Peter Kafka. Mashable EIC interviewed Crowley, and Josh Charles jammed on the piano. Just to confirm the summit’s cool-quotient: Ed Norton was spotted giving a presentation on and all attendees walked away with a free Motorola phone.

I Want Media’s Future of Media Panel

An impressive lineup showed up at NYU’s journalism institute for this Tuesday afternoon panel, including Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post, Dan Abrams of Mediaite, Josh Cohen of Google News, David Eun of AOL Media, James Pitaro of Yahoo! Media and Cindi Leive of Glamour. Joe Pompeo at Business Insider caught some tidbits, including Abrams pontificating that “quality is good business” and Pitaro brushing off Yahoo/Huff Po merger rumors. Another highlight: Huffington’s comment that paywalls aren’t going to work, but people will pay for “weird porn” and financial information.

Lauren Streib on the Webutante BallNew York Tech Meetup

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Tuesday evening’s NY Tech Meetup, the largest public event of the week every year, was a demo circus with more than 800 technologists pumping their products and services. One thing that wowed the crowd: CEO and co-founder of Meetup Scott Heiferman’s on-stage finale of snagging an iPad from the audience and smashing it with a sledgehammer. “Sometimes you have to use the Internet to get off the Internet,” said Heiferman. “Other times you need to use a sledgehammer to get off the Internet.” Groupon Founder Andrew Mason also earned some kudos for his story of turning failure into success, which the Twitter peanut gallery declared to be a “ most darling presentation” and a “ great story.”

Digital Content NewFront, hosted by Digitas and The Third Act

An pseudo-upfront presentation for the Web crowd, this year’s DCNF on Wednesday afternoon gave stage space to big names: Huffington Post EIC Arianna Huffington, mogul of media Martha Stewart, and WSJ tech and media editor Kara Swisher, whose on-stage interview of Stewart and Huffington contained a priceless moment involving Stewart, an iPad and an inopportune Twitter outage. CNet’s Caroline McCarthy headlined the incident, “Twitter, you made Martha Stewart sad.” The panel sessions included musician Pete Wentz and actors Lisa Kudrow, Teri Hatcher, and Seth Green gushing and gabbing about their own new-media projects and the power of entertainment on the Web. To cap off the day, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, both of cult-classic Arrested Development fame, lead a surprise content pitch in which Bateman asserted, “Think you have to be a bit more obvious with humor on TV... people on Web are willing to find the funny.

Lauren Streib is a reporter for The Daily Beast. She was previously a reporter for Forbes.