There were a couple of firsts last night at the "Bloggers Summit" hosted by WNBC in Studio 6B at NBC's headquarters in Rockefeller Center. The first was that WNBC amassed over 130 NYC bloggers in one room to talk about, well, blogging.
The second was that they tricked 130 bloggers–most of whom we learned make absolutely no money from their blogs– into coming to a cocktail hour event with NO cocktails. A gaffe they immediately admitted to committing.
The reason for the conspicuous lack of drinks, per the WNBC folk, was that any FCC regulated studio (like Conan's, where we all were sitting) is NOT allowed to serve alcohol by law. Fair enough, I guess, except I distinctly remember TWO bars at the NBC Christmas party in SNL's studio 8A a little over a month ago. Is that studio not regulated by the FCC?
The event was a quick schmooze with food (shrimp, they kept reminding us. Shrimp!) and then everyone moved into 6A. WNBC organized the event in an attempt to forge relationships with the bloggers who write about everything in New York from gossip to cab drivers to the Jets to trials of being a dad in the city. They wanted bloggers to send them stories, pictures and tips and, in return, they would give the blogs credit for breaking the story or providing the information both online and on TV. Not a bad deal–and similar to what most bloggers do already.
While the evening went too long–and the crowd was getting visibly restless–the event itself was interesting and well-intentioned. The folks at WNBC seemed eager to hear the comments and suggestions–and even more eager to launch their new online initiatives–some of which were hush-hush.
They also asked the crowd if TV news should be completely abolished and instead the programming–and the millions of dollars behind it–should move online. The audience–which was an impressive collection of boldface names in the blogger world– was split 50/50 on that issue.
For a list of the URL's of the bloggers in attendance, click here.