NYC Blogger Summit (Or, So Long and Thanks for All the Shrimp)

Culturebot was one of the over 130 bloggers who cautiously assembled at 30 Rockefeller Center yesterday for the first official NYC Blogger Summit. The promised buffet spread–free food is always a lure– included lots of delicious cheeses, sandwiches, and shrimp (which apparently was a big deal. Not just any ol’ group being courted by NBC gets shrimp). Jealous, much?

After hurriedly scarfing down the aforementioned shrimp, the gaggle of bloggers was herded into Studio 6A, home of the Conan O’Brien Show, to um, get our summit on.

Surrounded by members of the blognoscenti (Hey look, there’s Jen of Gothamist. OMG, it’s Best Week Ever. Wassup, Mediabistro. Gawker’s here? Where’s photog Nikola Tamindzic?), The NBC staffers explained their intent to integrate bloggers into their MSM, news-gathering fold, while throwing us a bone in the way of credit.

According to WNBC’s official summary:

The purpose of the NYC Blogger Summit was to get a dialogue going between bloggers and WNBC. The ultimate goal is to work together in the future by sharing news, information and giving additional exposure to stories that are important to New Yorkers on blogs, Newschannel 4 and

For example, if a blog gets a scoop on a big news story, WNBC would work with that blogger to report that story on television, giving credit and more exposure to that blog. Conversely, if WNBC has a story or video of a news event that might be of interest to a blogger’s audience, the ground work has been laid down to share it in order to reach a broader audience.

In between runnning jokes about the shrimp, the conversation, facilitated by Sree Sreenivasan, was an attempt to forge an alliance between two disparate worlds.

While focused on the more popular, highly trafficked blogs (again, Gothamist), there was mention of the role opinion bloggers would play in this grand media experiment. Our friend-in-blog Jane Gavin even got a shout out. Woohoo.

Culturebot agrees heartily with Modern Fabulousity that the conversation didn’t touch on the contribution arts bloggers could make, despite the facts that the city’s arts and culture are inherently what makes New York vibrant.

Inviting a slew of cantankerous, opinionated people led to some tense moments, verging on a Springer-esque rumble at one point. Also, when Perez Hilton was mentioned, there was an audible murmur of dissatisfaction. Seriously, no one likes that dude.

After collecting our free swag, we stopped by the unofficial after-party at the Channel 4 Bar to chat with Overheard in New York and Manhattan Offender, which also led to a random Seth Myers sighting. Understandably, he didn’t stick around long.

We do want to credit WNBC for reaching out and establishing this connection. While there are still segments of the population who want their news at 11, it seems more and more people want a choice when they get their news, and what news they want to receive. If WNBC cand successfully integrate their news-gathering with this more flexible, Web 2.0 world, they will be ahead of their competitors. Where this experiment in synergy will lead remains to be seen. If it succeeds, it will certainly become a model NBC can roll out to other cities and other markets.

For photo and video of the event click here. For additional comments on the Summit, check out these responses.

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