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BlueGlass Conference To Optimize LA's Tech Scene, Loves Our Hustling Ways
Wondering if the SoCal tech scene is forever destined to be the poor step-child of that other California metro area up North? Searching for an A-list technology conference in LA?
Look no further than BlueGlass LA 2010, happening this Monday and Tuesday -- July 19 & 20 -- in Marina Del Rey. This ambitious new social media, online marketing and search technology conference was wooed to LA by popular demand.
Why LA? "We had done a couple of events on the East Coast, and lots of people asked us to do something similar in LA," says New York-based Chris Winfield, Chief Marketing Officer of BlueGlass Interactive.
It's a natural fit, considering the city's huge entertainment and media sectors. LA's greater metro area hosts new media's MySpace (Century City), Yahoo! (Burbank, Santa Monica) and Google (Santa Monica) operations, as well as hot, hybrid entertainment/new media disrupters Break Media (Beverly Hills), Hulu (West LA) and Topspin Media (Santa Monica). And in a broke state with record unemployment, there are also untold thousands of local, "Mom and Pop," LA businesses who rely on Twitter, Yelp, Facebook and other free online forms of promotion for business survival.
But from a networking point of view, LA's tech "scene" -- and its industry components -- could be described as "distributed." LAist asked Danny Sullivan, an internationally-reknowned search engine optimization (SEO) authority, where the tech scene in LA and Orange County is. "I would like to know that too," he quipped. According to Sullivan, "When people refer to 'West Coast tech' they typically mean Seattle and San Francisco." The Newport Beach-based Sullivan is working on an Orange Country tech event in the Ignite template. (Ignite is a recurring, flash-presentation, knowledge-sharing event staged in 100 cities worldwide.)
When one of the world's foremost search experts is wondering where to find SoCal's tech scene, you know there's an opportunity. Enter BlueGlass LA.
LA's tech ecosystem is growing. "There is a great tech start scene in LA, but no merger with online marketing or the SEO world," says Tony Adam of of homegrown social media powerhouse MySpace. "SF is very over-saturated with˙conferences." according to Adam. "But LA doesn't have that. I'm a big evangelist for the LA tech community."
Although Adam also served a hitch or two in the Bay Area, he speaks our language: "Trying to get validity for the LA online marketing community is awesome." Adam is curating BlueGlass LA's programming.
BlueGlass LA is planned to appeal to anyone interested in getting better at business online "A to Z." This range of novice to expert subject matter might be comparable to established interactive and social media conferences South by Southwest Interactive (Austin) Web 2.0 (San Francisco), Internet Week (New York), and BlogWorld (Las Vegas). However, this one doesn't require Angelonos to "Bing" airfares.
LA's previous biggest incumbent tech conference is arguably Twiistup. Twiistup has historically emphasized match-making between early-stage tech startups and angel investors, with a healthy dose of Hollywood premiere-style themes and lighting. Founders of top incubators Y Combinator and TechStars have been involved in previous Twiistup events. The Twiistup parties are consistently a hit, with past themes including Casino Royal and Blade Runner.
Twiistup has recently broadened its geographical reach from LA to a retreat in Dana Point and the upcoming Startup Summit in New York in September. Twiistup's next LA event is slated for February 9 & 10, 2011.
So what else is on LA's social media and tech social calendar? Aside from Twiistup, many of the slots are filled with entertainment industry-dedicated conferences such as Digital Hollywood, Produce, Future of Media, Comic Con, and E3.
There is plenty of room for an LA conference broad enough to add value to anyone wanting to promote a project, a business, or themselves online. "While SF is full of really, really smart, intelligent people," what Adam personally loves about LA as a tech startup hub is "that hustler spirit" that comes from LA's culture of The Hustle. "The only other place you feel that is New York."
So if you're looking to take your online hustle to the next level, BlueGlass LA may be the place for you come Monday.
BlueGlass L.A. will be held at the Marina del Rey Marriott Hotel on July 19-20. Less than 50 tickets are remaining, and registration is available online. (LAist readers can use 20%-off online code "laistbg" )
LAist's coverage of BlueGlass LA will continue next week.
Photo of BlueGlass Panelist Ben Huh of Cheezburger Network with BIL by BlueGlass panelist Micah Baldwin via flickr.