Author Archives: T.J. DeGroat

Words by T.J. DeGroat, photos by Alex Ho

Porter Novelli’s stylish South Park office hosted last night’s Girls in Tech event. The organization, founded by the equally stylish LaurieAnne Lassek and’ own Adriana Gascoigne, focused its third event on women in venture capital. The male-dominated industry was represented by Trae Vassallo (Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers), Jennifer Fonstad (Draper Fisher Jurvetson), Eve Phillips (Greylock Partners) and Maha Ibrahim (Canaan Partners). The four panelists answered questions asked by moderator Joanna Glasner, a senior editor at Thomson Financial, and some from the audience of about 70. Topics ranged from the dos and don’ts of business-plan presentations to the relatively new focus on green (or clean) tech.

For video of Vassallo discussing green tech, click here.

Girls in Tech’s (and’) Adriana Gascoigne

Before and after the panel discussion, attendees enjoyed champagne and snacks. The panelsits graciously stuck around for a bit, answering the questions of some of the entrepreneurs in attendance.

Girls in Tech was founded in February of 2007 to further support women in an industry that, anyone who has been to a tech event will tell you, is full of guys. GIT believes women in the industry would “be better off by developing improved resources, cultivating stronger relationships and celebrating our achievements more often.”

The organization, which is able to dramatically increase the typical ratio and women to men at its events (it was about 50/50 last night — no small feat in this sector), is getting ready to launch a website that will feature a blog written by Flickr’s Maya Baratz (seen below) and high-quality video of GIT events.

GIT founders LaurieAnne Lassek and Adriana Gascoigne

For more information about Girls in Tech, sign up for the mailing list.

For more photos from last night’s event check out Alex’s set and T.J’s set.

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By T.J. DeGroat

The third Pier Screenings event wasn’t held at a pier — something most of those in the crowd of about 200 must have been thankful for, as San Francisco was covered in a thick fog. Attendees were plenty warm in the Metreon’s Action Theater, where two networking areas featuring a coffee bar, a popcorn station, a candy selection and plenty of beer were crowded with online video creators and enthusiasts.

Pre-screening mingling.

Om Malik checks in with the crowd before the screenings.

The event kicked off with an interesting Q&A featuring Greg Goodfried of Lonelygirl15. NewTeeVee editor Liz Gannes picked Goodfried’s brain, prompting him to discuss everything from his new venture, Kate Modern, to Lonelygirl15′s advertising tie-ins. Goodfried said that the Lonelygirl15 community overwhelmingly supported the idea of including advertising within the story when told that funds were needed to continue the show. Ninety-two percent of those polled said they were OK with the idea, Goodfried told the crowd at the Metreon.

Liz Gannes and Om Malik kick off the event.

The event was streaming live through Veodia.

After the Q&A, the NewTeeVee team screened six videos that showcased the event’s theme: “When Content Becomes Advertising.” Judges on hand to give commentary were Goodfried, Misha Cornes of Organic and Tim Street of French Maid TV. The winner, with 36 percent of the vote, was “Karate-Kicking Colonel,” which was made by a big company, KFC, but which had a non-professional aesthetic. In the video, artist Phil Hansen is inspired by the Teriyaki sauce on his KFC wings and uses it to create a mural of the company’s iconic Colonel Sanders. Check it out here.

Coming in second was a musical spoof of the iPhone. Third place went to “Get Engaged Quickly,” an advertisement for 10ton. Watch those videos here and here.

Sponsors for the NewTeeVee screenings, which is moving to New York for a special event in the fall, included Metacafe, Fabrik, VideoClix, Kiptronic, vod:pod and Veodia.

For more pictures, visit T.J.’s Flickr photoset and Julie Blaustein’s album.

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By T.J. DeGroat

As we turned onto McKinnon St. in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood, my party-mate Kathleen tilted her head toward me and said, “This is not cute. We are literally on the wrong side of the tracks.”

The industrial stretch of warehouses and seemingly random train tracks is not what most people picture when they imagine a Web 2.0 soiree, but the folks at photo community site LuckyOliver really hit the ball out of the park with this event. Leaving the lounges and gallery/bars for an honest-to-goodness junkyard was a genius idea — not to mention a kick-ass photo op:

The LuckyOliver crew gave everyone who entered tickets for free tacos being served out of a real taco truck parked inside the yard. There were two free beer stations. Best of all, there was a Mexican band blasting cumbias (the group was followed by a DJ). Have a listen here.

Here are some photos:

Waiting for tacos, holding the cam.
Photo credit: Kathleen Morford

And if the rad music or fine company wasn’t enough to hold an attendee’s attention, the … junk surely was. Check it out:

For more photos, check out T.J.’s set. Relive the party at the archive of our cam. Follow on Twitter.


By T.J. DeGroat

Photo credit: Nicole Lee

My first Web 2.0 party was a good one: Laughing Squid’s 10th anniversary shindig at Varnish back in November of 2005. I was in the area for two weeks to look for an apartment and a friend thought it would be fun for me to meet some of the people whose blogs I’d been reading regularly for several years. I had no idea who Scott Beale was or what a squid had to do with anything and I probably hadn’t heard the term Web 2.0. But I had a blast at Varnish — especially outside, where there was a sort of circusy, dark junkyard theme going on.

Photo credit: Margarita Azucar

That’s why I’m psyched to check out LuckyOliver’s upcoming soiree, which takes place at a San Francisco junkyard. At last month’s SF Beta, LuckyOliver’s Hunter Block told me that the company was inspired by Beale’s parties. If you’re ready to get away from Minna and Varnish for a night, head to this event in the Bayview. More info. is here.

For those who don’t know, LuckyOliver is a photo-selling web site that has been around for about a year (this is a first birthday party). You can learn more about the company here.

For more Bay Area event info. and reports from the parties, follow us on Twitter. Watch us live on


Words and photos by T.J. DeGroat

I don’t know who decided to hold an event at the Apple Store the night before the iPhone was to go on sale, but I applaud the person. I had been planning to stay as far away from the Apple insanity as possible, but the Bay Area Video Coalition’s latest Innovation Salon event forced me into the eye of the storm, where I was able to mock — and secretly envy — the enthusiastic early adopters who planned to wait in line all night to make sure they’d get their hands on the $500 and $600 phones. Of course I snapped a few photos:

Inside the store, the second of the Innovation Salon series events focused on how San Francisco companies — some Web 2.0-related companies among them — are helping save the troubled music industry. The panel, moderated by Lydia Popovich of Quannum Projects, featured Elise Nordling (SomaFM), Steve Bronstein (IODA), Jessica Stoner Steel (Pandora), Dusty DiMercurio (Digidesign) and Gabriel Benveniste (SonicLiving). Here’s a quote from the event’s description:

“From how music is produced to how music finds its way to listeners, Bay Area companies have revolutionized the music world. We’ve watched companies like Digidesign turn nearly every recording studio digital and Apple make it possible to put our entire music library in our pockets. Now add to that IODA, Gracenote, Real Rhapsody, Yahoo, Snocap,, Pandora, SonicLiving, INgrooves and IRIS, and the Bay Area becomes ground zero for the future of music.”

Photo credit: BAVC

Besides talking about San Francisco’s role in helping new and independent musicians find success, the panel spent a lot of time discussing the fate of Internet radio, something the majority of the set uses regularly. The Copyright Royalty Board, put into power by Library of Congress, recently approved an exorbitant increase in royalty rates paid by webcasters that will, people in the know insist, kill Internet radio — at least, some of the industry’s premier outlets. The rates are retroactive to Jan 1, 2006, and the only solution is Congressional action. Find out how you can help here.

For more on iPhone coverage, check out’ report from ground zero, the Palo Alto store. Follow us on Twitter and watch us live on


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