by Lorna Li 

“It seems to be…a lot like LA.”

The other night I was having a drink with a friend and startup founder who arrived in SF wide-eyed and innocent 6 months ago. In a classic Hero’s Journey (a la Joseph Campbell), he inadvertently found himself in the center of a Web 2.0 whirlwind due to the unforeseen success of a simple tech Meetup he launched that became hugely successful.

Since he’s from out of town, and I hail from the world of environmental activism, we compared notes on the unique and captivating SF Bay Area tech scene. I found the social and power relationships to be as mysterious and entertaining as Gorillas in the Mist. He found it more like LA, except here geeks attain celebrity status for their prowess in blogging, vlogging, user-generated content and monetization…and not for their sex appeal.

We decided to break down the SF Bay’s Web 2.0 scene’s cast of characters:

by Julie Blaustein

Sutra Restaurant
The swanky restuarant Sutra where the DivineCaroline Launch was held


Real Girls Media launched DivineCaroline at Sutra and it was a truly event.

DivineCaroline is a site for women to connect on the Internet in a number of ways: Community, learning and entertainment. It was held at a swanky restaurant, Sutra, with all the trappings that you would expect…men looking hot in tuxedos, woman in fabulous dresses, offerings from Tiffany and instant gratification pictures provided in frames to all guests. And there was an incredible amount of food including non stop sushi and an open bar.

The Founders

Kate Everett Thorp, Tom Kurycki and Rebecca Weeks

Little Blue Boxes from Tiffanys
Tiffany & Co. and Rebecca Weeks

Instant Gratification with Photos

Did you know that woman and girls are the fastest growing demographics online?

Some other fun facts:
67% of woman use the Internet to further communicate with their women’s groups
77% communicate with over 7 woman a week, while 59% communicate with 10
82% have read an online review
51% claim that being a published writer is something that appeals to them

What this means is this is a hot market to adverters it and will help ensure that DivineCaroline succeeds!

Not suprisingly, DivineCaroline’s CEO Kate Everett Thorp comes from a stellar adverting background. She is former President, Digital Worldwide of AKQA, Chiarman and CMO of Carat Interactive and former founder of Lot21, along with being named the Top 25 Woman to watch by Advertising Age!

The Scene

Sushi For All

The Swanky Crowd

Jill of T3, Greg Alden of Woodside Hotels, Lindsay Sandoval of Robert King Associates and Rebeccas Weeks

Happy Folks at an Open Bar

For more pictures, please visit Julie Blaustein’s PhotoBucket album.

Adriana Gascoigne, GIT co-founder – Photo Credit: Lane Hartwell of Fetching for Valleywag

Girls in Tech (GIT) celebrated its launch as a new organization centered around women’s contribution to technology in the world today. The event took place at Slide in San Francisco, which also has evolved into a Web 2.0 party HQ – along with Shine SF and 111 Minna.

Girls in Tech is the Laurie Anne Lassek, Julia French, and our very own Adriana Gascoigne, who’s also a Valleywag Vlog Hot contestant (cast your vote).

Not only the did she host the event, but Adriana also grabbed the mic to interview guests for the next installment of tv.

Click Here For Video

Interviews include:


by Lorna Li
Gaia Interactive

San Jose-based Gaia Interactive raised $12M in Series B Funding, led by DAG Ventures, with return backers Benchmark Captial and Redpoint Ventures. Gaia Interactive is a youth-targeted anime and games site where users can create customizable avatars that they can dress up using Gaia gold earned by browsing, playing games and posting on forums.

Participation in the site is free, however Gaia-themed posters, shirts and hats are some ways in which the company has been able to generate revenue. Gaia Interactive’s main business model is to sell advertising.

Gaia Interactive was founded by Derek Liu in 2002 as resource website with a linklist. Over the years it moved towards social gaming. In July 2006 Gaia raised an initial round of $8.93M from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures.

Photo Credit: Brian Solis

Once again it was STIRR’s time to shine as the Bay Area’s premier event for CEOs, founders, VC’s, engineers, entrepreneurs, media, and bloggers.

Alison McNeill, Chandra Hardester, and Nandor Fejer were on hand to capture the evening for the next installment of tv.

Attendees were treated to a Q&A with Scott McNealy from Sun – which surely strengthened STIRR’s position as the area’s most prominent source for top-tier networking.

And those companies brave enough to endure STIRR’s trademark 60-Second Spot, where now further pressured with the audience of an applause meter! Rafe Needleman of Cnet and Webware continues his reign as the host/moderator and the room’s most respected reporter.
Presenting companies included:

Click Here For Video

• Notable attendees (and the source of some of the night’s best conversations) were among:
• Chris Heuer (blog), Co-Founder, Social Media Club
• Vic Podcaster (blog), Founder & Editor-in-Chief, HotFromSiliconValley
• Tim O’Brien, VP, Business Development, attendio
• Tara Anderson, Marketing/PR, Valleyschwag
• David Young, CEO, Joyent, Inc.
• Ranvir Gujral (blog), CEO, InsightPath
• Julia French, Managing Director, CIM
• Jason Hoffman (blog), CTO and co-founder, Joyent
• Karim Tahawi, CEO & Founder, My Currency Co
• Stowe Boyd (blog), Founder, Blue Whale Labs
• Gabe Rivera, Flounderer, Techmeme
• Ian Kennedy (blog), Corporate Development, Yahoo
• Mital Poddar (blog), VP Marketing, SwapThing
• Niall Kennedy (blog), Fearless Leader, Hat Trick Media
• Peter Pham, Sr. Director, Business Development, Photobucket
• Eric Hansen, CTO, attendio
• Jeremiah Owyang, Director of Corporate Media Strategy,
• Benjamin Wan, Angel Investor
• Larry Chiang, Founder, Duck9
• Renee Blodgett (blog), President, Blodgett Communications
• Beatrice Tarka (blog), CEO, co-founder, Mobissimo
• Kristie Wells (blog), VP, Marketing, Joyent
• Rohit Khare, Director, CommerceNet
• Justin Kan, CEO,
• Aymeril Hoang, Information Technologies Attaché, Embassy of France – Trade Dept.
• Ann Burgraff, VP Marketing, Attendio
• Jeffrey McManus (blog), Founder,
• Sunny Madra, Founder, Posticky

For more coverage from the event, visit Jeremiah Owyang’s place.