The bar is in New York’s Chinatown. It’s a recent Saturday afternoon. It looks beer-stained and sweaty with the lights on, packed with plastic folding chairs and power cords. A giant disco ball hangs above an audience of 425 who are all on their MacBooks. They talk, blog, tweet and text during presentations in one fluid, convergent communicative stream. Even virtual people like to have actual conventions.
There are a few people at this conference who qualify as Internet celebs — people you either have or haven’t heard of in direct proportion to how much time you ever spend online: Obama Girl is expected to be here; so are well-known bloggers, fontmakers and stunt artists. (Hey, there’s the guy who once a year inspires hundreds of people to ride subway systems at the same time, without pants.)
But the guy everyone really hopes to meet is named “moot.”