If there's one thing "tech people" love more than making innovations happen at a steadily accelerating rate, it's making love. Usually it's weird, private, polyamorous love—the kind you don't want to ever look at. But New York's "nerd prom" is really pushing the public love angle, and it's a little painful.
The "Webutante Ball" (going down tonight) is an evening mixer that coincides with Internet Week New York, a marketing conference that is exactly as cool as it sounds. Adults involved with startups, media, digital, and other vague buzzword-y industries will gather for an evening of Stoli® cocktails and looking at iPhones™ while sipping said cocktails. There will be networking.
There will also be, if you believe a very small publicity blitz leading up to tonight's event, sex:
— Richard Blakeley (@blakeley) May 20, 2014
Internet Week's Webutante Ball is well-known for being one of New York's biggest tech parties, but it also functions as the perfect pickup spot for Silicon Alley singles.
At least one couple is walking down the aisle thanks to the geek chic bash. "I famously introduced two very unlikely people to each other at a Webutante Ball – and they are getting married," bragged journalist Julia Allison. Those two people are Ari Melber, co-host of MSNBC's "The Cycle," and Drew Grant, a writer at the New York Observer. "It's sort of the Met Gala for that particular scene in New York – but it's a pretty dorky scene," added Allison.
Holy shit, Julia Allison is still alive? But also: I don't think this is a totally realistic view of an Internet Week New York 2014 after party. But it makes for an attractive marketing angle—the party will feature screens with anonymous, Twitter-based hookup requests courtesy of a custom web app:
You're at #InternetWeek. You see someone cute from across the room. Your eyes meet and you both smile. The panel ends, the crowd shifts, you look for them... they're gone.
This is a lot of striving for something that should be very simple! Maybe some people will go home together, but Manhattan tech parties are not exactly an MDMA-fuled tent-fuck at Burning Man—and New York should be content to let Silicon Valley retain its monopoly on unfortunate sex.