PSFK Conference: What Goes On In L.A., Stays in L.A.?
Posted September 21, 2007on:
I attended PSFK’s Conference last Tues. 9/18 (my first) and enjoyed soaking up all of the new (and not so new) ideas, thoughts, and questions that came up in the discussion.
I particularly enjoyed the panel on L.A. culture. Some topics included the general ‘scene’, transportation issues, and the idea of center of L.A. Here’re my notes and thoughts, along with a picture. (We were prohibited from taking our own, so I’m borrowing from PSFK.)Panelists:
Adriana Parcero of Nokia, designer, led discussion. Tony Pierce of LAist, the largest city-based blog (does Minneapolis have one similar?). Emmanuelle Richard of the French daily Liberation (and Vogue Paris – tres chic, n’est pas). Jeff Miller of the Thrillist. Shana Nys Dambrot of Flavorpill LA.
On the L.A. draw:
Shana: Attracted to L.A. partly because of the rawness, wild West-ishness, the laid-back and ‘good times’ feelings
On the L.A. space/center:
1st time visitors face this huge vastness, so as a consequence, there’s the emerging mini-cultural centers developing.
Tony: Feels the center of L.A. is really where you protest and write. L.A. is diverse and independent.
Shana: Feels people rally around their particular area, like how she loves Venice. (I loved her enthusiasm for the city. It made me believe I could love it if I lived there, too.) Thinks the web makes L.A. truly navigable. L.A. + web are the same thing. (So this says a lot about how important the web and blogs are for this city, if you’re going to become a part of the culture. It sounds like you couldn’t survive without the web. But who could these days?)
Jeff: Skeptical of downtown, but now that a Ralph’s is opening, feels less so. If people can go there late at night, maybe people do live there.
The most thought-provoking part of the discussion for me was the idea that the web is so important to getting to know L.A. True, isn’t the web handy for exploring any new thing, but everyone seemed to agree that the web is vital to feel connected to the culture in L.A. As I’ve heard before (and now seen), L.A. is really big, spread out, with no real ‘center’. This is kinda cool, but at the same time could make a person feel lost and uncertain, especially newcomers to the city. Because there is such a vibrant L.A. web culture, experiencing L.A. and diving in becomes really appetizing and not as intimidating.
One last thing I jotted down in the handy panel book they gave us:
Everyone was truly enthusiastic about living in L.A. They came across as devoted and die-hard fans of their ‘center’, their L.A. culture. Even if they weren’t natives.