The who's who of independent online publishers squeezed into the backyard of Nolita hole-in-the-wall bar Eight Mile Creek last night to swill free booze and talk ideas.
Paper Magazine founder David Hershkovits was on hand, as was PSFK's Piers Fawkes, My Open Bar's Seva Granik, Not For Tourist's Stuart Farr and editrix Elizabeth Spiers of, wel l-- as one blogger put it -- everywhere. They'd all been invited to the intimate get-together by Flavorpill co-founder Mark Mangan, who began throwing these informal cocktail parties last summer in the hopes of filling the void in site-to-site collaboration.
"The main idea is to bring together this vibrant community of independent publishers in New York," he said, taking a breather from working the close-talking crowd. "Although the so-called dot-com scene is pretty active with all the start ups, I'd never been to any events that were totally focused on the companies that were solely creating original content."
For a site that's all about spreading the word on cultural events, from concerts to art openings, having publishers meet up in the flesh (as opposed to solely conversing online), seemed to echo the company's ethos.
"Flavorpill has always believed that its important to be in front of your computer and be digital, and at the same time it's good to take yourself away from the machine, get off the couch, and go and interact and be part of the community," Mangen's affable co-conspirator Sasha Lewis remarked.
Gathering such an A-list crew of new media moguls wasn't too hard, considering most are neighbors.
"If you look at this lower Broadway area, it's home to the Onion, Daily Candy, Flavorpill, Thrillist, Nerve and Gawker. It's an impressive list," Lewis grinned. "You tend to forget how powerful a group of publishers there are [here in downtown Manhattan], and that's part of what we're trying to tap into ... as well as all pat ourselves on the back a little."
With Flavorpill's services only expanding (a new iPhone app was just released, while the world's biggest yoga event is on the immediate horizon), the two culture vultures -- who started the site as an email blast to friends 10 years ago -- no longer have the same amount of time to hit the town.
"When we first started, it was like, 'Oh wow, I'm tasked with this incredible responsibility of telling people what's interesting, what's dynamic, what's flavorful in New York,'" Lewis said. "But now we have a team of editors and writers that are specialists in certain areas, so I can be a bit more selective." Then, smiling, he added as an afterthought: "Still, I'm in the business of pleasure. Part of my job is seeing LCD Soundsystem at Terminal 5. I just went to see Fela on Broadway for the second time."
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