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Friday, June 24, 2011

Atlanta Social Media Party Links BASHH And Digital Atlanta Meetup

This blogger went out to what was expected to be a small gathering of bloggers at 5 Seasons Westside Brewery, but was a first-time gathering of two digital and social media groups: BASHH, for "Big Ass Social Happy Hour" and the "Digital Atlanta" Meetup. In fact it was a total dive-in and swim experience, where I met a lot of great people, some who I interviewed for the video.

Some brief highlights:

The first person I met was John Peltier, one of the organizers of what he and colleague Anna Gonzalez (who I also interviewed at length) said was a continuation of the BASHH party at SXSW (That's "South-By-South-West," the giant music and tech confab held annually in Austin, Texas.) John says the idea is to have a party that presents a non-threatening place for people curious about blogs and social media to come and find out more about both by meeting people already involved in it. In other words, another excuse to have good drinks, good conversation, and good humor.

Met a lot of great bloggers, for example Cecilia Dominic runs the Atlanta wine blog Random Oenophile , where she highlights "reviews of restaurants and wineries," and from our conversation, has a lot of fun doing it, with some help from her husband Jason. A fun couple to hang with.

Victoria Ellis is a smart, sexy, man-eating riot, who's blog VISHous Life is a diary of dates past and recent, good and bad. Ms. Ellis and her friend Elwyn Lopez left me laughing up a storm, as you will see in the video. Is winding up a subject in Vish's blog's a good thing or a bad thing? Whatever the answer, she's got great material for a TV show, already.

Grace, a junior at Georgia Tech, smartly started a Twitter account that spots deals for Atlanta sports events. Want to know what specials the Atlanta Braves have? You're better off following @ATLSportsDeals than visiting the team's own website.

Nick Valencia is a CNN assignment editor, who describes himself as an "all-round jack of all trades" which is a redundancy, but whatever. Nick's project at CNN is Mexico's drug war, where his collection of blogs and podcasts really constructs and excellent and frankly, very human picture of a problem that's all too often painted in black and white. Take a search look here: LINK.

Terry Coniglio is the Social Media Coordinator at Georgia State University and handles all such activities for the college. That and I observed that she's got a good eye for decent food!

Anna's the ring-leader of the thing - darting, dashing, greeting, and making the event the fun happening it was. When I found out about the meetup, the list I saw read that "9 bloggers" were expected, but it was more like 50 people. I even met two reps of an app called FitRadio.com, that's positioned as a Pandora competitor.

As it happened there were two parties, the BASHH event, and the Digital Atlanta meetup, held next door at the correctly-named Octane Coffee cafe. I ran into someone I'd not seen since the 2008 Democratic Convention, and met two of the organizers of Digital Atlanta, set for November 7th 2011.

The idea of Digital Atlanta is to have a "week-long series of events celebrating technology and new media marketing achievements in Atlanta" according to its website. The second annual Digital Atlanta (the 2010 event drew over 3,000 people) is in the planning stages, and, as Susan Berry and Stephanie Frost explain in the video, it's seeking sponsors, so this is a great time to get on board.

In short, I happened to walk-in on a major event in the growth of Atlanta's social media community. I hope this blog and video can help spread the word about what's going on. It's quite exciting.

Stay tuned.

Social Media: (BASHH) Big Ass Social Happy Hour, Digital Atlanta Meetup

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