I sat on this post a day for I did not want to be the a-hole slamming such an amazing event, but two days later, I still stick by my initial thoughts: IgniteLA sucked.
Technical difficulties, it happens. Cruddy venue with sticky carpets and not enough chairs… hey, that happens too — especially since the event is free. But everyone I know who attends Ignites leaves…ignited. It was so disappointing how the night kicked off with a huge plug from APOC – USC’s New Media graduate program. The speaker, lectured us on the digital age, about how we are connected via Internet more than ever and how things go “viral” through Internet communities. Then. THEN she ended her speech by plugging her program and telling us graduates intern at top tech companies like Yahoo!. Uhhhhhhhhhhh okay. Whatever you say, lady, but most of us there are already eating, sleeping and breathing the Internet. Know your audience, Public Speaking 101. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t Ignites about charging creativity, showcasing original, obscure people in the community…? That presentation set an unfortunate tone to the night.
Another huge bummer: IgniteLA’s site is under construction. That happens, sure, but the site is in Flash. Flash. FLASH. Really? REALLY? The least they could’ve done was put up a schedule or list of speakers. I only remember three of the speakers and that’s because they are my peers or friends of friends. What about the people who attended for the first time? How are they supposed to connect with the speakers?
Aside from a few presentations, I wish the content was vetted more carefully. There were some bizarre bizarre presentations, including one with the slide: RED. WET. HARD. (LOL) and it almost seemed like the organizers were showcasing their personal friends (most of the speakers were introduced as “My very very very good and amazing amazing friend x and x.”) The ones who weren’t their friends, were introduced with a disclaimer: “The next speaker came highly recommended by “so and so.” So weird. Frankly, I don’t care who a person is, who they know, who they are connected to, or where they they come from. Just give me awesome content. The most troubling was how the final slide of all the presentations didn’t have any of the speakers’ Twitter names or URLs.
On top of that, there was no Ustream, no official hashtag, and hardly anyone was live Tweeting. Perhaps I am spoiled by the caliber of the other Ignites, but LA is a great city with so many collective creative minds, it was a shame this Ignite left me wanting more UMPH.
Maybe next time, I guess…? (Well, I hope.)