Thursday, March 01, 2001

The Cyber Scene in Los Angeles ~ by JoAnna Minneci

Dear Los Angeles,

Before I go into telling you about the events and goings-on here in Los Angeles, I'd like to introduce myself: My name is JoAnna Minneci, and I'm a networking addict. Seriously. I've enjoyed many pleasant dinners of finger-food, eaten while standing up. I have mastered the skill of juggling a tiny hors d'oeuvre dish, stemmed cocktail glass and business card holder at the same time. I can't wait until they make an Olympic event of it. I'd finally get on a box of Wheaties!

I'm flattered that Lilia Phleger Benjamin, who writes the San Diego Cyber Scene, suggested to Courtney that I would be a good candidate for writing the Los Angeles edition. Some Cyber Scene readers may know me through the SoCalNetworking List, others may have made my acquaintance through WebGrrls, as I was the Director of Career Development for WebGrrls-LA. I have recently left that organization, and joined a new, exciting group called WebWomenLA.. I'll have more to report on them after their launch party on Friday March 2nd.

There were so many things going on February 22nd! Here are details for two of them...


SoCalNetworking welcomed Craig Newmark of Craig's List to Los Angeles at a happy-hour style event at Lush. The crème de la crème of online communities were present (and partaking of the appetizer buffet!): Web405's Dennis Wilen (, the Queen of Venice list's Regan Kibbee, and, of course, of Goodtimes fame, Fixer (

Patricia Kovara, Craig's "Right Hand" south of the San Andreas was working the crowd. She was bright and cheery despite this being her second party in as many nights! What stamina! (See Lilia's San Diego report for details.)

Since good food and good atmosphere are two essentials of a good tête-à-tête, On Target Design donated several copies of the Zagat Dining Guide as raffle prizes. Smelling nice is important too: Beth Black ("Mayor of Splitsville", provided a lovely scented candle and bath-salts combo as a prize, too.

SoCalNetworking is going to co-host another "Face-to-Face" event in San Diego, in conjunction with Techniquelle, on April 24th.. It's National Karaoke Week, and that's the theme of our event. Practice singing in the shower, so you'll be warmed up and ready to belt out a few tunes with us!

Layoff Lounge

Jeremy Gocke could do a little singing himself, along the lines of "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen." He's had to lay off employees of his own company, and many of his friends' companies slipped into a dot-coma too. With everybody unemployed and starting to wonder what to do with all that free time, Jeremy thought of a way to keep himself busy...and thus was born the Layoff Lounge. Rather than just throw a pink-slip party, he decided to make his event a three-way cross between a job fair, VC pitch-fest and networking event. The format is intended to appeal to entrepreneurs and employees alike.

This month's keynote speakers were Growthink CEO Dave Lavinsky who talked about what's going on in the Los Angeles VC market, and The Sales Athlete CEO Kathy Aaronson, who talked about the employment situation. I'm sure many who couldn't attend would have loved to hear her discuss how you can take a dot-bomb and turn it into a positive point on your résumé!

Well, that's all I've got for you this week, but I invite your comments, suggestions, and ideas about events in Los Angeles. If there's an event you think I should be attending, sing -me- a little karaoke: "Just call my name. I'll be there!"

Best regards,
JoAnna Minneci