Broadcastr Launch

1. Michelle & Spider. 2. Discussing some serious shit: Lincoln Michel, co-editor of Gigantic; Wythe Marschall, author, harlequin & colonel for The Hollow Earth Society; & Christine Rath, senior editor of Forte Magazine.

Monday night, we at Electric Literature celebrated the launch of Broadcastr. The party was held at SPiN NYC, which is owned by Susan Sarandon and is this gigantic club where you can play ping pong at one of their many tables. If you came early, you got to enjoy free Jameson and Grey Goose, but if you came (or stayed) later, then you got to pay SuperFun Manhattan prices for drinxxx.

Doors opened at six, and the room filled quickly with partygoers. The crowd was less literary than I’d expected, which was nice because talking only to publishing and writing types can feel a bit… insular at times. At seven, we all ceased pingpponging and socializing so we could listen to Scott Lindenbaum and Andy Hunter, the founders of both Electric Literature and Broadcastr.

Hunter opened his portion of the talk by quoting Aristotle, who said that voice was sound with soul. The hope for Broadcastr is to bring the voice, and the tradition of oral storytelling, into the digital age.

1. The Expensive College Student Contingent: James (The New School), Alicia (Columbia), and Saba (NYU), with Chris, an opera singer. 2. The Business Crew Contingent: Kristina, Christian, Kristen Wallace (who works for Broadcastr), Dan, & Jon.

Speech is something that almost anyone can do, Lindenbaum continued, and is also a medium that everyone is comfortable with, since we speak so often. Broadcastr hopes to create a new medium: uncensored, unmediated journalism; an interactive story woven by the people who shape each neighborhood; an instantly personalized tour guide for every city made by the people who know it best; a real-time oral record of last night’s adventures and mishaps.

1. Maura; Kate Petty, who is a reader for EL; & Oliver Baranczyk, a proofreader for Scholastic. 2. Daniel, a poet, and the three co-editors of Underwater New York: Nicole Haroutunian, Nicki Pombier Berger, & Helen Georgas.

Lindenbaum next showed us how it all worked, the stories pinned to their locations. We heard Michael Showalter say a little something about Williamsburg and Leslie Sharpo sing about 25th street. The stories can be accessed by location, keyword, or author. Like on Twitter, you can follow other users, and keep up to date about what they’re doing.

The site is currently in Beta mode, and guests for last night’s party were encouraged to sign up. If you didn’t make it to the party, get the invite at Broadcastr.com. One hundred e-mails will be given access to the site each week until the end of January, which is when the site will be open to the public, and also when the mobile apps will be released.

1. BlackBook Magazine’s Steve Lewis, & graphic designer Amanda Noa. 2. Crowding.

Lindenbaum closed the demonstration by comparing Broadcastr to a rubber ball: you can give a rubber ball to a person to play with, but you have no idea how they’re going to decide to use it. Perhaps they’ll bounce it, or kick it, or throw it. Perhaps they’ll do something with it that you’d never even thought of, and that’s when things really get exciting. So we at EL/Broadcastr encourage you to make Broadcastr yours.

Anyway, the party seemed to be a success: I left at 8:50 due to extreme hunger — the party was scheduled to end 9 — but plenty of people seemed to be still going strong.

1. The Smokers’ Contingent: Israel, who writes screenplays, & Veeps, a DJ/drummer/producer. 2. Tom Grattan, Marie-Helene Bertino, & Christina Moracho. All three got their MFAs from Brooklyn College with Andy & Scott, and Bertino is the assistant editor for One Story.

1. Katie Byrum, who is Scott’s roommate and a candidate for an MFA in Poetry at Hunter College, Leigh Stein, a poet, & Sarah Bridgins, a literary agent. 2. Randy Watkins, a graduate student at Cornell, & Sebastian Hiriart, who just got back from Dubai, where his film, A Tiro de Piedra (A Stone’s Throw Away), was showing in their film festival.

1. Rosa Angelove, a Ph.D. student at Cornell, Ilya Lyashevsky, the Director of Mobile and Web Development at Broadcastr and a secret Russian spy. 2. Jess, who works for Girls Write Now, & Max, a filmmaker. Max says that Broadcastr is a B.F.D. 3. Alex & Nathan, sitting in front of a painting of a naked lady cookin’ meat on a barbecue. Mmmm, meat.

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1. Adrianne Jeffries, who writes for The Observer, & Nathan Bennett, a videographer. Jeffries just beat Bennett at ping pong real bad. 2. Radmilla Suleymanova, a photographer, & Elyne Kahn, a med student and genius (says Suleymanova).

–Julia Jackson is working on her MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College, and is a regular contributor for Electric Dish.

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