Last night Irina Slutsky, Lan Bui, Vu Bui and Bonny Pierzina threw an "Awardy" (An Award Show that is really just a party)called The Winnies. All the usual suspects in online video were there. The boys from Big Fantastic, Ask A Ninja, Ask A Chola, Tiki Bar TV, Eddie, Cory, Betty, The Husbands, Nontourage, Goodnight Burbank / Abagail's X-Rated Teen Diaries, Viropop, iJustine, Mark Day and a bunch of others.
The Official Winnies site say, "If you have posted a video online within the last year -Congratulations! You are a Winnies Winner!!"
Well that message goes far beyond it's face value. If you have posted a video online in the last year you are a winner because you are several steps ahead of a lot of people who will trying to figure out how to make money on the Internet and if you went to the Winnies you are several steps ahead of everyone else. Not because the Winnies were a fantasticly fun time but because the relationships the attendees are making are going to help them in their pursuit of monetization for their videos.
Awards parties like the Winnies aren't where big deals get signed but they are where big deal get started.
Looking around the room I saw future millionaires who are all just waiting for the market to develop.
If you have any chances to get out an party with people in the online video community do it. I worked in TV for years and I never had the amount of fun that I'm having now in Internet video. It's because of the people. We are all working hard to make this an industry that supports us and we are all having a fun time doing it together because we are all winners.
Hats off to Irina, Lan, Vu and Bonny for putting together such a great event and to the sponsors for picking up the tab.