Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Mixed Drinks and Mingling IV
There's MediaBistro. And then there's Ed2010. MediaBistro aims to connect media professionals to new opportunities -- and to each other. Ed2010 is a group for young editors who are looking to land their dream magazine jobs by the year 2010. Both host face-to-face events around the U.S. to help media workers connect and collaborate. I've been to several MediaBistro gatherings -- each a different experience. And last night, I went to my first Ed2010 event.

I was really impressed. I'm going to try not to compare it to MediaBistro too much, but there are some subtle and important differences between the two networks, their events, and what they might do for participants.

  • It seems to me that Ed2010 is much more decentralized. Allison and Jennifer, the two women who organized the event, contacted Ed2010 about whether there were going to be any Boston activities. Ed2010 responded by suggesting that Allison and Jen organize some. So they did. They picked the place -- Redline, a new upscale bar on Harvard Square that wasn't quite my style -- and Ed2010 sent out the announcement. MediaBistro seems to have more central control. They pick the venue. The local coordinator just has to check it out and then show up -- wearing a boa. I thought the boa was a fluke, but no. It must be worn.
  • Ed2010's age range also changed the feeling of the event. Because the members are all young editors, there's a less-formal, slightly more energetic, and perhaps even more supportive atmosphere because everyone's in the same boat. Some of us had jobs. Some of us were looking for work. But we were all at about the same point in our careers -- and could better resonate with each other's experiences and situation. MediaBistro is more of a mixed bag and seems split between a group for working media professionals -- and a job-search networking group like so many others.
  • This might be because of the age range, too, but Ed2010 also felt more social. There was nothing forced. Several people came with friends, but everyone quickly met everyone else, and the large-group conversations were quite active before we fell back into our respective groups. To my fault, I lapsed into a group of fellow and former Fast Company/Inc./Atlantic Monthly people -- all officed between Commercial Wharf and 77 North Washington. But we didn't all stick to our cliques for the whole time, and I met several people with whom I'm going to keep in touch -- which hasn't really happened at MediaBistro. So it's also a solid social outlet for young, creative media people.

    High marks. I look forward to the next one!
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