How my night went from Swagapalooza to the Armory…

Through a referral from my friend Suki, I received a personal invitation to Swagapalooza from founder Alex Krupp. The event is described best by my lazily copying from their site:

Swagapalooza is an experiment in viral media. On April 12th, the world’s most-followed bloggers, tweeters, and digital influencers will gather in San Francisco to judge five-minute auditions from the creators of the latest, greatest, and most unexpected new products… And to connect with each other.

You deserve to be begged for your attention and your following. Your taste and discernment make you the perfect judge of these marketers who will come to cajole, beg and bribe you…

(with more free stuff than you can imagine.)

From this, we ended the night at The SF Armory, an old military fortress now housing alternative sex production company (link goes to Wikipedia, don’t worry). Alex, apparently a fan of guided tours, arranged this free tour for all his Swagapalooza attendees.

So now I fill in the spaces in between, interspersing photos from with descriptions of my favorite products from Swagapalooza. Because, let’s face it, photos of nerds are boring (sorry kids, this includes me) and you wouldn’t want me ruining the Kink tour for you with details.

From the moment we entered, we were handed complimentary loaves of bread from Sour Flour, an organization run by local baker Danny Gabriner. In an attempt to build a “community through bread,” he offers a number of baking courses and bread orders. From the taste of the loaf (did you cringe inside reading that too?), I highly recommend the classes if baking is in your line of interests.

Then, people started talking on stage, starting with Alex and Justin Kan of I knew better than to sit down as my attention span can only withstand ten minutes of “preso” at a time… after which I start seeking more interesting subjects like the color of walls. That is not to say the presentations weren’t great. They were. I’d just highly recommend that future Swagapaloozas include a time limit for speakers.

The walls are black, by the way.

Several presentations really caught my attention. The first was by Will Hauser, co-founder of nutrition bar producer Two Degrees Food. For every bar you purchase, the company gives a malnourished child in a third-world country a nutrition packet. Not bad.

The second presentation I enjoyed was for the film Transcendent Man. A documentary on the “life and ideals” of author and futurist Ray Kurzweil, it touches upon a number of themes relevant to my existentialist need to define myself. Their PR rep offered me an invitation to their San Francisco premier this Thursday at the Palace of Fine Arts but unfortunately I can’t make it. (Update 4/15/11: Turns out there was a copy of the film in my swag bag. I promptly watched it and covered it here.)

An action-packed battle against Skynet is an appropriate segue for the final hot presenter: Stunner of the Month. I was more impressed by the presenter — fully in character as some strange amalgamation of Bill, Ted and an excellent adventure in Jersey — as he described the “stunna life” and “stun levels” (paraphrasing) while placing stunner after stunner on his head. Funny, and a nice break from the other presentations. The service itself is simple: you get a random stunner shade at the end of each month with an accompanied stunner story. For example, the swag shades I received included the following written on a notecard:

THE FUHGEDDABOWDITS: Cruisin to Dean & DeLucca’s (sic) in your Lincoln lookin for something wrong. You holler at the broad on the corner… fuhgeddabowdit.

Wow, that’s so ME. How did they know? According to their site, my match is based on an old KGB algorithm stolen from the Soviets.

No wonder they lost the Cold War.

Finally, my favorite piece of swag was also the most expensive and useful: a dress shirt from Sabøteur, a men’s clothing company that designs functional (some even waterproof) clothing. Not bulletproof like the Caballero suits from Columbia, but I suppose it would be pessimistic of me to expect gunfire in my everyday life…

Great event. Fun after-party. I had a great time. Thanks, Alex and team!