Party Crashing Hard in Anaheim

Together with:


Cheers from one of the various Marriott owned properties littering Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim. It is, as you are undoubtedly aware, VidCon time once again. Last year I was kinda salty on the whole thing…it felt light on actual creators mingling, very heavy on the folks who exist to make money off creators’ name and likeness. Lotta pitches with nowhere to go.

But this year, Passionfruit set out for Anaheim with the sole intention to tip the scales in favor of the creators, hosting an intimate gathering of friends, co-conspirators, and creatives on the rooftop of the JW Marriott yesterday.

We enlisted the help of our sponsors from our last event at SXSW, namely Teachable and Creator Economy NYC, along with newcomers Blanka and If you want to support our work at Passionfruit, go smush these links and support their work (which in turn will support your work as a creator, so it works out pretty nicely).

What we initial imagined as a small affair for 100 or so invitees ballooned to hundreds of RSVPed interlopers when it became clear that our friends at Tubefilter wouldn’t be hosting their long-running opening night party (Josh and Drew are probably recovering from their spin through Cannes last week, hosting these things is no easy shake). I did try to start a rumor that they were having a secret meet up at Disney’s Club 33, but only because I was tired of everyone asking me if I knew anything about the Tubefilter party.

But no problem for us, the more the merrier, etc. Our sponsors were kind enough to offer to keep the bar open an extra hour, and–despite the unrelenting urge to network at a networking event–we managed to host a great panel discussion on the real challenges facing creators as they build their businesses. We’ll have some photos and videos to share from that next week, but major thanks to Olivia Owens, Kaylee Lieffers, Chris Do, and Brett Dashevsky for the insight and candor.

I’d normally brag about who else was there, but the whole point of this party was to create a space for creators to just hang. No chasing the clout on this one, they’re all just normal people who just happen to have larger audiences than most regional newspapers. I only got starstruck with one of you (I’m sorry, I swear I usually never do that).

But beyond the slight party fouls that come from seeing someone who delights you on the internet IRL, the vibes were otherwise immaculate. It was wonderful getting to meet so many of you, and if you’re new to this list from our party, welcome. We send these emails twice a week, it’s mostly full of news from our team of reporters, sometimes it’s heartfelt essay stuff, other times we like to rail on generative AI maximalists and platform oligopolies.

Most importantly, stay subscribed because we’ll be hosting more creator gatherings like this in LA, NY, and eventually everywhere in between. Maybe not always as well catered as the JW Marriott and those delicious pizza bagel things, maybe not always as bustling as last night, but we’re working on finding more intimate, low key spaces for creators to connect with each other in.

If you’d like to help sponsor the next one, you can just respond to this email and we’ll be in touch.

And to those interested sponsors who have been in touch and haven’t heard back from me yet, I’m not ignoring you, ok well I kind of am but I swear I’ll be getting back to you soon. I also know I said this last time, sorry. Please realize this is an inbox that gets all matters of crazy, it’s possible you’ve been drowned out by link farms looking for SEO juice.

Grace will have a more replete VidCon post mortem for us next week, though if you happen to be here you should go see them speak tomorrow from 3:30-4:30 on the Trending Stage, discussing “Beyond the Binary” with some of the biggest non-binary creators on the interwebs.

And if you’re looking for me this evening, I threw a great party last night, so I’m going to Disneyland. Because that’s just what you do when you do a good thing and then immediately wake up in Anaheim the next day. One of the finer unwritten laws of late stage capitalism, in my opinion.

Have fun crashing the TikTok party though! Just remember: Their new AI tools are primarily calibrated to make it easier for advertisers to pay them and not you, so gobble those free drinks recklessly. You certainly earned ‘em.


From Innovation to Chaos: TikTok’s AI Avatars Stir Controversy Online

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