The bio for @NYNightlife’s Twitter feed sums up the content’s insider-y aim quite nicely: “I feel bad for those who don't follow @NYNightlife — they probably never have any fun.” The tweets are a solid mixture of bona fide breaking club news and quirky quips about all of the idiosyncrasies anyone who’s spent time toiling in the industry will chuckle in agreement with. The author, who won’t even specify a gender — “I’d like to think the tone doesn't favor either. At times, I can be an equal opportunity offender.” — claims to “semi-work” in nightlife, but says with more than 6,000 followers, “more people know @NYNightlife than me.” Only a few non-industry folk know his or her true identity, so the following interview — about the feed, how sourcing works and general trends in New York City nightlife — was conducted via email.
Nightclub Confidential (NCC): Why do you wish to remain anonymous in this endeavor?
@NYNightlife: After realizing I never put a name on the Twitter page, I figured ‘Why start now? Let’s just keep going and see what happens.’ I remain anonymous because it really isn't about me; it's about nightlife. I'm not doing this for comps, hookups or anything most bloggers enjoy; knowing people care enough to follow is more than enough for me.
NCC: You occasionally have insider info that hasn't broken to the public yet. Where do your tips and sources come from?
@NYNightlife: Most times, it's from the followers. Tons of industry people follow and send over tips they don't want coming back to them for fear there may be repercussions. Because I'm anonymous, it's easy to get the tip out and not have it traced back to them. If somebody wants credit for the tip, I will always source appropriately. Sometimes there is a fine line I have to walk to release the info without making it obvious as to who I am. There are times I can't say something until another blog has picked up the story.
NCC: How is the info you receive vetted for authenticity? Are you working with publicists or operators/owners to make sure it's correct before you release it?
@NYNightlife: For operators and publicists who want to put the word out about something — so long as it is relevant — I will gladly tweet it. As far as authenticity and accuracy of the information, think of NYNightlife as you would Wikipedia. Can Wikipedia provide wrong information? Sure, but does it? Not really. In the rare cases my information isn’t correct, within minutes of tweeting something, the NYNightlife community will pounce on the information and correct it. Teamwork, you might say.
NCC: When you go out, what do you look for in a room?
@NYNightlife: I believe the best rooms for functionality and flow are square in their dimensions. With a square shape, you have more options as to where the bar will go. For example, it can go in the center of the room and have everything revolve around it, whereas with a rectangular room, more of less, it needs to be against one of the walls. Secondly, I think DJs should be in a room more so than a booth. The best seat in the house should be behind the DJ.
NCC: What do you think the current trends in NYC nightlife are?
@NYNightlife: The main current trends, such as bottle service, have been constant for some time now and don’t appear to be fading. I read your piece on nightlife deal websites, which are a more recent trend. There are plenty of new websites trying to steal market share from promoters. You touched on the human factor that is missing from the equation, and that is why excellent customer service will inevitably be a key factor for these deal sites to survive and thrive. It’s interesting to see the role technology plays in nightlife as a whole, because unlike most industries, things in nightlife are very subjective because it is a business based off of people first, and products (alcohol) come second, so it is hard to build an algorithm to replicate the job of an operator or doorman as far as reservations via a website go.
NCC: What's the future for nightlife in Gotham look like?
@NYNightlife: Gotham has a big future, as in there seems to be larger venues getting ready to open. Hiro will be renovated and open as something more relevant than what it is currently. The rumors of Sankey’s coming to NY are circling. Add in a few 20,000+ square-foot theaters-turned-clubs in Hell’s Kitchen and the small/boutique style club era may be coming to an end. I think large clubs will need VIP rooms to be able to draw and keep the “good crowd” coming back. There is a need to have the right people feel special, and throwing them amongst the masses doesn’t seem to work in New York anymore.
NCC: What's the ultimate goal for your feed? Bylined column? Book deal? Or is it simply to provide insight and the occasional snarky musing about the industry?
@NYNightlife: Excellence is the goal. Building an engaged following is the goal. If the right opportunity comes my way, whether that’s a column, a book deal or a sponsorship, I’ll have to weigh the options then. Adding snarky comments about the industry will always be a perk.