Imagine a place where you are surrounded by the internet, but IRL. Imagine all of these people who have the best intentions, excitement and passion but without the snark. This is what XOXO Fest felt like. Andy Baio (@waxypancake) and Andy McMillan (@goodonpaper) put together something out of love of what they do and the things they enjoy. When I saw Andy Baio's original tweet about XOXO Fest, I knew that this was going to be something I needed to go to. I immediately showed my co-hort, Alli Dryer, and we quickly convinced our significant others to partake as well. And even if things didn't work out, there was a trip to Portland out of the deal with the promise of amazing food and bike rides. I kept telling people this was a conference, but it wasn't a conference, it was a festival. There is a difference as it was a celebration of creation and excitement for all the things. I had what I called "nice to meet you" cards made, but none of them got passed out. This wasn't the type of place where people passed out those sorts of things. You ended up tagging the people you met in instagram or following them on twitter. This was how you connected with each other. It was a better, non douchy way. The threshold of douchyness was very very low, which was so very welcome at an event like this. This was an intimate experience catered to all the people with the same taste and likeness. The size is something that helped this feeling. You really started to notice how small 400 people actually was, as how familiar everyones face became in a matter of a day. (part of me feels like I didn't talk to ENOUGH people.) The other way was how well The Fringe events, as it was called, were catered to this group of people. Indie games, Indie movies, open arcades, food trucks (oh the food trucks), letterpress trucks, makerbots. There were fun parties at the offices of Wieden + Kennedy and Panic, Inc. All these things are exciting to a certain type of people. The type of people who attended this festival. Also, the type of people who mostly don't have cable. The speeches were just long enough (averaging about 20-25 minutes) in a beautiful atmosphere of the large, big windowed YU Contemporary. There were plenty of breaks, there was stumptown coffee at our service downstairs and I can't express enough how nice everyone was. I will always remember that I was apart of something really special and I hope that the Andy's make this a yearly venture.