I've written about Ignite Boulder before. Tonight there was no beer or control. The host tried to keep the 400+ people in the crowd engaged with presenters directly, but Brightkite users, pseudonymity, mockery, and hostility took over. Halfway through the presentations, the audience stopped listening to the speakers. Everybody was writing to and reading the Ignite Boudler 4 Brightkite wall, chock-full of heckles and mocks of speaker topics and styles. While I didn't contribute attacks, I did read them. It was funny in and of itself, but then reached a point of comic absurdity when some speakers were completely oblivious to it happening above their heads. It got so out of control that the host decided to remove the wall for the last five presenters, and for this he got pummeled by the audience. Tonight the crowd stole Ignite Boulder 4 and Brightkite enabled them to do it. That's powerful.
"I'm not sure about this larger venue, if we should keep it this size, or make it small again" were the hosts closing remarks. How ironic that the location-based tools used to empower social interactions, community, and individuality advocated by Ignite organizers (and supported by Techstars I might add) became unwanted distractions once control was lost. It was hilarious, and a self-evident testimony to the power of communities beyond the obvious.