Published by Kerry on 19 Mar 2010 at 05:49 am
1. Getting an edge
SXSW is known as the premiere festival for finding the ‘Next Big Thing’ – you can see pre-festival predictions by Bay Area tech blogger MG Siegler. We enjoyed watching Foursquare and Gowalla battle it out at the top, and at the less competitive end see nonprofits leverage the mobile location-based web. SXSW Interactive remains the place to get the jump on some up-and-coming innovations.
2. Silent connections
Throughout SXSW there was a silent parallel ecosystem of tweets influencing the conference (hence the hashtags on this blog post’s title). Sitting in a panel and don’t understand what some jargon is? Don’t worry, some knowledgeable Twitterers have added their own insights. The tweet ecosystem ranged from humorous, like passing notes in class, to mildly insulting. Talk about instant feedback….
Here are a couple of comments from a SXSW hashtag stream:
- @thopeross No wonder brands are confused as to where/how/why to start w/SocMed. These “experts” are all over the road. #sxsw #futureofinfluence
- @CoryOBrien No mention of @Klout in #FutureOfInfluence panel was a huge fail. Measuring micro-influence in social is not only possible, it exists. #SXSW
- @jenleereeves I’m sitting near @southwestair folks while the #futureofinfluence panel talk about the Kevin Smith incident. #sxsw
Go to the Future of Influence post to see more tweets in context.
3. Interactive panels
We had an amazing time listening to dynamic, witty speakers share their experiences with social media, technology, social change, and interacting in the global sphere. We’ve posted some standouts on the blog previously. A few entertaining moments from other worthwhile panels:
- The example of a random girl named Erin trying to connect in Chicago was used to discuss movements at an individual level, in the panel How to Spark a Movement in the 21st Century. “Erins are everywhere!”
- Fun fact: the Ford Focus is the most discussed car in social media in China, from the Social Media and China: Different Than You Think panel. Who would have thought?
- Panelists from Uprising Tide reported that there was minimal netroots community/social media and tech startups in New Orleans until last year, when a group of them attended SXSW and began to mobilize. Could their model work for you?
4. “Lounging” around
One of our favorite places to catch our breath and catch up with attendees in the nonprofit world was the Beacon Lounge, hosted by Beaconfire Consulting. Musicians performed, our box lunches benefited local charities, and it was a great hub of activity.
As the saying goes, SXSW truly begins at night. The city was buzzing with happy hours, mixers and parties. We particularly enjoyed the crazy interactive fun of Frog Design‘s party (complete with virtual “stars” that grew on a screen the more connections you made with people) and the SXSW Web Awards, hosted by the hilarious Doug Benson.
But the biggest value by far was meeting great new people in a casual setting, and that just doesn’t happen while sitting in a panel. It happens hanging out in restaurants, bars, and sitting on the floor (yep, the floor: check point 4 of these tips and point 6 of these tips if you don’t believe us!). We had a blast!
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