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Sat, MAR 17, 2007 at 6:43 PM

SXSW Interactive: Part 1

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I’ve spent several hours sifting through my notes, photos, and pickled memories of this years’ conference, trying to distill them into a few (somewhat) coherent posts and I’m beginning to realize that I’m a bit overwhelmed. For those of us involved in both the music and interactive side of things (which, at this point, should be everyone involved with music, but that’s another rant ) south by southwest is nothing if not really, really long. I arrived in Austin on a Thursday night and didn’t get home ’til late the following Friday. And there were still 2 days of music left that I skipped out on.

Since I spent so much time there this year (and since my note taking got less and less diligent as the week wore on), I’m just going to post a mish-mash of semi-chronological, semi-thematic notes. I hope that they make some sense to someone, somewhere.

A few short observations from the first few days of Interactive:

  • Interactive keeps growing and growing — while it wasn’t too big this year, it was definitely straining a bit under its size. Wifi in the convention center was a challenge and some of the talks were in strange, faraway corners of the convention center.
  • The conference still manages to attract really smart and fun people, in any case. The pleasure of getting to meet so many of them definitely outweighed any and all of the hassles.
  • I didn’t really have any trouble getting in to Las Manitas, so maybe all those people weren’t quite as smart as I thought. (My delicious vegetarian tamal is featured above…)
  • Speaking of delicious: SXSW ripped off the This Delicious cover in their marketing materials!
  • Maybe I just got lucky with the talks that I chose (or I’m old?) but the business track seemed better to me than the technical talks this year.
  • Under the pretense “automating admissions and preventing counterfeiting” they had RFID chips in the wristbands and badges this year. Creepy.
  • Bruce Sterling’s rant was great.

More later.


Posted by Harry Dean Hudson