This year’s SXSW conference may have had little to offer many attendees – thanks to its size and complexity – but the networking opportunities remain… everyone still goes to Austin, not to attend the event itself though, but rather to talk shop with their peers elsewhere in the Texas city.
This year I finally gave up on the conference itself, going to a handful of sessions. I met many more who hadn’t seen a single session and several who didn’t even bother buying a ticket. Instead people spent time seeing friends and maintaining the weak ties in their social graph. I say that somewhat wryly, but SXSW really has become about networking in the most real and genuine sense of the word. Gone are the days when people would congregate in the hallways after sessions and head out in search of food on mass. Instead I ended up organising lunches and dinners in advance to make sure that I got to spend quality time with the people I most cared about.
Boasting over 1000 panels (presentations or discussions), and more than 1800 speakers, could it be the SXSW music, film, and interactive conference held in Austin, Texas each year, is becoming too big to be useful?
When I started going to SXSW in 2005, there were maybe 8 or so presentations and panels going on during each time slot. I prefer single track conferences like Webstock and An Event Apart, but at least with 8, you usually only have 1 or 2 you really want to attend so the conflict rate is low. Fast forward to this year and there are 45 THINGS GOING ON during many slots. That is not an exaggeration. 45 panels.
Tina Roth Eisenberg, aka Swissmiss, thinks it is time the format of the conference panel – which usually feature a number of speakers in discussion on a stage – was given an overhaul.
Put the panelists in the center of the room, hand them a microphone and have them stand and walk around. The dynamic of a panel would change and it would make it easier for the audience to participate. One thing I learned with organizing the CreativeMornings, which are always hosted at a different space, is that the “packaging” of an event determines how the attendees and speakers interact. The oldschool “rows of chairs” and panelists sitting on a podium far away at the end of the room is everything but facilitating exchange.
… it would have to be the From Freelance to Agency: Start Small, Stay Small panel.
The web has always attracted mavericks and entrepreneurs, and a rocky economy makes the freelance life more desirable (or at least more inevitable) than ever. So what happens when your freelance business starts to grow? How big can you get without getting bad? How can freelancers and small teams compete with traditional agencies? Hip freelancers and cool agency heads will answer questions, compare experiences, and tell their stories.
One of these days I’ll surprise myself and go to SXSW.
Is South By South West overrated?
Matthew Pennell asks if South By South West has become more blow than go.
If you didn’t attend, did the fuss and excitement have you turning green with envy – or is SXSW simply a week-long party for A-listers and wannabe blogerati, desperately flickring each other to somehow validate their pitiful obsession with what is essentially simply yet another tech conference?
SXSW Web Awards · People’s Choice Award
The finalists have been named for this year’s SXSW Web Awards, and now you can vote (every 24 hours apparently) for your favourite nominee.
Among the blogs making the short list is Passive-Aggressive Notes. Er, “if you have good taste you will vote for this…”
My Experience with Facebook that’s Nate Whitehill’s experience with Facebook, not mine.
I suppose that most people would expect that a geek like me would be all over what many people call the coolest web application on the Internet. Honestly, it is surprising even to me that I didn’t sign up for Facebook earlier. Reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones is done much more easily and professionally through Facebook.
Nate also ranks Facebook over LinkedIn, which certainly lacks Facebook’s… fun. I get the feeling you’d be slapped over the knuckles if it were found you were having too much fun there! +
Firefox Rendering Bug Fixed in Record Time: if you were wondering about the super fast Firefox upgrades from 2.0.0.09 to 188.8.131.52, then to 184.108.40.206, then you should read on.
Within hours of bug reports being filed, the Firefox development team was on the case:
Mozilla developers mobilized quickly, and were able to produce a fixed version of the browser just 16 hours after the original bug report. The release team then took over to push Firefox 220.127.116.11 out the door in record time. “It’ll be the fastest turnaround between Firefox releases to date,” wrote Firefox developer Nick Thomas ahead of the new version.
Just how often do we see this sort of service from the manufacturers of Internet Explorer then? +
The 11th Annual SXSW Web Awards: for something that occurs annually, the South by South West Web Awards seem to roll around rather quickly. Nominations are open for the 2008 awards, so it’s time to put your best foot forward! +
On Experts and Expertise: by Andy Budd. It seems every person and their dog is an expert of some sorts now.
We currently live in a world dominated by experts. You only have to open a newspaper or switch on the television to see experts giving pronouncements on everything from parenting to the economy. In a world of multifarious complexities, the need for such experts is clear. We need experts to filter the huge flow of information and simplify it into something more digestible.
These “experts” aren’t just restricted to the confines of the old media though. How many experts on any given topic can be found somewhere in the blogosphere?
The crucial aspect of being an expert is experience. We can all open a book and learn about a topic, but that doesn’t make us an expert. Expertise comes from repetitionâ€“ from doing something over and over again until it becomes second nature. Experience lets us develop patterns, hone our skills and learn from our mistakes. Experience counts.
And experience doesn’t come down with the last rain shower either… +
Milky Way galaxy may have hidden twin: meaning what, that we can’t see the galaxy for the stars?!
A galaxy as massive as the Andromeda galaxy could be lurking behind a veil of dust at the centre of the Milky Way. If it is there and we could see through the dust, the galaxy would appear larger than the Full Moon.
Maybe that’s where some of the universe’s “missing matter” is lurking then? +