Hmmm, I have been seriously slack in blogging in the last couple of weeks. Nine days out in Austin meant I was somewhat distracted (although lame of me not to blog I mean it's practically the law at SXSW). Anyway, I'm pleased to report that it exceeded expectations, interesting talk, great people, lots of fun. OK so I know it was my first time and I probably sound a little giddy (maybe next year I'll sound more jaded) but now I really understand why it generates so much buzz.
So highlights and lowlights?
Well, it's best to have the bad news first right?
- As the lovely Vero points out so eloquently, it became apparent pretty quickly that the organisers had screwed up by not making it clear what level the panels were aimed at and some were really pretty basic.
- The venue is fine, huge and souless but hey, that's OK but they really need to sort the catering out- a rank wrap and coffee for $18 – yack.
Um, I can't think of anything else bad. Now the good news.
- Great speakers and a fanastic range of subjects mean that you have a huge choice of potential panels.
- The people, the people, the people. It's great to be with like minded folk who don't mind if you stand staring at your iphone for 10 mins instead of speaking to them. Particularly big shout to the digital mission crew, a lovely bunch of folk.
- Parties, free beer – what more can I say.
- Speaker highlights: Kathy Sierra, Gary V (who was worth going to watch for the astounding hero worship he receives from his fans – GO GARY, you're AWESOME). And of course the British 'anti-panel' #kebab. It was juvenile and silly but hilarious and a refreshing change from all the earnest talk about social meeja.
- And finally, wi-fi that worked despite the fact that thousands of people where blogging, twittering and probably uploading a gazillion gigabites of data per second.
But you know you've been bitten by the SXSW bug when you realise that there is just no way on earth
that you won't be there next year.