I’m still trying to come down after attending my first South by Southwest Interactive Conference. I learned a few things about the conference in general and I learned a TON from the sessions I attended.
The first thing I learned is that the conference is, in fact, attended primarily by “techies.” (If you’d like to know what led me, a mostly non-techie, to attend, read this post first). These people are definitely the hard-core technology fans and early adopters. So it seems to me that paying attention to what’s going on here can give me a glimpse into the future. And following that logic, the future is:
- Macs & iPhones
But aside from that, there are sort of three parts to SXSWi: the education, the connections, and the partying. I couldn’t do all three. In fact I found it kind of exhausting to do just one. There for the learning, I packed my days full of sessions. And I went home every night feeling simultaneously completely exhausted and completely motivated. I learned so much to apply to my business that I wanted to get started on all of it right away…but first I wanted a nap. 😉
In the last couple of years I had jumped on the Apple bandwagon so at least I was caught up there. I fit right in when I took notes on my MacBook and whipped out my iPhone to check my calendar for the next session. But one thing I couldn’t NOT do was Tweet. Luckily I had been toying with the idea for a couple of weeks so I was ready to jump in at SXSW. It was really interesting how Twitter was being used to take questions at panels, to alter people’s schedules when they heard what was going on in real time, to follow other panels that you weren’t at, and to meet up with your friends (to see what I learned about Twitter specifically, read this post.)
Some new services debuted and they look really great. Here are the ones that look the most exciting to me:
- Otherinbox (I’ve actually been using this for months since they launched in beta and I’m LOVING it. The cure for email overload!)
- PeoplePond: Search Engine Optimization for People
- Animoto: Automatically produce your own professional-quality videos
- Digital Chalk: Rapidly deliver multi-media courses online
I also attended some really great sessions and learned a lot from some very smart people. Many of these are available for podcast so I suggest you check them out. My top 3:
- Change Your World in 50 Minutes: How to Make Breakthroughs Happen (Here’s a great blog post about the session, and I suggest you check out Kathy Sierra’s blog. Her talk was fantastic.) I also enjoyed the opening remarks from Tony Hseih of Zappos.com and the presentation Social Engineering: How to Scam Your Way into Anything (podcast).
I’ll be watching my email for news that tickets for SXSW 2010 have gone on-sale. Hope to see you there!