A TweetStory Of My SXSW Talk on Zero Waste

It’s a shame to let the twitter stream go to waste. So when looking for ways to recap my experience delivering a talk on Zero Waste at SXSW, the twittstream seemed like the perfect way to tell the story.

It all starts with my last two tweets before getting started:

Twitter_avatar_normal robotchampion Prepped and ready for 1230 #zerowaste talk, props, surprise guests, and even activism!

Twitter_avatar_normalrobotchampion Talk is just moments away, use the #zerowaste hashtag

As we get started eight folks chime in with GoWalla and Foursquare check-ins and general announcements about it beginning:

Default_profile_4_normal steveblackmon #zerowaste — at Zero Waste: The Future of Green http://gowal.la/s/4rK2

Me_normal JessiO At the #zerowaste session in 8A. (@ Austin Convention Center w/ @ramon_deleon @benedictwong @leahjones) http://4sq.com/8RQqOx

Yannx_-_small_normal YannR next #zerowaste … the future of green @ sxsw

4419588603_797328914c_b_normal sustaining Settling in at the #zerowaste session; looks like a diverse crowd and a lot of Austinites!

Then, I launch into my intro attempting to explain #zerowaste, but here is what they crowd hears/tweets:

Greenited_normal GREENITED On average Americans create 6 pounds of trash per day per person. #zerowaste #sxsw

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood At #zerowaste, @robotchampion is talking about companies like @WholeFoods that are reducing the amt of trash they send to landfill. Saves $.

Lbd2008_012_normal accooper1 Change the size of the compost (largest) recycle & landfill (smallest) bins to help change behavior #zerowaste #sxsw

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood #zerowaste is diverting from landfills… composting, recycling… – @robotchampion #SXSW

Ok, so either I was extremely captivating and no one cared to tweet, or I talked way too fast and folks only had time to tweet major snippets?

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood Next speaker is Beth Ferguson from Austin… Her design thesis was on solar charging stations for electric vehicles & bikes. #zerowaste

Agreenerlife_normal agreenerlifeorg At the #zerowaste panel being impressed with people’s ingenuity.

Newpic_normal Blocks8 Look for the solar recharge stations that look like 1950’s gas pumps around Austin #sxsw #zerowaste

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood One audience member said they saw it last night and there was a line. People are digging it. #zerowaste // Now I wanna go snap a pic!

Picture_20_normal LisaRedShoesPR did not know about the retro-fitted 50s style gas pumps as solar charging stations for bikes, laptops around… #sxsw #zerowaste

4419588603_797328914c_b_normal sustaining Beth Ferguson’s design for a solar electric charging station incorporates 1950s gas pumps to make energy consumption visible. #zerowaste

Kelly_new_avatar_normal craftyb RT @createthegood: Henry Ford’s wife drove the first electric vehicle. #zerowaste #whoknew

I chime in with an important fact that a few tweet about:

Avatar_122615_normal changeorder The greatest new energy source is energy reduction. #zerowaste #sxsw

Then our next speaker, Jason Aramburu, starts off with a zinger:

Croppercapture_3__normal brianfit Clean coal? Oxymoron! #zerowaste

Bbf_normal brookebf Rechar doing project in Houston ship channel w waste wood fr hurricane ike gen pwr & fertilizer reduce landfill #zerowaste #sxswi #housxsw

After Jason’s talk I go off on compost, which seemed to set off a flurry of tweets:

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood A lot of people in the room raise their hand saying they compost. Me, I’m learning. #zerowaste #SXSW

E_solo_1_normal ericavandenberg “Farmers call compost black gold” #zerowaste #sxswi

3604605400_69a847a333_normal KuraFire Compost is the new black gold. #zerowaste

Amy begins her part:

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood Next up, @sengseng (aka “Steve’s woman”) She’s talking about the girlfriend’s perspective living with someone who lives #zerowaste lifestyle

Noname_6__normal kirbstr #zerowaste victim or guinea pig 🙂

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood . @sengseng‘s first reaction was that #zerowaste is impossible in today’s society #SXSW

Lbd2008_012_normal accooper1 Waste is just a bad habit not a lifestyle #zerowaste #sxsw

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood Even just bringing a water bottle or your own cup helps reduce the paper generated. – @sengseng #zerowaste #SXSW

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood Changing food habits was one of the biggest challenges. @robotchampion & @sengseng shop at farmers markets mainly #zerowaste #SXSW

Picture_20_normal LisaRedShoesPR Re-think what constitutes a meal … #sxsw #zerowaste eat things from farmer’s markets.

Amy hits the tweet bingo with the most folks re-tweeting her lines/quoting her. Then a questioneer brings up the crucial question with perfect timing and saving me from the awkward transition to it. What are the online resources for zero waste, food, etc.?

Picture_20_normal LisaRedShoesPR take note of the #slowfood movement. #sxsw #zerowaste

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood To find your local farmers markets or locally sourced food, one resource is http://www.localharvest.org/ #zerowaste #SXSW

Picture_20_normal LisaRedShoesPR check out eatwellguide.org for farmer’s guide market #sxsw #zerowaste

Finally, the session winds down with announcements and lots of folks with new ideas:

Noname_6__normal kirbstr #zerowaste comment on the waste of the swag bags, but they are a revenue source for smaller biz but #sxsw is cutting down on paper wastes

Img_4890-edit-2-edit_normal MelissaSavcic Great talk about #zerowaste at #sxsw There needs to be more ‘green’ lifestyle conferences!

3604605400_69a847a333_normal KuraFire IFixit.com is aiming to be a Wikipedia for fixing your own hardware (like broken iPhone screens). #zerowaste

3604605400_69a847a333_normal KuraFire “Reduce first, Reuse second, Recycle third. Now a fourth one: Rethink.” #Zerowaste

Pirate_normal floridagirlindc My fave from #zerowaste panel at #SXSW: @sengseng‘s “Look at the faces of people in supermakret vs people at farmers market. Who’s happier?”

Img_0860_normal the007way #zerowaste www.soldesignlab.com Been considering an elec scooter but I have nowhere to charge it at present. Just got rid of car.

The Stats

  • 6 rave reviews and 2 critiques (here, here, I followed up personally with each critique)
  • During the 60 minute session:
  • — there were 51 ReTweets
  • — 204 Tweets using the hashtag #zerowaste
  • — which is 3.4 tweets/minute or about a tweet every 18 seconds
  • 1 Live Streamer
  • 3 Live Note Takers (by YannR, cwcinc, and benrigby)

The Ending, My Favorite Tweet

Photo_071309_001_normal AeroSuch Lots of sandals & composters at #Zerowaste. Great insights into solar recharge, bio charcoal, and savingmoney/calories/trash #habits #sxsw

SXSW Interactive Warmup

There seems to be a few events each year that go a bit overboard. One where no matter where you are in the social media swim you hear about it. Right now we are building up to that with SXSW in Austin, TX.

This mega conference has been building up lots of steam as each year passes. From the music to the movies to the internet, it can interest nearly everyone. It is long too, as It starts on March 13 on a Friday afternoon and doesn’t end until 10 days later on March 22.

For my part, I am going for personal an work. Since both of are in the internet business, I can’t wait to launch into the conference frenzy. I must say that conferences by internet and social media geeks is like no other I have been to. There are so many back channels, methods of communication, product releases, start-ups, and money being tossed around it can make you lose all sense of normalcy.

This being my third go round at internet/social media revelry, I am determined to take it easy. I’m gonna attend some choice sessions, talk to some fun folk, and then soak in the learning. In the past, it is just go-go-go. This year I want to take it back a notch. Not sure if this is possible.

Especially as SXSW Interactive where there over 180 sessions…during the day! Not to mention all of the other events throughout the evening and night. This is going to be sensory overload and especially since this is my first SXSW, making me a SWirgin. I think I have a few cards up my sleeve to help me out here.

First, I have been pre-thinking about what I want to learn. Most of my top themes relate to web design and new tools. Although, some relate to mobility, best practices in production, and a few “hot new things”. Having this list in mind should help me to sift through the multitude.

Second, the echo chamber is in full effect. Not that I’m saying its a bad thing, in fact I value the echo chamber. Just not when I’m flying so far to learn. In Austin, I am looking to learn and so I will skip all the also-ran, heard it all before presentations (marketing in new media, how to establish your brand, just what is new media).

Third, hey if you hang around long enough you can figure out who the cool kids are. In this case, I’m talking about the  brilliant, always engaging, knock your socks off folks. Check out my short list below for some of them.

Fourth, and final, I am a pro. I am really. I am rolling in with an MacBook Air, an iPhone tweaked for the conference, light weight backpack with necessary dongles and such, and finally a smart mentality. The mobility of the MBA and iPhone is essential for tight spaces, long days, and maximum efficiency. The smart mentality means skipping the bad food, stupid handouts, and even worse middle-of-the-hall sales pitch. It is essential to leave yourself enough energy for the night-time in your new city and avoiding the death by vendor attack.

That’s it, time to get some rest before my early flight, but first here are some hot tips:

Links

SXSW Interactice – list of sessions

SXSW Scheduling tool

Alltop SXSW news

Recommended Sessions

Change v2 – Lawrence Lessig

Obama has awoken a once in a century passion for reform. What will it take to make it work? What would “work” mean?

Using GPS & Location to Enhance Social Networking – Panel (twttr, brightkite, garmin…)

First there were social networks, and then there were location-based social networks, and now GPS and navigation-enhanced mobile social networks. This panel will explore how these emerging platforms integrate with existing social networks (facebook, twitter, etc), leverage GPS navigation functionality, and take location-aware social networking to the next level.

Buzz Out Loud Podcast Taping – Natali, Tom, and Jason

Buzz Out Loud is CNET’s premiere daily podcast hosted by Natali Del Conte, Tom Merritt, and Jason Howell. They cover all the tech news with their own and their audience’s takes on what it all means, often with hilarity ensuing. They’ll cover the top SXSW stories with special guests. If you want to understand what’s happening in the tech world, especially at SXSW, you need to listen to Buzz Out Loud.

iPhone Tweakage

At the conference this year, I am going to be testing out all that the iPhone can offer. To include the WordPress iPhone app for live blogging. Photos uploaded on-the-spot. Twitter streaming SMS to my phone. Google Alerts and Yahoo listservs to my gmail inbox. Hopefully, a whole lot of location based community building for meet-ups, spontaneous get togethers, and a little where the heck is everyone (not sure how this will work out…). Just wish I could record some vids on the phone…

Twitterati and the twitter addiction

First thing to say is watch your cell phone bill. If you start using twitter and you like it, you might as well upgrade your texting package. ‘Cause almost every twitterati I know has forked over some cash to the evil empire of cell phone companies.

So, first you say, what is a Twitterati? Not sure yet. Guy Kawasaki is using the term on his site Alltop that collects stories from the web and sorts into topics. In his site for twitter he pulls together some big names from the tech industry and he is calling them Twitterati. I guess it means the super-cool or elite class of twitter users….??

Of which there are tons of them. In fact, anyone can be a twitterati. It is so easy to gain 10,000 friends. The only real challenge comes in getting those same people to follow. There must be some sort of unique metrics play you can put onto the following:followers ratio.

However, a true twitterati has influence over folks. The recent SXSW twitter a–hole event shows just how that influence can spill over into social gatherings, shared experiences, and emotional outbursts. There are really only a few of those folks and their influence comes from everything they do, twitter just being one of their media outlets.

Still, that doesn’t mean the rest of us aren’t twitterati. In our own worlds we are kings/queens and can have just the right amount of friends we want. Grow to follow everyone or just simply keep it close and personal.

Me…I’m completely addicted to twitter. I fall into the “grow to follow everyone” category. I am following 140+ twitter accounts. I use it to get my weather, world/science/tech/political news, talk to friends, plan events, complain/rant/rave, and a nice little companion during my twice daily dog walks. Better yet I am finding new ways to use the tool everyday. Just this morning I installed Brian Shaler’s Twixxer, which allows you to view photos and videos on the twitter site.

My addiction means that I had to upgrade to unlimited texting through ATT, a 15$/month charge. I also think I’ve broken the iPhone and ATT data transfers. I get so many updates now, about 100/hr, that my service is becoming spotty and the phone is going much slower and sometimes freezing. Worse, I even start to think in terms of 140 character thoughts.

Frankly, I think the only thing keeping my sanity in tact is my respect for other people. I always try to just plain ignore my phone when hanging with others. I’m not perfect by any means, but hey admitting you have a problem is the first step right?

“Hello, my name is Steve and I have a problem, I’m addicted to Twitter”

/twitterati crowd somberly echoes “Hello Steve”