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SXSW Fury

South by Southwest is a furious frenzy of frenetic and frantic freaks of the future (i.e internet geeks).

The festival is so large it will consume u alive. It took me three days just to get it down. But it’s also an institution, a somewhat passé one at that. Nearly everyone u meet flashes u a gang sign telling u how many times they’ve been here. And, they do it with a combo of pride/ego/I’ve seen it all.

As a SWirgin I could care less. There is so much pure unbridled joy, pureness, and passion it’s catchy. With a little luck u can find the future in NUI (natural user interface). A whole lot of passion with @garyvee, @kathysierra, and the ‘be awesome’ meme. Or, some sustainability, art, film, and creativity.

On the other hand, I was pretty fulfilled to hear some talk of boredom with ‘social media’. You know that rush to do something cause it’s cool, like the need to hang out with the cool kids in high school.

For every tool I pick-up I actually use it, and not to be the first to use or to add their widget. But, to get some family videos online or to get closer to long lost friends. Sometimes the utility of these true innovations get lost in the ‘first adopter’ crowd.

Andy Warhol definitely had no idea that our fifteen minutes of fame would come through getting a hundred twttr followers.

Ok, nuff of my diatribe now on to my favorites of the conf and I’m out:

- universal design – great panel led by James Craig of apple who effortlessly unwinds a story of how desgining for those with disabilities is leading to true the breakthroughs of tomorrow.

- GPS – big money. Google is getting involved, phone makers are in, chips are super cheap. Think location based ads, friend awareness, parents tracking kids, basically everything around us will have a little blinking GPS beacon.

- Facebook connect/design – what is with Facebook and SXSW? Making up for last year maybe, but they did rawk this one. Their new homepage look pushes them forward into new markets and fbook connect simultaneously supports those new markets.

- Friends – these events are 10x better with friends (@sengseng, @immunity) and growing that circle is choice.

- Twttr trends, oauth – twttr rocks the body that rocks the party. Being ubiqitous and building on that through a slick new trends interface (including hash tags as links). Then announcing, quietly, OAuth to solve all those pesky password problems…dominators.

- Online identity – building one, safeguarding it, monetizing it.

- Amdrew Mager, Andy Carvin – my heroes of the conference, foe their solid performances, quality content, and real personalities.

- Security/protection/finance/privacy

- Freefury – free in the 21st century means we are the ultimate customer. We pay through time, not through good coupon deals. Our ADD allows us to be fickle and companies will do whatever to keep us coming back (every fickle day). Why? B/c they want ad dollars, a large user base to run promos against, and enough peeps to support a ‘premium service’.

- Females – chix rock, but have inferiority complexes in tech. Watch out men because girls will soon take your place, the old boy network is going the way of be dodo (thankfully!)

- Millions of iPhones – good gosh, Apple in the house. Was SXSW ready for 3/4 of the populace to needs two wifi connections (lappy, phone). Apparently not and neither was AT&T as their 3G laggdom brought everything to a screeching halt.

- Big money – what recession, the tech sector doesn’t care. Attendance was down a little, but the money was still free flowing. Every major and minor player is throwing an open bar party with food and shwag galore. Does anyone else agree with me that tech is carrying many cities during this recession?

Finally, a concise line that hits home:

Unstructured careers driven by passion

P.S. This is a walkblog, my first too, wrote it while walking to @wholefoods.

Steve

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  1. The most radically sweet post you’ve written…walk & text away my friend…just don’t hit. We need you alive & slinging.