Media Musings & Meditations

Observations and discussion about technology, culture and spirituality. As new technology developments and trends envelope the Internet and our "wired" culture we all need time to reflect and process the implications on our society, our relationships and our spiritual practices.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Head South for the Spring

I've just recently returned from the South By Southwest Interactive (www.sxsw.com) conference in Austin Texas. It was my first time (along with hundreds of other first-timers) Now that I've had a chance to reflect, I'd like to give a report.

To anyone interested in web design or development, web graphics, software development or just Internet technologies and trends, in general, I would say this should be an event on your annual calendar. I would describe it as a time of:

  • learning (there were panel and lecture sessions),


  • networking (it was easy to meet and talk to people before and after the sessions - in the hallways, the tradeshow area and at free events),


  • problem-solving (talking to people with similar skills and interests frequently led to discussions about using new products and technologies or how to fix pesky problems with the same) and


  • fun (there was a spirit of fun, self-deprecating humor, industry-specific inside jokes, and even a comedian MC at the Website awards) among people within the Web Industry.



In addition to the regular daytime sessions at the convention, there were free, company-sponsored buffets, parties and events in the evenings around the downtown area. Other special highlights includes the Webby Awards pre-party, ceremony and after party, and a movie premiere.

If you would like to come check out South By Southwest Interactive next year, here are some suggestions/tips:

  • Periodically check out the event information and free podcasts at the SXSW website during the year.

  • Monitor websites of those who play prominently at SXSW, such as the people at A List Apart blog (and those they link to) during the year and especially leading up to the SXSW event each spring (March).

  • Register early for bigger discounts

  • Book your hotels early; better deals can be found outside of the downtown area.


  • Bring lots of business cards for networking.

  • If you are looking for a job, have resumes handy as well as the link to your portfolio.

  • Bring any technology questions or problems with you as you just may find the answers.

  • Bring your own bottled water with you each day.


Hope to see you next year at the South By Southwest Interactive!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Colby said...

Wow, how cool to be able to visit SXSW! Like plenty of others, I attended vicariously through the near-constant updates of various web dev blogs.

Did you take students along, or is that something you plan to do in the future? What an opportunity that would be!

One of these days I hope to attend, maybe I'll see you there...

11:38 AM  
Blogger Prof Kelly said...

I went primarily as a fact-finding trip to see what it was like, but invited students to come. One student went with me you can read about his experience at www.jonathanfreese.com.

I hope to make a trip to SXSW each year, if possible. So I'll contact you when I'm making plans next year. Maybe we can get some other Alums to meet us there.

2:03 PM  

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