Posts Tagged ‘sxsw 2007’

Daylight savings time sucks. But so does any morning after a bout of careless drinking — which, I suspect, is probably a big reason why most of the panels I attended yesterday were more miss than hit… But today, today, my friends, is a fancy new Monday, and the conference has redeemed itself substantially. If this is what I get for being responsible and sleeping before midnight, then I may just do it again sometime this week. Sometime.

Today’s offerings included a panel on The Future of Online Magazines, a wonderfully content-friendly fiesta, a bonus for someone as technologically illiterate as I, gasping in a whirlwind of open IDs, metafilters, XSLT, and Ajax. (Gasp!) Plus, there was much more to the panellists than others I’ve seen so far, probably because they were all editors and founders of major, reputable online reads: Joan Walsh of Salon, Ricky Van Veen of CollegeHumor, Laurel Touby of MediaBistro, Sean Mills of The Onion, and moderator Rufus Griscom of Nerve and Babble. It’s clear that there was an existing camaraderie among the group, and the tongue-in-cheek self-aggrandizing behaviour was welcome after being subjected to a weekend full of panellists and participants who may take the game way too seriously.

Thanks, guys. I needed this morning laugh.

SXSW Interactive | The Future of Online Magazines

PS. Secret but not-so-secret Nerve/Salon/CollegeHumor/MediaBistro/TheOnion party this evening from 6:30-8:30 at Club DeVille (900 Red River Street), open to all badgeholders. OPEN. BAR.


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I’ve returned with a face full of smiles and a bag full of delicious, good-god-don’t-leave-me swag. But Zefrank’s right — why are the Interactive conference geeks the only ones of the three that don’t get condoms in their bags? Are filmies & musicians more sexually active? Or do they just have more diseases? Hmm.

I prefer to keep my mouth closed on the matter, but will take personal offence at this blatant omission. I mean, I never!

SXSW Interactive | Oh, good lord, it's schweet schwag!

Coming soon: a detailed analysis of the corporate crap mountain stored in the big bag.

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SXSW Interactive, in its first full day of panels, has not only offered a juicy cocktail of industry information but also an inspiring place to meet people who salivate about this thing called the Internets. Internets, we love you!

SXSW, Austin | Audience at the High class and low class web design panel

The buzz is intoxicating, and the panellists have been great… all except for one, of whom I’m not proud to say that I walked out on after 15 minutes. This pains me, especially since the speaker was a well-known and respected fellow Canadian. Gasp!

I like Douglas Coupland. Well, I did when I was in high school and obsessed with Microserfs and Generation X. From my decaying memory, his quirkiness and pop culture references as a writer are wonderful and spot on, and, well, in person, the content’s there, too. It’s just that Douglas Coupland is somewhat… awkward. No real surprise here, considering he’s an author and encompasses the typical quirks and scatter-brained nature that come from being an iconic writer of his generation. He’s definitely an intriguing case for a personality study, but my fellow Canuck here seemed to be speaking more for his own entertainment than for an audience eager to hear about what makes him tick. Again, that’s a noble thing about the man, and listening to this would be great if the context was a free lecture at the Vancouver Public Library. It just doesn’t gel too well for someone like me who has forked out 300 bones to come here and learn something new. I know about pot smokers in Vancouver. I do enjoy hearing about your speaking tours. But those moments of silence were painstakingly awkward, and I could hear the money ticking away.

And maybe that’s why he is who he is. I still like you, Dougie. By all means, feel free to drop by my apartment anytime for an evening full of non-sequitors… but not when it’s on my dime.

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I’m responsible for the 10-minute delay at the customs x-ray machines. Apologies to all, especially to the elderly couple standing behind me, their tender tootsies all bare, veiny, and on public display.

The culprits?

DFW airport | What caused the 10-minute delay at customs

That’s right. Leave it to doofus here to forget the gel restrictions are still in place. A total of five perspiring customs and security officers were involved in the incident, just to give me permission to take my 4-pack of Hunt’s Banana Cream Pie pudding cups on the plane. A lot of kafuffle erupted around the desserts, including a staff member running back and forth, relaying information from one employee to another, making it seem like the world was going to end. An assertive lady whisked to the scene, and stated that since each cup contained less than 100ml of pudding goodness, I was permitted to take them on board. She then punctuated the statement by unfurling a Ziploc, noting that all my liquids/gels had to fit in one bag, or I was to dispose of them.

What’s stupid about this is that I already had a ziploc bag full of gels in another carryon that someone else had checked. So I scammed the system and ended up with more than my allotted amount of gels AND four delicious pudding cups for my layover here in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The sun is certainly shining down on me this fine Texan day.

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Plane ticket. Check. Hostel and couchsurfing plans. Check.

It’s still a month away, and already the mere thought of heading down to Austin sends oozy-woozies up my spine! (Believe me, that’s a good thing.)

The primary intent of the trip has shifted from the music festival to the interactive conference: I feel like I’m at a career crossroads of sorts, and in an effort to fully determine whether the field of technology and Internet is the right one for me, I’m going to wear my conference lanyard with pride and hop around with other geeks in Austin, pretending I’m actually a part of the new media / Web 2.0 industry. Ooh! Networking! Ooh! Learning!

But so long as you don’t think I’ve abandoned the idea of having fun at the SXSW live music festival, I’ve compiled a tentative checklist culled from the preliminary list on sxsw.com. These will likely change as schedules are cemented. If any of you random blog readers have suggested must-sees, send them this way. EX.CI.TING.


Architecture in Helsinki
Au Revoir Simone
beach house
Badly Drawn Boy
Bishop Allen
Bound Stems
Cloud Cult
Daniel Johnston
Data Rock
David Cross
The Detroit Cobras
Frog Eyes
Junior Boys
Junior Senior
Mando Diao
Rock Plaza Central
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
Sondre Lerche
The Presets
Tokyo Police Club
Thurston Moore
Under Byen
Chad VanGaalen
Watson Twins
We Are Wolves

PS. Anyone going alone or like meeting new peeps? Want to say “hi”? Come on, do it! I’m a friendly Canadian and I swear I don’t bite.

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