Relaxed chaos. That’s how it felt when I arrived at the Austin Convention Center for SXSW Interactive 2010. It is completely different from most librarian conferences that I attend. In this case, rather than being in the middle to younger demographic, I am in the oldest 20% (and I’m only 42). Laptops and smart phones abound. Everyone is looking at a screen while walking, talking, and participating.
The other odd element is that I really don’t know anyone here except a handful of people. A few more I know virtually but haven’t met in person. This leaves a lot of space to explore and flow. Though I’m not always 100% confortable being social, I do reasonably well and did meet a few people on my first day out.
Registration was smooth. The swag bag was monstrous. The schedule manageable and easy. The tech omni-present. I’ve did a video of the scheduling tool from The Social Collective because I think it is awesome and the iPhone app makes it even better. I am loving the competition happening between Gowalla and FourSquare. Both have made tweaks and customizations just for SXSW which makes it even more fun.
A couple other minor applications that I’m testing are Plancast and sitby.us. The first is kind of like an event tool that duplicates what we have in the schedule tool a bit. The second lets you find friends in an audience, but they crashed for half the day. Will try both again today.
In terms of programs I attended, the quality was good to great and I felt happy about the results. I did a few author talks, Battledecks, and one panel on the Revenge of Editorials. One author talk in particular pushed me to buy the book, DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education by Anya Kamenetz. It will be interesting to dig a bit deeper on this topic because she is talking about some of things I am experimenting with in my MAT 149 Social Media class.
The other author talks were for The Young and the Digital; Upstarts! GenY Entrepreneurs Are Rocking the Business World; The Backchannel; and The Happiness Project.
Day ended with an excellent meal at Koriente, an Asian fusion restaurant. Thank you to Hoa and Dale for the place to sleep and the bicycle to ride around Austin.