I know that’s it’s been a while (about 7 months) since I last blogged, but this is an event that has brought me out of retirement. South by Southwest, more commonly known as SXSW is a two-week juggernaut of an event held in Austin, while the University of Texas kids on on Spring Break. The SXSW conference is split into three distinct but overlapping sections - Music, Film and the most important to me, Interactive. SXSWi is unquestionably the Superbowl of tech related events in Texas. It’s a five day bacchanalia of 5000 (I hear 2008 has 8000 registered) Web luminaries, New Media Mavens, Web Designers and general tech geeks drinking Shiner and Twittering each other silly in between attending panel discussions. This will be my fourth SXSWi and I’m very proud to say that I spoke at the one in 2005 with my friend Blair Garrou of the DFJMercury VC Fund. Since a friend of mine, Imelda Bettinger (an accomplished photographer and Twitter Meetup planner) asked me to talk her into going this year, I put together a few links in an email that will hopefully help sway her decision to come up to Austin:
I’m really glad that you are going to try to make it, since it’s going to be a blast. SXSW is pretty overwhelming and there is no way that anyone can do it all. I would suggest going with the flow and don’t hesitate to leave something if you don’t think it’s worthwhile. Here are three SXSW guides that should help you figure how to maximize the experience:
http://cruftbox.com/blog/archives/001488.html - short and sweet
http://www.jwphill3.com/2008/02/24/beginners-guide-to-sxsw/ - detailed and very good
http://www.airbagindustries.com/archives/airbag/hampton.php - long, but a bit negative in my opinion
As far as parties go, the best place to check them all out is on http://upcoming.yahoo.com/group/3519/ and http://www.facebook.com/s.php?n=-1&k=400000010&q=sxsw#
Three parties that are not on the official SXSW radar, but you should definitely attend are BarCampAustinIII, Ewan Spence’s SXSW Social Media Breakfast and Laura Mayes and the Sk*rt ladies are putting on a coffee meeting at 9am on Sunday at Austin Java in Downtown. They haven’t put out the invite yet, but I spoke with her about it yesterday.
I also think that you’ll probably want to join the Worldwide Flickrite meetup on Saturday:
Not that you’ll get to do everything you want or planned, but this is a good start.