South by Southwest: Is it Different this Year?

by francine Hardaway on March 14, 2009

What recession? Not in the digital media or interactive industries, as far as I can tell.

Last night I spent the early part of the evening in the makeshift studio at the Belmont Lounge watching Michael Wright interview people with “big ideas” and live stream over the Internets.

It was awesome. Wright’s idea is to have big thinkers discuss big ideas in an open source way during SxSW. In the course of the two or three hours I was there, I met blogger Louis Gray, Stephen Self, a videographer from Tyler, Texas whose company, N-Ventive TV, set up the studio for Michael Wright, and Tom Serres, CEO of Piryx, a platform to help newbies get involved in democracy and run for office.

The conversation between Brian Roy (JustSignal), Tom, and myself was so interesting to me that I kept it going after the program was over, not realizing that Tom was mic’d and that his mic was still on, so we were broadcasting. A couple of Twitter friends of mine let me know later.

Before that, I went to the Mix at Six party, where I met many of my fellow-organizers of Social Media Clubs across the country and got to say hello to Jeremiah Owyang, my favorite web strategist
and a man crazy enough to wear a white jacket to a party where I was drinking red wine:-)

And after that I went to the TechSet Party, where I ran into Beth Kanter, who is moving to California to take a “corporate” gig as something I can’t recall (yes, the wine). What I always remember is how incredible a resource for non-profits Beth has always been and will continue to be as she unleashes the power of social media to change the world.

All the while, I was texting with my business partner, who was at a completely different set of places with totally different people (obviously).

No more linkbait, but I also ran into Hugh McLeod, Brian Solis, Erica O’Grady, and Jen Myronuk.

You get the picure. If you want to meet someone you’ve been following on Twitter, if you admire that “certain” blogger who doesn’t do email, or if you want to come down here with a sleeping, find someone with a room, and sleep on the floor.

Oh, about the content? I didn’t see anything I really wanted to go to:-)

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