SXSW Live Studio: My Intellectual Home Sweet Home

by francine Hardaway on March 13, 2010

This happened last year at SXSW, too: I walked into the live studio Michael Sean Wright had set up, and I felt like I had come home. This year, the studio is at TexasCoworking, the brainchild of Paul Terry Walhus (@springnet) and a newly-renovated co-working space above a bar on 6th Street. It's a quiet, thoughtful space, unlike last year's Belmont back room.

And the conversation was to die for. I walked in on Robert Scoble on a panel with Sanjay Redding and Nova Spivack of LiveMatrix, an indexing service for live streaming scheduled events. Nova founded Twine, and has spent the last decade involved in the semantic web. Then I was part of a conversation with Joseph Jaffe, author of "Flip the Funnel" and founder of the site I Had a Great Experience where customers and share their good customer experiences. (Um, yes, there's also its evil twin, I Had A Bad Experience.) Joe and Scoble and Mark Hopkins talked about what makes great customer service, and what makes a social customer. Long story, but Jaffee boils it down to Cultural, Organizational, Strategic, and Tactical (COST) all aligned to keep the customer.

As if that weren't enough, the next group to come marching into the studio was the cast of This Week in Google, a show I watch/listen to every week. Not only had I never met Gena or Leo in person (I did meet Jeff at another SXSW two years ago), but the ENTIRE TWIG CAST HAD NEVER MET EACH OTHER IN PERSON BEFORE. I'm yelling that for a reason. It's emblamatic of what deep relationships many of us have forged online without even meeting each other in person — or only seeing each other once a year at SXSW.

Leo kindly bought all his audience pizza before donning his portable streaming kit and heading off to the Diggnation party, where he was doing man-in-the-street interviews. You have to hand it to him: Yale educated, supposedly mature, there he was in the middle of a gaggle of beer-swilling party animals half his age. Unfortunately, this is a case of pot calling kettle black. I didn't hardly get past the entrance when people started throwing their arms around me and hugging me.

How can all this wonderfulness manifest from a bunch of tubes? As I sit in the lobby of the Hilton trying to collate thoughts that began at 11 AM this morning in Susan Mernit's panel on the digital glass ceiling (that's where I fell in love with Corvida, who is 23 and has no fear) and ended in the dark at Diggnation, I can only say to the thousands of people I have met online and now call dear friends, "thank you." I'm grateful to live in an age that can allow me to share in so many wonderful lives.

Yeah, I know this is schmaltzy, but I'm tired. And you know you feel that way, too:-)

Posted via email from Not Really Stealthmode

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