Gary Vaynerchuk: Tech World 2008 = Hip Hop 1985

Gary Vaynerchuk, for those who don’t yet know him, is the guy behind, in front and all around Wine Library TV. He’s a raving looney, a totally loveable geek but most of all, a rough diamond of community relations amongst the world of overly polished marketing bullshit. He says things as they are and has marked me enough during SXSWi this year that I’ve got a couple of things he’s said up on my board of inspirational quotes in the office. (Thank you Gary, genuinely!)

He also agreed with me that making your own wine is a bad idea, mmmkay dad?

PS – I want my own WLTV sweatband bracelet thinger!

Hippie 2.0: Reflecting upon SXSW 2008

South by SouthWest is over. Well, the interactive bit is anyways. Music is clearly still going strong, as I witnessed walking down 6th Street and lucking out on seeing Simian Mobile Disco at La Zona Rosa with a few of the geeks still left in town.

Reflecting upon the past week, it’s comforting to see a clear sense of community amongst the geeks. Topics that kept reoccurring were ones of social capital, change and collaboration. The jaded half of me couldn’t help but snicker. Is this hippie 2.0* or something?

Don’t get me wrong, I find this “Let’s hug, love and help each other” attitude immensely endearing and refreshing, but I can’t help but be tickled by some of the more naive ideas that were exchanged over the course of the week. Not every single one of our ideas will live on past the panels, not every one of our harebrained startup ideas will become the next Facebook and not every suggestion is revolutionary. But it doesn’t matter, it’s motivating to be surrounded by people with faith in their ideas and seemingly endless energy to turn them into reality.

So if it’s up to me, I’ll be attending SXSWi again next year. The panels may not all have been oh-so-fabulous, but regardless, meeting so many new people is an injection of energy, if nothing else.

I now need to somehow make sense of this creative energy and communicate it to my team at work. I’m not sure I can express it in words. Maybe I need a Kumbaya 2.0 to express my feelings?

[* I seemingly didn’t coin the word, as it comes up on the Interweb in a different context, but I think it’s terribly fitting here as well.]

Death by social networking

Jaiku, Twitter, Digg, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube x2 accounts, Revver, Metacafe, reddit, 43places, del.icio.us, ma.gnolia, Vox, Tipped, Dopplr, Fuelmyblog, Stumbleupon, Pownce, Squidoo, TripIt, LinkedIn, Upcoming, Mybloglog, Technorati and probably more I can’t think of right now…

Just a few of the social networks I frequent more or less regularly. Scary to think how much competition there is for our already limited time.

FOWA: Some evening fun with Diggnation

After a number of interesting panels in the day, it was time for beers and Diggnation.

Think of being 10 years old and looking up to your biggest, most favourite music star. Now imagine the excitement if you were told you’d get to meet them. That’s how I felt yesterday.


Vero & Alex @ Diggnation live in London

I filmed a good part of the live Diggnation show (which I’ll put online tonight), but then the guys bravely took on the mobs of 16 year olds and joined the Carsonified party at the Excel pub. Once the crowds went home, only a few people were left. But surprise, while Kevin buggered off to the hotel, Alex and the Totally Rad Show guys stayed for some drinks! Having a chat with them, they’re just as lovely as I’d hoped.

If this kind of event and show format is the future of TV, I’m going to feel right at home.

Creating a community

Matthew Haughey, MetaFilter says…

“Be the third place; people have home, work and a third community or social attachment. This can be a car enthusiast club, a WoW guild or a website community. Make something they’ll want to spend time on everyday.”

FOWA: We're not divinating the future

Future of Web Apps LondonI’m at the Future of Web Apps in London today. So far, I’ve attended the intro keynote with Om Malik and Michael Arrington, followed by Heather Champ & Derek Powazek on “We’ve got this community: Now what?”. I’m now in Tony Conrad’s “Future of Search”.

The main running thread of all talks so far is quite clear: Nobody knew what would happen next after launching their app. And in fact, few ended up where they expected to go. Someone this morning said that the real work on a web app really begins after you launch (see, I was listening, but didn’t take note so not sure who said this…) You need to listen intently, watch your users and see what they make of it. Odds are you’ll notice that they’ve hacked your app and use it in ways you would never have imagined. That’s your cue to harness their creativity and evolve accordingly.

Sometimes, Web 2.0 big names can get a bit cocky about success, but I think this is one point everyone agrees on: You just don’t know what’s going to happen next when you launch a startup.