SXSWi 2008: "Cognitive Seduction 4.0: 20 ways to woo our users" panel notes

Cognitive Seduction 4.0: 20 ways to woo our users
Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Users

For this panel, I’ll admit my notes were a bit patchy and I relied on a few other ppl’s notes to improve them. I was too mesmerised by Kathy’s talk to worry so much about notes. But read on anyways…

I’ve also borrowed a few of Kathy’s images to illustrate for those who weren’t so lucky as to attend. They’re completely her copyright, ownership and what not. (They rock!)
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SXSWi 2008: "A/B Testing: Design Friend or Foe?" panel notes

Since I attended SXSW last week, I thought it’d be the right thing to do to share my notes from panels. They’re incomplete, I’ve probably interpreted some statements wrongly, there are probably plenty of typos. But I felt I’d be a complete shmuck if I didn’t do the community thang and shared my notes.

So if you’re not interested, apologies about the next few posts, which will each summarise a panel. At the end, I’ll try to add links to other (better) coverage of the same panels to give the bigger picture. If you’ve taken notes or have something to add (like videos!), just leave a comment and I’ll include it in my post.

First off, the “A/B Testing: Design Friend or Foe?” panel notes…
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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.]

SXSW Day 1: Reconnaissance mission

It’s only day 1 of SXSW but it’s already been quite the trek! Left work around 4pm on Wednesday to go stay at a Gatwick hotel, avoiding the 3-4am start required if I’d tried to leave Cambridge the morning of the flight. Wise move as I managed to get up at 6:30am, feeling fairly refreshed and headed to the airport.

Now the flight to Dallas was the first leg of the journey. Long, LONG flight, but thankfully I had this nice old couple next to me who were quite easy going with the whole get-up-and-walk-around routine that’s required on a flight that length.

Get to Dallas and… well golly gee*, we’ve got ourselves some snowdrift! It was heavy wet snow, enough to affect landings and result in plenty of cancelled flights around the region. All flights for the Dallas-Austin leg of the journey were cancelled, and bookings for the next day weren’t looking too promising, with nothing until 8pm, and no hotels with free rooms anywhere nearby. Cots at the airport, oh joy.

Thankfully, I ran into this lovely bunch of people from Brighton, notably Niqui and Aral, who were in the same boat. We ended up steering clear of the magical mystery bus that had been raised as a potential option, with airport staff having no details on the situation, and opted for a large taxi who was willing to drive all 8 of us and our luggage to Austin.

Needless to say, porters at our Austin hotels were surprised by the arrival of Dallas Fort Worth taxis, but we were relieved to no end to all find beds and showers after a very long day.

As for today, so far I’ve had a huge American buffet breakfast, the first proper meal in quite a few days, seeing as I had a tummy bug before I left which left me with no appetite whatsoever. I’ve also found the CVS Pharmacy nearby (500 Congress Ave @ 5th St) and stocked up on water, drinks and headache tablets. This was a first, quick, successful reconnaissance mission.

Now time for mission #2, getting my pass. I can see the convention centre from my room, and people are starting to bimble in, so might as well head over!

Then mission #3 will be meeting a lovely bunch of girls at Las Manitas a bit later. Looking forward to meeting follow Twitterers and geekettes.

Follow me on Twitter if you’re wondering what I’m up to today!

(* ok, i don’t know if they say that in Texas, I just felt like saying it)

Going to SXSW? Let it be known!

If you’re going to South by Southwest in March, let it be known. Add yourself to the wiki list started by Colleen and Adele, two Twitterers I’m following.

It’ll be a first-time for me, so I’m open to any opportunity to plan to meet and hang out with other bloggers or Twitterers!

[Update: Durr, forgot the wiki link the first time around. Thanks Mark for pointing it out…]

SXSW '08 – I'm going, are you?

It’s late afternoon, and I’m hyperventilating. It might be the caffeine I’ve been ingesting hourly since I stepped into the office, it could be the nerves because Taptu is launching Monday, and I’ve just invited hundreds of people to the beta. But no… what’s really got me going right now is that I’m attending SXSW ’08. I really am. Like, really really! Ticket to Interactive, Music and Film all booked.

I’ve been hoping to attend this conference for three years now, and this time ’round, I’ll be there with bells on. And with a videocamera. Texas, here I come!

If you’re going, drop me a line. If you’ve been, drop me a line. 🙂

Now, I’m off to do a little happy dance.