SXSWi 2008: "Creative Collaboration: Designers and Developers working together"

I wasn’t so hot on this panel, found there was a lot of navel-gazing and not enough direction. Also, I don’t know what world these guys live in but do they not also have to contend with marketing, business dev, crazy bosses with wild ideas? There was no discussion about how to integrate the real-life demands into collaborative processes. Nice people, but rubbish panel.

Creative Collaboration: Designers and Developers working together
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SXSWi 2008: "Self-Replicating Awesomeness: The Marketing of No Marketing" panel notes

For this panel, I ditched the laptop and only used pen and paper so my notes are less than clear. In fact, I’m lucky if I can read my own handwriting, but the highlights for me were finally meeting the lovely Tara Hunt, a fellow Canadian expat and inspirational blogger.

My notes might be a bit garbled but sue me, I was too busy listening.

“Self-Replicating Awesomeness: The Marketing of No Marketing” panel notes
Panel: Deborah Schultz, Chris Heuer, Jeremiah Owyang, Tara Hunt, Hugh McLeod, David Parmet
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SXSWi 2008: "What teens want online and on their phones" panel notes

The notes from this panel are pretty thorough – it was one of the first panels I attended and I was pretty enthusiastic with the typing. Interesting findings, but the main takeaway for me is that these kids are clever and pretty discerning, we need to give them a whole lot more credit than we (or I) currently do!

“What teens like online and on their phones”
Panel of teens from age 11-17, based in the Austin area and of different levels of interest in technology, music, etc…
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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)