Sunday at SXSW in retrospect

The day was kind of a blur. I’ve been taking notes when I’ve had an adequate power supply for my laptop, and I’ll either post them raw or try to clean them up a bit when I get a breather. (There’s a few-hour stretch today where I think I can get a little work done.)
My panel with Rob Davis and Jason McCabe Calacanis seemed to go real well. We packed the room, which was good to see. (We were up against Dan Gillmor, so we were worried about that. In the green room, Jason raised his fist at Dan and said “Damn you, Dan Gillmor!” or “Curse you, Dan Gillmor!” I forget which but it was funny.)
Jason is a good provocateur, willing to stake out controversial positions and not worried about turning large parts of the audience (like Mac users) against him. This was cool because it stirred up a lot of shit in the room and left me lots of space to seem moderate and reasonable. I seem to recall a few laugh lines that cracked everyone up, which makes my day, since deep down I think I’m a repressed wannabe stand-up (or sit-down) comedian. We had a lot of great questions from the audience, so there was lively give-and-take instead of dry lecturing from the stage.
I’m haunting the pubsub feed to see if anyone blogs anything about the session because who knows, maybe it was terrible? For instance, I’m not sure we ever defined Open Source Marketing adequately or established that it is anything at all or that if it exists it’s really worthwhile, etc. Ping Yee asked a great question, vis a vis the Dean campaign (where we met) about the downside of open marketing. I agreed that there is one and had nothing to offer about how to manage it. I reminded everyone (like we need reminding) that in the election the more traditional command-and-control structures won. Kerry beat Dean and Bush beat Kerry.
If you attended the session and have feedback positive or negative (er, I mean, constructive) please drop by and leave a comment or send me a trackback ping or something. I’d like to learn how to do this kind of thing better, and I’m on another panel on Tuesday, so, as a user interface guy, I’d like to keep evolving the “experience” as we say.
I really enjoyed the session with Craig Newmark and Matt Haughey at the end of the day. They are both low-key modest guys with clean functional websites that kick the ass of most of the flashier more hyped projects out there. They’ve learned a lot by serving their users, and they both do customer support. Their anecdotes were entertaining and their insights were valuable.
Plus, I finally got a chance to introduce myself to mathowie in person.
For the second night running I opted for music instead of geek-schmoozing. Perhaps not the smartest thing to do career wise – I probably won’t be appearing in too many flickr photo streams, but musicwise I was in heaven. Saw the Resentments at the Saxon Pub and they were incredibly good. I’ll write more about the music in Austin over in my personal journal.
Tonight I probably should get myself to a good geek party though and press the flesh. When I got back to the hotel last night there was a buzzy little thing going on in the bar, with danah, Steve Champeon, Calacanis, and other familiar faces milling around, but I was just too tired from the two-and-a-half hours of music and the late barbecue dinner at Ruby’s, and I was missing my baby, so I spun through the bar once and then hied myself up to my room to call home before hitting the sack.






One response to “Sunday at SXSW in retrospect”

  1. James Cherkoff Avatar

    I have tried to define the space here:
    and continue to do so here..