Everybody's somebody at SXSWi
As we mentioned here, our Austin crew has been welcoming people from all over for the SXSW festivals. I've enjoyed following the live blogging and tweeting by Linsey Krauss and Lauren Whittenberg since last Friday, but we want to give Linsey the opportunity to share their highlights and takeaways through a guest post here. Enjoy!
It's been a busy past five days here in Austin, Texas as the SXSW Interactive Conference just wrapped up to welcome a new crop of visitors -- the music buffs.
My colleague Lauren Whittenberg and I immersed ourselves in as many panel discussions, keynote topics and core conversations as we possibly could and managed to come out of it all even more pumped to pass along that knowledge to clients and colleagues. The thing that’s most unique about this conference is the networking, aka parties. Yes, part of it is getting to see Scoble carry his video camera into a bar or even Brian Solis and Peter Shankman talk about a new venture, but it extends far beyond that. At the core, it’s about getting to connect with other like-minded individuals to talk through the day's discussions to gain more insight into a world outside of your own.
One of my favorite panels, “The Future of Social Networks” was presented by Charlene Li, in which she kicked off an interactive discussion by declaring, “social networks will be like air.” According to Charlene, this means your friends, family - the people you care about, the people like you, will be available anywhere and anytime that you need them.
My favorite section was around customers and how companies are re-structuring their organizations to put the customer at the top of the chart – social networks will disrupt traditional information flows.
I had the chance to catch up with Charlene to get my copy of Groundswell signed and snap a quick picture. She called her panel topic “Groundswell 2.0” and even though she did a similar panel last year there was further distinction made around spheres of influence and how organizations need to decide on the end goal to figure out the best way for them to embrace the openness of social networks.
The following were other highlights of note.
- Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester predicted Twitter’s future will be as a CRM/Marketing tool
While we didn’t have another Sarah Lacey/Mark Zuckerberg moment, the biggest draw this year was interactive games, which bridged the online with the offline in an attempt to get attendees to put down the smart phone and meet the people on their friend lists. Zappos had its Zappos5 card game, SXSW encouraged picture bingo and Andrew McCollum, co-founder of Facebook, came up with the idea for Assassins.
We'll share more insights from our experience at this year's conference, but in the meantime, you can see some other images on our Flickr page.