South by Southwest, SXSW, is a yearly conference in Austin, TX.serving the film, music, and interactice industries..
Guest Reporter Sheila Scarborough
Thanks for the chance to blog for you, here’s my first email….
Greetings, Successful Bloggers, let me see if I can whip this out before I go to the BlogHer meetup at 8 pm (BlogHer Technology and Web writer Virginia DeBolt already has a SXSW post up.)
Your Roving Reporter has decided to brave the wilds of SXSW Interactive, the “ground zero for the world’s most creative web developers, designers, bloggers, wireless innovators and new media entrepreneurs.”
Hey, I saw the word “blogger” somewhere in there and figured, close enough.
I’d already paid and registered online (even uploaded my own photo so I didn’t have to take a dorky one for my badge) but my organizational abilities still failed to get me on time to the first panel that interested me, “How to Rawk SXSW.”
(I think to rawk is good.)
Once I waded through Austin traffic, waded through the line to get my badge, waited to have them make my badge (I guess they want to make sure you “have it your way” or something) there were only 10 minutes of rawking left.
It was an interesting 10 minutes.
The panelists spent this last bit of session time telling the audience how to do “contact management,” which is apparently how to meet people.
There were lots of panelist comments to the audience like, “Have meaningful conversations versus many conversations” and “Actually engage in the panel discussions — close your laptop” and “Are you scared of introducing yourself? Buy the person a beer.”
Geek social guidance?
I went up to the panelists afterward and spoke with Senior Editor Lynne Johnson of FastCompany.com. I said that I thought all of the Miss Manners/how-to-do-sorority-rush stuff was kind of weird, and was it really necessary to go on and on about how to meet people?
She said, “Yes, actually, it is. You’ll see when you go into these panels, and all of these people are IM-ing around the room or in chats on their laptops, but this stuff we’re doing [she indicated the human, audible conversation that we were having] is something that many of them are not very good at doing.”
Actually, I was pleasantly surprised by the low Pocket Protector factor — there is a wonderfully diverse group of people here, at least the ones checking in and registering today. There’s a pretty good mix of ages, lots of both men and women, and a jumble of languages spoken, plus a mix of well-tanned metrosexuals mingling with those who need to get out into the sun a bit more.
Fashion moment — Why is it that guys wearing logo’d polo shirts from tech companies all have spiked hair and rimless glasses? And ladies, I know you’re in Texas, but the cowboy boot and dress rig usually doesn’t work unless it’s a long skirt or you’re Jessica Simpson.
I close with one last bit of Rawk panel advice: “Don’t be a hater at ‘South by’ — have happy thoughts. That’s why we have open bars.”
OK, I’m gonna go get some.
I have a great pic but have to find a plug so I can upload and send it. I’ll launch this now and try to get the pic to you later. Meantime I’ve attached one of a laptop and a beer (should be a Shiner though, dontcha think?)
Best wishes, Sheila
ME “Liz” Strauss