SXSW Summary

Published 11 years, 11 months ago

There’s been much talk of this year’s SXSW and how overwhelmingly huge it was.  I don’t have a whole lot to add to that, really.  I thought last year was out of control.  This year left it standing.

Without question, the best panel I saw was “How to Convince Your Company to Embrace Standards“.  This was not due to the topic, though that was good too, but because the panel was tightly assembled and packed with good information.  Most panels are a collection of folks who sit onstage and leisurely toss out assorted thoughts for an hour; I should know, having been on many such panels in the past.  For this one, everybody had specific points to make and made them concisely.  There was a lot of preparation, and it showed.  It very much raised the bar, as far as I’m concerned, especially since I’m thinking of proposing a panel or two for 2007.  Kudos to all involved.

Also:

  • It was interesting to sit on the “How to Roll Your Own Web Conference” panel with Jason Fried and hear his experiences.  You may recall that when I wrote about event pricing, I said one way to find an event’s optimum price was to run it over and over and keep raising the price until you stopped selling all the seats.  That’s exactly what’s happening with the “Getting Real” workshop.  It will be interesting to see where they level off.  Assuming they do.

  • John Allsopp‘s presentation during the WaSP Annual Meeting was an interesting experience for me.  It also covered a bit of the same ground I plan to cover in my keynote for @media.

  • In two different lunches, I told people from computer book publishers that their whole business model is in danger of collapsing.  Interestingly, both (more or less) agreed.  Sadly, it seems that only one is working for a company that’s aware of this fact, and it isn’t the company you’d probably assume.

  • I’ve decided I much prefer El Sol y La Luna to Las Manitas when it comes to the food.  Las Manitas, of course, wins on the basis of proximity.  Also for not deafening its patio patrons.

  • No joke: I got into our rental car in Austin and the Avis Preferred hangtag said “ETA: CSS“.

Good times.


  1. […] y concerned about bulk and weight. I took a few. I suspect they’ll be among the last computer books I obtain, free or otherwise. James Surowiecki gave a presentation which […]

  2. Eric,

    My presentation “was an interesting experience for me”. I hope in a good way?

    john

  3. I missed SXSW, and have always wanted to go. I will be at AEA in Atlanta though, and this is my first opportunity to rub elbows with the cool people. See you there!

  4. Nice to see you again, Eric!

    Three more panels I thought raised the bar:

    “Creating Passionate Users” by Kathy Sierra – a dynamic 1-person presentation that kept everyone’s attention despite being in the 5 PM time slot.

    Daniel Gilbert’s “Stumbling on Happiness” – another good 1-person presentation, surprisingly good use of Powerpoint, and a mind-expanding topic outside what I usually see at SXSW.

    “Holistic Web Design” – five people gave ONE well-presented talk. Lots of preparation for a good panel and a great redesign too.

  5. One of the great things about SXSW is the number of panels and their simultaneous scheduling forces you to pick and choose between them. The downside is that you’re going to inevitably miss some good panels. I did not attend the panels that Eric mentioned. However, three panels that I attended stood out to me:

    “Holistic Web Design: Finding the Creative Balance in Multi-Disciplined Teams”, “How to Bluff your Way in Dom Scripting” and “Microformats: Evolving The Web”. I found all three to be well prepared, informative and insightful.

    Unfortunately there were not enough hours available to attend all the topics I was interested in. Of course, if all you do is attend panels all day/night, you end up missing out on all the great social time!

    Eric, I’m sorry it didn’t work out where I could hear you speak this year. I’ll catch you next year though! ;)

  6. It’s actually Las Manitas. ;)

    [ Thank you. Fixed. -Ed. ]

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