It’s the start of my 3rd full day at SXSW and again it’s a completely different experience from all the others. Friday was spent at an off-site event, Tweethouse. Saturday was spent in panels and today there’s going to be a mixture of panels and parties, at least when I get started on the day.
At the BBC Digital Planet panel, which was actually a recording for the radio/web programme, it was mentioned that this year for the first time, interactive has outsold music, with nearly 15,000 attendees. It feels like it! The conference has spread over 4 venues, the halls feel more crowded and from what I’ve seen there are far more first-timers here than I’ve ever spoken to before. Despite the financial woes of the last year, this is obviously the place to be for anyone involved in digital in any form. And there are all sorts, I’ve met coders (the guys keeping foursquare up and running), publishers, freelance web designers, consultants, social media people (there are a lot of them, there always has been), advertising and marketers, and just general web folk.
I’m on track to meet my objectives for the conference, which are simple – meet at least one new person (for a long chat that is likely to be followed up with further connections) and learn at least one new thing. I’m half way there with 3 days to go, so looking promising. I’m luckier than many I believe, in that I pay for this myself so there is no external pressure to justify the ROI. to me, this is definitely geek spring break! No conclusions yet though on how this is all working out, who will win the location app battle or whether At&T will keep the mobile network going, although they seem to be doing well so far. but it is on track for being another successful and enjoyable event for me.