March 16, 2009
SXSW Energy From Afar
Despite the recession, companies cutting back on expenses not just marketing and conferences, people are still traveling around the country and world to go to one geek or business event after another.
Sure, Demo was light this year, but that is a combination of marketing dollars being slashed, lack of sufficient funding for new start-ups and the expense of launching a product, whether that be thousands for on-stage presence, or thousands spent for booth space at TC50 or Web 2.0 Expo in a couple of weeks.
Conversation conferences are "it" among Silicon Valley's youth and social media scene whether you want to call it unconferences, geek "bar camps" or SXSW this week in Austin which I've gone to in previous years but am missing this year due to numerous creative and business conflicts.
The event has branched out and has attracted more business energy. No longer is it the event just for geeks and tweets. The great thing is that there is so much content coming out of Austin in the form of blog updates, tweets and video and audio, mostly in real-time, that you can feel the vibe even if you're a few thousand miles away.
He writes about the mobile web in emerging markets including Africa from the ground in Austin this past weekend.
He cites two interesting quotes.
"80% of the world has mobile network coverage. It's an obvious thing to say that the mobile web should be a starting point for where we give access to the world." - Matt Womer of the W3C Mobile Web Initiative
"More people have access to a mobile phone than have access to running water. More people have access to a data enabled mobile phone than there are desktop computers in the world." -David Rogers of OMTP
If you're also in the world of social media and interactive anything in any shape or form and didn't attend this year either, you can check out SXSW and SXSW09 on Twitter although no doubt it will be incredibly noisy so a filter of keywords and interests may be in order.
As one tweet said on Sunday from the ground: Twitter for marketers: Is it still Social Media? Treat Twitter the same ways you share with others at a cocktail party. I wish more people would follow that rule. Imagine the power if you could pass on your best stuff to your followers every day rather than all your stuff?
There's also Scott Beale's overview who's been going for years (and years :-) before the end of the event which points to a number of useful resources which will in turn land you on some interesting blogs.
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