Category Archives: SXSW

This year was the longest I’ve spent in Austin. I got there a week early to attend SXSW Edu, and I had already spent much of the week loitering around the Austin Conference Centre attending sessions and I felt ready for what the main festival had in store for me. This year’s SXSW felt different to previous years. Whereas in 2016 I felt SXSW had reached a point where it was becoming too big, this year felt much quieter and more pleasant. The previous week it had been cold during most of SXSW Edu, at times colder than London and the weather throughout the festival wasn’t anything like the temperatures I’ve come to expect. Maybe this put off students on Spring Break? During Music, there also appeared to be less free parties and no real big names and this for me was a good thing. Overall, I think this is…

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I’ve been to SXSW several times and love Austin. Every time I visit, I try to extend my time as much as possible. This year I had asked work if they would cover a few extra days so that I could attend SXSW EDU. In the end, I ended up paying for everything myself, which meant I was actually on holiday while at the conference. Oddly, I didn’t mind this. When work pays for a conference I feel I have to attend everything that will be useful to my work, even sessions that I don’t expect to find interesting. I feel I have to maximise the return on the expense. Without the pressure to attend all sessions, I could attend the sessions that interested me and drop out of the conference whenever I felt like a break. It also meant the evenings were my own with no pressure to start…

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So I’ve finally got round to writing up my impressions of SXSW 2016 Interactive and Film. This year I mainly went for music and I’ve already blogged about my impressions and why this is likely to be my last SXSW. But I thought I’d briefly cover my Interactive and Film sessions. This year was SXSW’s 30th Anniversary. My first visit was in 2011, SXSW’s 25th and that was big and brash. This year’s festival felt more low key than the 25th. This is an odd thing to say when the keynote was given by President Obama. But I felt there was less of a buzz than previous years, especially during music week. Although I mainly attend for the music, I do go to the occasional Interactive and watch a few of the films and documentaries. As far as interactive is concerned, Obama was the big draw. Attendance was through a…

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It’s fine writing a review of something afterwards. But what did I really thing of Austin and SXSW? My SXSW Storified. [View the story “My SXSW 2013” on Storify]

After seeing all the 3D printing stuff at SXSW I want one of these.

I love music and I work in web development so SXSW seems like an ideal mix and two years ago I attended SXSW2011 thinking this would be the case. But as I blogged shortly after I returned, SXSW Interactive left a lot to be desired. It has long stopped being a technical event and now is more concerned with ‘social business’. As I was paying my own way. This left me disappointed with the Interactive strand. But I did enjoy SXSW2011. SXSW Music was good and I discovered that I enjoyed SXSW Film. But one really important factor in my enjoyment was Austin. It’s such a lovely city. So it had to be done again. But this time, I would approach it differently. The plan was to only go to SXSW Interactive sessions if they really looked interesting. I selected the same hotel as in 2011, the Holiday Inn at…

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One of the things I liked about SXSW were the Accelerator sessions where web startups pitched their ideas to a room full of investors, press and the paying public. The winner of News Accelerator was Storify, a website that allows users to curate tweets, photos, videos and web by dragging them into a single stream of information to tell a story. It’s a bit like gathering news headlines in a scrap book. It’s been used during some of the big events of 2011, such as the ‘Arab Spring’ and Worldwide ‘Occupy’ movements as an alternative to the mainstream media. Since SXSW I’ve been using it to curate my own tweets, photos and videos for various topics. Storify ‘stories’ can be embedded on websites, and I’ve included my ‘Gigs of 2011’ story. It’s recently been revised which has improved the reliability of external services. But it still needs quite a bit…

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A few weeks ago I took the opportunity to visit Austin for SXSW 2011. With the conference being a darling of the tech media, I thought I’d sample the whole thing, SXSW Interactive, Film and Music. I may blog about music on my gig blog so this blog will concentrate on the Interactive and Film element. This was my first trip to SXSW, my first trip to Austin, and my first trip to Texas. With no direct flight to Austin, I decided to visit Houston before travelling the short hop to Austin. This gave me the opportunity to take a ‘Level 9′ tour of the Johnson Space Center. The tour is a ‘private’ tour for 12 visitors. You’re driven by a tour guide in a minivan around the NASA campus and visit areas closed to the standard tour. The tour doesn’t follow a fixed path and the tour guide decides…

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8/8