SXSW 2010

Isn't Something Off? Sunday March 13, 2011

So, you maybe wondering… Isn’t something off? Doesn’t something usually happen with the old’ctoverdrive around this time of the year. And of course you’d be right.

If you’ve been a regular reader of the site, you’ll notice that I’m not making my yearly pilgrimage to the mecca of nerdom in Texas called SXSW.

Yes, after three straight years and four out of the past five years, I’ve taken 2011 off of SXSW. While it does suck that I won’t be able to help reunite TeamGongShow or spend way to much time in the Texas heat devouring the best Tacos man can find, it is nice to take sometime off or better yet reclaiming “my mayorship of the American Spirits Smoker’s lounge”;http://www.ctoverdrive.ca/article/817/sxsw10-american-spirits… alas I get to enjoy SXSW from the comfort of my living room, while we entertain one of dearest friends.

It turns out that 2010 was quite the year, filled with more up and downs in the past twelve months which made it a bit difficult to justify a fourth consecutive year. So if you’re wondering why I’m not tweeting every 3-4 minutes and/or blogging twice a day, well there’s your answer.

Maybe I’ll be able to catch up on some more personal things… Like blogging, emails and making human contact.

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SXSW10: Epic Party Fail Wednesday March 31, 2010

I stumbled upon this photo from SXSW after finally finishing unpacking down here in DC. And yes, there is a good story behind this sucker.

On the first (or second night) Microsoft and Bing were having an off-the hook party at the speakeasy in Austin. Some of the parties that have happened here in past years have been epic. This one… Not so much.

So much epic fail… From Kanye West Shade Glasses (which were cool in what? 2006? Plus your audience is web designers….who already need thick rimmed glasses to walk, let alone party) to the Lady Gaga Cover Band to stale nacho chips it was just painful. And also since it was a Micro$oft shin-dig, it was teaming with Social Media Douchebags.

It was just bad, but the only redeeming factor was the Bing Photobooth.

Simple idea, get a professional photo of yourself from tha party! with something witty that you’d use Bing to search about. So what are you going to search, when your surrounded by bad blazers and Social Media Douchebags…. That’s right Jaggerbombs.

While my photo was pretty funny, Mr. Pennypacker’s was waaay better. But surprisingly you can’t find it on Bing.com’s Facebook Fan Page. A guess a shit-eating grin and a sign that says Google SEO Strategies isn’t something Microsoft is chill with posting.

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SXSW10: Random Thoughts For the Midway Point Of The Month Friday March 19, 2010

Today marks the midway point of TURNERS MONTH OF MADNESS TRAVEL. Because today is the prep day before my road trip back to Arlington, VA with all of Team Turner’s possessions.

As always, I tried to blog as much as possible in Austin; but if you saw me walk off the plane, you’d know why I didn’t get a chance to post any riveting content. Two 5:00am flights, three time zone changes, 9:30 panel discussions, coupled with 2:00am parties and all the BBQ Brisket you can imagine will do that to you. Actually, it’ll knock at least five years off of your life.

That being said, I think I’m already starting a count down to next year. Because really, TeamGongShow needs to smoke Leave Your Job, Start An Agency Part 2.

So to kill two birds with one stone, here are my random thoughts for this week, but all based on random observations from Austin Texas.

First – Here are some excellent pictures from a great DC Design team Jess3, on potential SNOWMAGGEDON T-shirts.

Second – Some great post from Rhett and Tyler about the chaos that is SXSW.

side note: I take some of the credit for Rhett eating BBQ far too much. Every time the poor boy asked me what I was doing for dinner it was my default rebuttal.

Third – I went to the Milwaukee Beer & Brats party and here are two awesome observations of about the land of the Brewers. One, Milwaukee is for Wicked Beards. Two, the Milwaukee Brewers Secret Stadium Sauce is to die for.

Hell, I may even join their Facebook group.

Fourth – The strong Calgary contingent of trade show company’s down in Austin (iStockPhoto and Veer) both had the best T-Shirts and by far the best swag.

Fifth – If you’re curious who won the big Geo-Locational Battle of SXSW 2010, between Foursquare and GoWalla….

I’m going to have to admit that GoWalla won. I’ll write about this for Armadillo soon, but you all might as well abandon Foursquare and switch on over to the dark side. (photo via Dean Terry)

Sixth – In regards to panels I attended, by far the most entertaining panel of the week was Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s talk I don’t trust you one stinkin’ bit. While they didn’t really touch on anything ground breaking from their book, I can’t stress enough how important it is to read Trust Agents.

If you are in business or dabbling in new media, you need to read Trust Agents. Like seriously go out and buy this book.

Plus, the fact that Julien dropped more F-bombs than any other panelist at the conference, easily made this panel a real treat.

Seventh – As much as I make fun of uber-entrepreneur Gary V by over abusing his catch phrase CRUSH IT!, he really is a solid, solid guy.

Here’s a recording of someone prank phone calling him at 5:00am at SXSW and his reaction. When you listen to the clip, ask yourself if someone phoned you at 5:00am, how would you react.

The best part of the conversation is when Gary wakes up and sounds all sleepy and then pops in to Vanyermode. Very cool. Much respect.

Eighth – The “game” to play on your buddies who are using geosocial devices is to find where there mother lives and become the mayor. So for example you have a good buddy called Doug, you find out where his mother lives and you become the mayor of Doug’s Mum’s House.

Ninth – If you’re curious as to one of the more technical panels I attended, I have to say that Samantha Warren’s discussion on Web Typography was excellent. There are many more, but in terms of changing how I look at a web site, I think one takes the cake.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing or just curious about the idea, check out her slides below.

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SXSW10: Why You Need Two Twitter Accounts Tuesday March 16, 2010

So ironically, someone on twitter today asked if it was a good idea to separate his personal life from his side-project/business life on twitter. A good group of people responded, saying it was a good idea. I also threw my hat in the ring and then I left my panel to have a quick smoke. Because I’m surrounded by nerds, I decided to check into Foursquare.

And this is what happened…

Why It's Good Not to Connect Foursquare To Your Business Account

The Irony of this set of events was definitely not left on me at all. Besides a massive head shake and a series of online rubbings, this was a great example of why you should only not separate your business and personal accounts, but make sure you know which accounts are tied to which social network.

Because if this thing had popped up on the Armadillo account (which of course is tied directly to the Armadillo main web site), oh that would have been embarrassing.

Not like having 800 people think you’re the Marlboro Man reincarnated or anything, but pretty embarrassing.

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SXSW10: Augmented Reality & Lego Monday March 15, 2010

I have this thing at SXSW where I’m just brutal at picking panels. Typically, if you want to go to a good panel, chose the one that I’m not attending.

It’s a pretty fail safe concept and we’ve tested it a dozen or so times.

So with that in mind I got my wife to chose my final panel of the day and because of which I ended up at really interesting panel on Augmented Reality. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept (think fighter pilot displays), I suggest that you watch this little clip on the Lego Store’s new Augmented Reality campaign. It’s really great stuff and the panel, which didn’t really get into the meat or the dirt of the concept, showcased some great upcoming campaigns.

But this is just to cool not to pass on.

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