19 March 2011

Just Back from SXSW: G's Thoughts on What's Next

I am back in my Upper Midwest home stomping grounds after several days at the SXSW Conference.  I loved the energy in Austin while I was there.

Yes, there were some great bands, most of which you've still not heard of.  The Types - from Russia, no less - generated jump-up-and-down energy in the audience, The Statesboro Review got folks jamming with their own tunes and a great cover of "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin, TV Torso impressed even the music industry types at the back of the crowd, and Doomtree artists brought down the house on Thursday night.

What I've taken away from the conference, though, is a tremendous sense of optimism and positivity.  SXSW is a time and a place for people to come together and discuss how we are making the future better and brighter.  Whether it's the joy of music, the artistry of film, or the engagement enabled by interactive technologies, the folks who show up in Austin each year are literally creating the stuff we'll all be talking about for the next few years.

Twitter first hit the radar screen at SXSW in 2007, and I'm curious which aspects of this year's show will reach the tipping point in 2011.  My bet is on location based marketing, based on the buzz among attendees and the comments of Dennis Crowley, founder of both dodgeball.com and more recently, foursquare.  Even if I'm wrong on the specifics, it's a sure thing that something good is coming.

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