My follow-ups to South By Southwest are getting shorter and shorter each year. Mostly this is because what you read elsewhere would be repeated. The folks are the reason for attending and four days at one conference means many opportunities to meet people informally.
In Six Words
Here are my six-word synopses of the most memorable sessions and events I attended
Design is in the Details:
Just throw stuff together; magic happens.
Getting Unstuck From Desktop to Device: Still many hairy mobile development challenges.
ABX Bowling / Team VCWear: Dollarsign eyes belie Andrew's genuine kindheartedness.
General Theory of Creativity: Creative magic in associating two things.
Great Design Hurts: Common request - I want a pony.
Godbit Dinner: Wonderfully talented folks all around me.
Design Eye for South By: Design rationale will follow; trust us.
Emotional By Design: Appeal to all your users' senses.
30 ways to delight your users: Users want to rock; be helpful.
Designing for Freedom Every product decision impacts user freedom.
Scalability Boot Camp: Add hardware now, software redesign later.
WASP Annual Meeting: What should we focus on now?
Video Blogging from Iraq: Entire squad watches fellow soldier's surgery.
Just one follow-on paragraph from that last session: Dr. Carlos Brown appealed to those in attendance to send mail to soldiers. You probably know someone who knows a soldier.
Alternatively, you can send mail to "Any Solider, Iraq (or Afghanistan)" and the USPS and US Military will see that it gets to a solider. Send them a card or a note or a photo of your dog or your kids' drawings. It doesn't matter really what your send -- it's the "getting something" that is encouraging.
Update: I've been informed by a trusted source that because of security concerns, "Any Soldier Iraq" mail is no longer delivered.
SXSW 2008: Let's do this again next year.
WiFi was very, very much improved this year. Interactive has expanded to the first floor (three floors now) so bumping into someone in the hall is less likely than when all panels were on the fourth floor. And if you do bump into someone, there's less time to talk because they've got to head to the escalators to get to some other floor.
Since SXSW is so much about connections, I thought I'd send blog shout-outs to some folks from this year's and conferences past. If I've forgotten to include someone, let me know and I'll include them. I'm not trying to drop names here. I'm including this list for those considering attending next year. This gives you an idea the depth and breadth of talented folks that you might bump into at SXSW.
Cyril Doussin, Tristan Turpin, Ryan Heneise, Jesse Gardner, Larry Tomlinson, Scott Faris, Frances Berriman, Andrew Hyde, Glenda Sims, Todd Sieling, AJ Penninga, Derek Featherstone, Ben Ward, David Russell
Talked to or chatted with, but they don't know me
Kimberly Blessing, Chris Wilson, Richard Rutter, Jon Hicks, Patrick Haney, Anton Peck, Dustin Diaz, Julia Elman, Norm Francis, and a memorable elevator ride that included Guy Kawasaki (Guy didn't cuss.)