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Carl Camera

SXSW 2008 In Six-Word Summaries

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.

Overall

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.

Shout Outs

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.

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Comments

Excellent idea, and summaries.

Agreed: "The folks are the reason for attending", and to go next year!

Michael Montgomery 31 Mar 2008

Carl: Great to see you again at SXSW and the Godbit dinner. Thanks for handling the dinner reservations this year, much obliged!

Nathan Smith 31 Mar 2008

Michael and Nathan: Thanks. I'm always amazed how folks will travel so far for SXSW. It's like the difference between bacon and eggs for breakfast. The chicken is involved but the pig is fully committed.

Carl Camera 31 Mar 2008

Of course I remember chatting to you (although it was under rather... uh... drunkard circumstances)! I'm just terrible with my email (I haven't forgotten, just got swamped). Great to meet you :)

Frances Berriman 01 Apr 2008

Frances, I enjoyed our talk also. I've moved your name up to New Friends. :-) When things calm down, let me know, and I might be able to help out with the Microformats site.

Carl Camera 01 Apr 2008

Don't know you?! Pffffft.

It was good seeing you again, albeit far too brief...

Derek Featherstone 03 Apr 2008

Okay well, there's a perception-altering comment. @Derek: I enjoyed chatting also at the WaSP meeting and being introduced to Gez Lemon.

Carl Camera 07 Apr 2008