This SXSW was my fifth year going and have to admit the best year so far. This was because I was staying right across the street at the Hilton and was in the middle of everything. I also didn’t make to many rigid plans because SXSW has so much going on and so many people you want to catch up with that you shouldn’t try and plan.
A few of my friends thought this was over crowded and more commercial with tons of sponsors. While I can see their point, there is a certain risk you run when your conference gets popular and more mainstream.
Big Winners: Geolocation Tech and AT&T cell service
This year many where hoping for a huge new release and buzz around a new product like Twitter. Well this year’s Twitter, was well, Twitter. It is still the focal point of conversations and technology outgrowth. The two things that really made an impression where the broad use of geo-location services, GoWalla and Fourquare. While these services concern me a bit, privacy-wise, having this at SXSW made things much easier to find and track down friends.
The other thing that was great was the AT&T service for my iPhone. Everyone talked about how last year the AT&T network in Austin had a meltdown. As many people remarked – whatever you are doing here, do it San Francisco and New York.
I can see Liz from GigaOm‘s point “The “location wars” between rival mobile check-in services, the unmet expectations of the Twitter keynote and the hordes of newbies crowding out regulars (as they do every year) were some of the leading threads at SXSW this year. And — rightfully so — everyone was talking about them. Meanwhile, from the outside, skeptics pooh-poohed geeks getting drunk on promo budgets while pretending that changing the world had anything to do with why they were there. Also fair.”
Looking Forward to Next Year..Maybe.
I don’t know if I will be attending next year. I usually have to see where my budget and life is at that point. I might just go for a day or two and not get a badge. Everyone is outside of the conference center at some point and my friend Dave Delaney wonders whether we even need a conference center.
What I am still confident of is that this is a very relevant conference and the more people that come and embrace using social media or doing great design, SXSW will still rock.Google+