SXSW Opens

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The South by Southwest Conference, March 8-17, offers a unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. An incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, the SXSWi event features five days of compelling mix of presentations and events attracting the brightest minds in emerging technology. First held in 1987, it has become a smorgasbord of ideas, pitches, marketing and parties.

Mobile Saturday is bringing a bunch of mobile sessions at SXSW together under one roof. SXSW GO is the official mobile app for SXSW 2013, available for Android and IOS. Here’s a live Geofeedia stream.

Digital Trends lists their favorite mobile apps launching at SXSW 2013. They include:

  • Aimed at earning bands extra income while also giving fans easier access to their favorite artists.
  • Jukebox Hero. Turns your iTunes library into a jukebox.
  • ComiXology Self-Publishing Platform Makes it easier for amateur artists to put their work online.
  • Localeur Povides people with the knowledge of living in a city while visiting by curating information from local insiders.
  • Applauze discover free and paid events going on in the area of the user
  • EevzdropTake a quick clip of audio, tag it with hashtags and geotags, and send it out to your friends and followers for them to listen to.
  • GhostPost This app is being built right now at SXSW. Part of the Start Up Bus project, GhostPost is the result of a collaboration between developers who are working while on on the bus to Austin.

The Startup Spotlight highlights dozens of new and emerging startups.

How can you possibly keep track of all the events?

Hey Big Fish helps you discover the people and connections that matter most to you. It measures the influence of conversation and people at an event like SXSWi. Participants can use it to track their own influence and networking success with personalized event scorecards. My friend and DW partner Don Park helped develop the site. Hey Big Fish is powered by Little Bird, an innovative engine that identifies the real influencers in any topic.

CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman has been going to South by Southwest for years, and has plenty of suggestions.

RSVP for everything, but then be prepared to skip it all. Sure, there’s going to be a terrific party over at Stubbs on Saturday night, but then you’ll get a tweet or a text message telling you that someone’s having an impromptu gathering at the Ginger Man. Believe me, the last-minute thing is way, way more fun. Even if drinks aren’t free. Don’t forget to keep your phone charged up, though. You can’t see the tweets or get the texts, or take that phone call if your battery is dead. And make good use of mobile apps like Twitter, Foursquare, GroupMe, Highlight, and so on, for staying in touch. The #SXSW hashtag, slammed as it will be, is your friend.

If you do decide to go to big parties, be prepared to wait in line for an hour, often even if you have a VIP wristband. Once in, you’re going to be crammed into a bar, or a club, or a restaurant, it’s going to be too loud to talk, and you’ll have to wait in line again for a drink. That’s fun?

I think it’s way more fun to wait in the line, talk to the fun people around you, and then, when you reach the front of the line, bail. And repeat at the next one.

People think SXSW is mostly about the parties, but a lot of folks have forgotten that there’s amazing panels, keynotes, and discussions on the schedule. Bre Pettis, the CEO of MakerBot is keynoting, and so is Elon Musk, CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla. Al Gore’s talking, and so is Neil Gaiman. How great is that?

AT&T is an exclusive Super Sponsor providing more than 200 Wi-Fi Hot Spots in the Austin city area. AT&T’s SXSW Network Map shows the coverage. Take a look to find our charging stations, Wi-Fi Hot Zones and other network enhancements.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Thursday, March 7th, 2013 at 11:54 am .

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