Monday, March 30, 2009

Better Late Than Never

I am finally getting myself together to do this blog post. I apologize for the delay....

This year was the first time I was able to attend to SXSW Interactive, and let me tell you, what an experience! Not only did I meet amazing people but I learned so much that it just blew me away. I have to thank two people for helping me get to SXSW, Jeremiah Owyang and Hugh Forrest. I would not be there without you so thank you!

So here is what I experienced...

The first day I arrived in Austin I was so excited and overwhelmed at the same time. Austin was beautiful and everyone there was just so nice. As soon as I arrived at the convention center I was able to attend my first of many keynotes. The first keynote was Groundswell co-author and Former Forrester Analyst Charlene Li. It was an great pleasure to see her on stage again. The topic of Charlene's keynote was "The Future of Social Networking." She talked about 3 things that can make Social Networks like Air: 1) Identity 2) Your contacts 3) Activities. If you achieve any of these 3 things in your Social Networks it can be the life supply to every person using that network. She also said that if you are able to help manage friendships in Social Networking then you are way ahead of the game!

The Is Spec Work Evil panel was intense thanks to the following panelists; Mike Samson -, Jeff Howe Editor - Wired Magazine, Jeffrey Kalmikoff, Chief Creative Officer - skinnyCorp/Threadless, Jeremiah Owyang Analyst - Forrester, David Carson - davidcarsondesign, and Lydia Mann - AIGA. I walked into the panel not knowing which side I wanted to side with, still pretty much in the grey area. And of course the first person who sat down next to me was the CTO of, Harper Reed who asked me right away, "So are you for or against spec work?" I had no idea who he was so I honestly admitted, "I don't know yet."

Well let me tell you at the end of the session I strongly felt that Spec Work is another area that allows designers and customers more options. David Carson did throw out a few zingers at Mike Samson causing a few people suck in their breath. Although no general agreement was reached by the panel itself it was good seeing the passion people had for this topic. So Mr. Reed my decision has been made: I think on does give designers the opportunity to grow, communicate, and design to its customers needs and wants. It also allows them to practice their abilities, share their expertise, and show what they can do while building their portfolio.

I also went to many more panels, core conversations, and got a chance to hang out at the Blogger Lounge. All in all, SXSW was an amazing, and hopefully not a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

No comments: