South By Southwest Interactive: Will You Be There?

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a world renown conference, trade show, exhibit that features the best and brightest in all things Internet, Music, and Film. More than a cultural barometer for all things hip; SXSW is a ride into the future.

Interactive: The Interactive element of the nearly 2 week event in 2010 carries the tag line: Tomorrow Happens Here (in deedie it does). Last year I was able to attend and purchased a Gold Badge which allowed me to see all of the elements in the Film and Interactive portions of SXSW.

A Context: SXSW takes place in Austin, Tx. (Keep Austin Weird (ya’ll) – they will.) This year’s event is from March 12 through the 21.  A badge to enter all of the Interactive sessions, which include trade show booths, panels by industry experts, new product announcements, keynotes, and pArtIes (not that those matter : D) is but a drop in the bucket for its value. The city becomes a swarm of hipsters and tech geeks, and venture capitalists, and progressive musicians and groupies, film buffs – > and the beauty of it is that you can’t take a step in downtown Austin without bumping into Uber Geeks, Indy musicians, etcetera-etcetera.

The Skinny: $500.00 clams will get you into all of the Interactive Element jazz. That includes Trade Show booths with all the SWAG you can carry, keynote addresses, and more. -That price goes up $50.00 day-of, so order you badge in advance to getting there if possible. The film badge is $450.00; the music badge is $700.00 (it started as a music event; film and interactive have been added, respectively.) To enjoy all 9 days of weirdness you can purchase a Platinum Badge for $1125.

Why Go?: Well if you’re not already a cultural anthropologist and so interested in seeing things progre

ssive and interesting, you might find that the network of interesting and Influential folks there, is worth the time and travel. Last year I met and spoke with Guy Kawasaki, CC Chapman, Chris Brogan, Wayne Sutton, Brain Solis, and Jason Falls to name a few. I absorbed talks from Jeremiah Owyang, Gary Vaynerchuck, economist Chris Anderson, David Meerman Scott. THIS IS THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG><

I could go on (and on) but I won’t. If this is your gig, it’s your gig and you’re likely already psyched about it. I know I am. Long story short, it’s coming, it’s going to be BIG, and I WANT TO GO!! : )

See you there? Seriously, last year a buddy of mine connected me with a Philadelphia-based web developer via Twitter. We were on the same flight, but had never met. Needless to say, we lunched and chatted things up throughout SXSW. This is the type of thing that happens. This is what makes it so valuable and interesting to go. I have 15+ stories like this from last year; did I tell you I met the guy that pulls strings in ESPN’s marketing dept at a burrito bar?

[Book Review] Socialnomics: Erik Qualman’s Wiley Book

Erik Qualman is the Global Vice President of Online Marketing for EF Education. He recently published, Socialnomics: how social media transforms the way we live and do business.

I haven’t gotten too deep into Qualman’s book, but I can share some of my reflections from what I’ve read thus far of the book. And I’ll add to that, interactions that I have had with Erik (assumably: and likely) through the Twitter account which promotes the book.

The Basic Run-Down: Despite some of the Chicken-Little reflections of what is (and-has) and will likely happen in the social web, Qualman makes known some of the genuine developments of the space. Though, a large percent of what I’ve seen so far is from a cultural perspective, he does provide understanding that could translate into an increased advantage to promotional users, like myself.

What I mean is, you won’t get practical advice about using social (anything) to advance your brand or your business. This isn’t a tactical book about how to use social tools and social networks to one’s promotional or other objectives (at least it doesn’t appear to be so far), rather it is more of a retelling of what is already pretty well know. Which is, as the subtitle suggests, the truth that our lives and business practices are (continually) being changed by advancements and opportunities with technologies.

Real Change: Social media, and social networks in particular could arguably be categorized as a social development  (ie. the way we use these technologies have change, so it’s more of a cultural shift, but the technologies change too) so, really technology is still at the heart of things.

Semantics aside. The frenzied state of which much of the book has presented the “social world” have led me to think that Qualman is less the preceeding visionary and more the recap historian.

The Last Word (for now): While much of what is being said in the book is interesting and honest, the frantic delivery of NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME:; it’s all changing and it’s all happening because of THIS and ONLY THIS feel a little embarrassing.

I hope that as I get further into the book (I’m on page 33 now) I’ll find that the Chicken-Little bit has dropped off a bit and the delivery is leaner of OMG.

*I’d like to add as a disclaimer: Obviously no one here is perfect. Qualman or any other book author. And the fact that he has written, and published, and is promoting his book (I’ve had some interaction on Twitter) is phenomenal. I’ve written no books, and so I feel a little judgmental/hypocritical in picking apart his book, but heck I gotta write about something. : ) Seriously, though much of what I attempt to do with this blog is to speak my two cents worth and hopefully that is for betterment, not demise.