Joe Clark. So this guy is an icon in the Accessibility community and seems to be well-recognized everywhere. He has a very strong personality not much unlike myself. I knew the name, but I didn’t know who he was until I got to meet him at the first day of registration. May I never have to meet him again because if so bad things may occur. I am not to sure if Mike has high regards for him either.
If you were around me most of the week I am sure you heard the story. If not let me just push it in the deep recesses of my brain saved only for those parts of drunken mishappenenings. The guy is an ass. That is all.
Time Wasting Panels. Yes, yes, it has been said that the best part of SXSW isn’t the panels, but the hallway discussions and parties. Fair enough. However, if I pay money to fly to Austin, receive admission to a conference, and dedicate my time to watch a discussion, I do plan on walking out of there with something learned. I didn’t attend as many panels as the rest of the people, but I was only impressed with one of them (Blogging While Black, arguably the best one of the conference from what I hear). I enjoyed the Design Eye one as well for its entertainment value. The rest?
Ill-prepared. Maybe the blogging environment has caused many of us to become lazy or think that no matter what we say everyone will like it. However, I know the panelists were much smarter than they allowed themselves to be perceived. It was almost like sitting down watching a high schooler give a History presentation that he prepared during lunch time.
This did motivate me and the Business Logs team to already start preparation for our panel next year. So that was a good thing.
It’s a White Man’s World. No worries, this isn’t one of those “where are the X?” type of entries, but it was a bit disconcerting to see what I always felt was the truth. White men dominate the industry. And I don’t mean dominate as in there are a lot of them, but I mean dominate as in IE used to control over 96% of the market dominate. There were more Black people on stage for the Bloggin While Black panel than there were in the crowd!
Variety is always a good thing and I think many people would benefit from a bit more of it at the conference. However, that is not for any one person to decide. That’s just the way things are for now.
Same Parties, Same Conversations. Yeah, yeah you hear about how fun the parties are right? Well, I think these tales are coming from people who don’t really get to attend parties all that much. The grand finale party (which in hindsight was so overhyped it hurts) sucked. You have a couple hundred people in the same house with no music playing. Wow. Wait there is music, but its coming from a little boombox on the top floor. Lame.
What about the other parties? Same old shit. Stand around. Talk about web design (yippee) or how well work is going. Maybe everyone is afraid to really cut loose for fear of losing their professional status or that it might get blogged, but damn some of these people are just boring. Here is a classic example.
At the last party, Mike and I are walking around bored off our asses. I decide that it’s time to jumpstart the party and move to the second floor in the dining room (or whatever it was). There was music playing from the small boombox, but I thought it would be more fun to have Mike beatbox while I started dancing in the middle of all these people. Mike did his crazy beatboxing thing and I did my crazy dancing thing hoping that this would light a fire under everyone’s asses. What happened? People stared at us like were aliens and once we stopped went right back to their conversations and lego building activities (yeah you read that right).
Let’s try this again.
Moved to the next room, told Mr. Inman I was going to perform a celebration dance in his honor. Same result.
Time to bail and go play some pool back in town.
I’m an ass. I already knew this, but there were certain times at SXSW in which I proved to myself all over again that I was one. Not my finest moments.
The Brits are just cooler. What makes them cooler? They don’t give two shits what people think about them and that is how everyone should live. Too many of us are concerned about making the right appearance towards others, but fail to understand that if people don’t like you for what you are then those are the people you don’t want in your life.
Mike Davidson’s Beard. If the only person you saw was Mike at the conference then you probably thought you were in the Klondike. That thing was hideous.
All in all though, it was more good than bad and I will be going next year to cause even more chaos.