*Note: I only left my room about four times my entire time in Austin this year due to illness so my thoughts are only based on the few experiences that I had with people. I am going back to the hospital, but I know I will forget to write this if I don’t do it now so hopefully it all sounds decent.
Last year at SXSW seemed to be the year of the superstar. Flickr was rumored to have been bought out, everyone was drooling over every word that left Fried’s mouth and generally there was a divide between the elite and the followers. This year was a lot different. There didn’t seem to be that star attraction because everyone is really getting into their own things this year. Last year was talk and this year seems to be all walk.
You couldn’t drool over every word Fried said this year in his keynote because, well, he has been saying the same shit for the past year anyways. Okay, my bad, it isn’t shit because less is more” makes sense in a lot of cases, but I was really hoping for some new insight. The Craig Newmark keynote was another rehash of what I have read in the past from websites and magazine articles about him.
Last year I bitched about the panels and said that this year I probably wouldn’t even go to any. Well after talking to people it seems next year they will be doing the same thing, which sucks. It sucks because I want to like the panels. I want to learn something new or at the very least be entertained. Last year when I vented I took a step back and thought that maybe it was just my arrogance and general assholiness that caused such resentment towards the panels, but how much have you seen written about the panels this year in comparison to year’s past? Again keep in mind that I missed 95% of SXSW so I am going on what people are telling me.
This is the transition year. Between this entry and next year’s SXSW a star or maybe a couple will develop where they will become the must-hear speakers next year. If you are one of them try your best to be entertaining. A good way to help people learn is to keep them interested and that doesn’t mean rinse, wash, repeat all your blog entries from the year before.
You can kind of see this happening in the design blog community. There isn’t a consensus site that everyone says you must go read. Sure we all have our favorites, but there isn’t that one star anymore. Maybe we don’t need a star, but I’m surprised to see that no one has taken advantage of this opportunity to really make a name for themself. I suppose a couple years ago there wasn’t money to be made so blogging was much easier and now that people are starting to cashout that simply leaves less time for blogging.
If you attended SXSW this year I hope you enjoyed your time and if I didn’t get to meet you I apologize and if I did meet you and seemed generally out of it I apologize for that as well.