Surviving and Thriving at SXSW…

By Nicole Fletcher

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You know when people hype up places, speakers and events to lofty levels they have no hope of living up to? Yea…Southby is not like that.

Captain Les, First Mate Jonesy and I ventured into the wild blue western yonder of Austin, TX over a week ago to explore the wonder of SXSW… and oh what a wild yonder it was.

From the flurry of people hustling around the lobby, streets, bars, parties and Convention Center at ALL hours of the day and night, and the ease of networking, to the inspirational talks we both listened to and partook in and the infectious energy of the entire thing…. I’m hooked.

Long winded gushing aside, SXSW is a nerd’s dream. With Interactive, Film and Music elements of this festival, it’s an information overload to say the least. Interactive kicked off the week with talks given by tech masters including CEO of Mashable’s Pete Cashmore and CEO and Cofounder of foursquare Dennis Crowley, in addition to inspirational actors like Arrested Development’s Jeffrey Tarbor (btw, they’re making a movie) and Bruce Springsteen . We talked about the social space and its role in fashion, new innovations in apps and geo location based services (most buzzed about ones included highlight, Path, Grandstand, and Instagram- which in my mind isn’t new- to name a few)  followed by open bar parties by Google, Mashable, Fast Company, (wait for it) MYSPACE (they’re still around?) and a ton more I couldn’t begin to list. **Future blog posts will delve into the things I learned, the things I think, and the things I will now weave into my nerdy tech life after leaving the best trip of my adult life. No exaggeration there.

Staying a full week at southby requires supreme stamina, concentration, hydration, and of course, your iPhone charger surgically implanted into your hand. If you don’t have the last, you’ll be able to plug into this foxy lady (pictured below)… or any of a number of re charging stations sponsored by AT&T and Chevvy.


Not nerdy enough for ya? There are blogging lounges, blogging chairs, and branded pedi cabs galore (best of which is Uber shoutout RG). Nerdy swag comes in droves (see below 1: ‘Chase’ lounge by Chase), QR codes run a muck, your plans are driven by foursquare and where your friends are checking in, new beta apps drive conversations, owls dance on owl shaped buses (see below 2- Hootsuite), Flash mobs break out in the middle of the street (see below 3)….the list goes on. You take a picture, run it through Instagram, Tweet, Facebook, Path, Foursquare and Highlight that sucker all while sipping a cocktail and fishing in your pocket for your business card. It’s a flurry of awesome, a nerdy net-worker’s dream.



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That’s the first of a number of posts… don’t get bored just yet. Hope you enjoyed the quick recap and I hope to make you a SX convert by 2013.

Cheers to SXSAwesome.