SXSW Day 1 and 2

Wow. What more can you say about the coolest web conference I’ve been able to attend. My first year attending SXSW and I must say it’s quite the scene. Probably more like a festival of web junkies than a traditional conference SXSW spans the Austin conference center and several surrounding hotels, restaurants and other various dives. In all reality, it has taken over downtown Austin from 9:00 in the morning until the wee hours of the night.

Nightlife
I’m not sure exactly how long it keeps going each night since most of my comrades turn into pumpkins somewhere around 9:00 and my only cohort pumpkinized a bit later at 10:30. However, tonight we were able to visit the Uship and Frog Design Parties. Uship was a treat with a nice band albeit a bit too loud for my taste. It was nice to see their offices and workspace. After Uship, we were off to Frog Design for a really long line to get in. I think we were in line for 45 minutes and wrapped around 3 sides of a 1 square block building. Yikes! It was worth it.

The Frog Design boasted a stellar creative atmosphere. After entering the building, you immediately saw big screen games and a particularly fun group game, the sequencer. On the sequencer, there were about 64 blocks. Standing on the blocks would produce different electronic sounds. Working as a group, you could make some pretty funky tunes.

Frog also developed some tech that heat mapped all the SXSW tweets going out during the party. You could see all the hot spots in downtown. Sadly, I could tell we weren’t at the most happening spot.

Before leaving, I noticed the “Hungry Birds Game” pitting 2 players against each other in hungry hippos style angry birds spin off. Very entertaining. On the way out the door, was the motion capture dance floor. I wasn’t in the mood to be motion captured, so I went with “that looks really cool” and called it a night.

Overall, it was a great evening. So what about the day?

Daytime Conference
Well, both days have been chocked full of great tidbits of info. What I would say is different about this conference than others that I’ve attended is that I feel like I’m being taught by my peers, and not be some upper echelon of web godhood. Just good solid, practical input and advice that really stretches your thinking on how you do things. I’ll share some notes and videos later.

3 more days to go. Amazing.

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