sxsw 2007 recap

We made the annual trek to SxSW this year and had an amazing experience as usual. This year I gave a short talk titled “Web Vector Graphics: Myth or Reality?” and did a Paul Graham style Q&A session at the end with a large number of answers in a very short amount of time. I strongly believe that answering questions is much more valuable than the actual slides I present, so I like to answer as many questions as possible.

On that note, the value of conferences such as SxSW is rarely in the panels themselves. While I really enjoyed Matt Mullenweg’s panel and a panel on bootstrapping, I spend most of my time roaming the halls, chatting with people. Given that we spend most of our time isolated behind our laptops, getting out for a few days and chatting about the latest and greatest with amazingly talented people is why we attend. For example, I finally met John Resig of Mozilla and jQuery, and Andrew Dupont of Prototype, two fellow JavaScript cohorts, and we discussed how dojo.gfx might work as a module that could be plugged into any JavaScript toolkit.

Cal was in prime form taking an immense number of pictures. Tracy, Torrey, Stephanie, and I discussed a great idea for a panel next year that will have relevance from all perspectives of the interactive group that SxSW targets. Kent, Dan, Ernie, Leonard, and a number of the other Yahoos chatted with me about JavaScript and web services. And I’m not just talking about the plane ride to Austin where more than half the people on board were heading to the event!

We continued on the traditional of the annual trek to the Salt Lick, where 27 of us enjoyed all you can eat Texas BBQ, followed-up with cobbler. The saying that everything is bigger in Texas couldn’t be more epitomized than this Sunday night unofficial SxSW tradition. Joyce attended, and I had a change to meet a number of people at the dinner that were invited by people I invited. It was a great use of Renkoo!

We attended a number of official and unofficial events, and look forward to more of the same next year. They are wise to not schedule events prior to 10am!

Two years ago, no one could stop talking about Flickr, microformats, and tagging. Last year, everyone was excited about Ajax, standards backlash, and maps mash-ups. This year the Ajax buzz continued, and Twitter was everywhere. Twitter takes the idea of the Yahoo 360 Blast or Dodgeball notifications, and brings it to another level. I actually don’t really find this service particularly interesting for my personal use (of course, I said the same thing about YouTube, MySpace, and eBay), but for me it is rather interesting to see Evan and co. are switching gears from Odeo to Twitter. If Twitter reaches critical mass and success, the turning point could very well be SxSW.

Overall, SxSW is one of the more affordable, enjoyable conferences out there, thanks to the amazing efforts of Hugh Forrest and the amazing SxSW team. I can’t wait for next year’s event!

One Response to “sxsw 2007 recap”

  1. on 25 Jun 2007 at 3:15Shayantani


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