Home > DigitalDay News > SXSW Interactive 2011 – Very Cool.

SXSW Interactive 2011 – Very Cool.


As winter in Cleveland/Akron dragged along and SXSW 2011 got closer and closer, I began to consume everything I could to prepare myself for my first time at SXSW. I checked out the official SXSW website, read the FAQs, sifted through the panel topics. I read tweets, I read blogs, I Googled. And, admittedly, I started to get nervous. Oh no, I thought, I’m not cool enough for SXSW.

This thing is going to have top digital and interactive thought leaders, panels and parties galore, thousands of interactive, music and film fans mulling about meeting and greeting in what looks like an awesome town, Austin, TX. What would I wear, where should I go…could I fit in and keep up?

About 15 minutes into Day 1, my answer came in the form of a sigh of relief, a huge smile and the thought, “Ok, this thing is awesome.”

Austin Sunshine SXSW 2011

The weather was gorgeous (narrowly escaping a March dump of 10 inches of snow in Cleveland and ending up in a place with high 70s and sun…yes, please!), the town was beautiful (a mix of cool restaurants, shops, trees, rivers, bikes, college students, and friendly people) and the crowd and content at SXSW was inspiring. Conversation starts naturally with the people around you, and new ideas and excitement are constantly floating around you (not augmented reality-style (more about that later…), but the feeling is quite palpable.)

So for anyone interested in SXSW, it’s definitely something to experience that will provide you with new ideas for your approach to web and interactive, and get you excited for what is to come in this digital world.

SXSW 2011, Austin, Texas

We’ll be posting a series of blogs on some of the topics presented at SXSW 2011. There were some panels and talks that were better than others, but overall it was an interesting mix of topics, definitely worth some additional thought and conversation.

So, ok, maybe my worries about my lack of SXSW “coolness” were unfounded. I had a great time and felt totally comfortable. But, at the same time, there is an advantage to not being (or at least thinking that you are) the coolest person in the room – you get out of your comfort zone, get inspired by others and definitely learn some pretty “cool” stuff.

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