17th March 2012, by Andrew Bowyer
If you live in a cave, you may not have noticed South By Southwest happening this week in Austin. A week of film, interactive and music conferences (and a festival) in a great city, SXSW is a big deal for those of us in digital marketing.
From a grey morning in Birmingham, my unashamed jealousy prevents me from writing too much about the happenings in Texas, but I thought a ‘South By Top 10’ would do the trick.
I was lucky enough to visit a couple of years ago and, from my own experience, the scale of the place is daunting. You will never be in the right seminar at the right time and your sponsor party will always have a longer queue (and less free booze) than the one your friend got a guest pass to. So, with the benefit of hindsight and the world’s greatest concentration of geeks at the end of a Twitter feed, these are some of the big things I missed (not bitter at all…)
SXSWi always has a strong thread of using technology for social good. BBH caused a healthy stir by turning local homeless people into wireless hotspots, with users donating via Paypal. Street papers for the 21st century? A spotlight on a neglected issue? Exploitation?
2. CNN Grill
CNN reportedly did a great job of hosting the CNN Grill venue. Its site curates news and chat from the event and presents it in a simple, current interface. No mess, no ‘news’. And, of course, there’s been a lot of talk about…
3. Rumours of CNN to buy Mashable
Rumours surfaced at the same time as SXSW (coincidence?) that CNN is ready to buy Mashable, the social media news site. The general consensus is ‘at least it’s not Fox News’. Channel 4 gives comment.
4. Eye-Fi wins Technical Achievement at the SXSWi awards
If it hadn’t won, I would never have heard of this incredible device. Slip a card into a digital camera to send photos wirelessly. Download the app.
5. Pepsico serves ads based on your face
At the What If Unconference, Pepsi served up over 35,000 ad impressions customised to the viewer based on their gender and age using facial detection. The future of bus stop advertising? Campaign magazine features this in its SXSW diaries.
6. Did you know Al Gore was there?
He urged the crowd to use digital tools to fix a ‘no-longer functional U.S. government’.
7. Had enough Pinterest yet?
The SXSW keynotes are always well attended with stragglers even taking seats on the floor. Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann was one such keynote, talking about starting out, glossing over copyright questions and hinting at where next for Pinterest. Read the review at the Austin Chronicle.
8. All the keynote sessions…in pencil
SXSW has a tradition of visual summaries, with illustrators capturing the highlights of the sessions in graphic form. Ogilvy supports and captures these at the Ogilvy Notes site. Try hiring a Graphic Recorder for your next board meeting.
9. Turntable.fm secures licenses from majors
During their ‘the future of music is social’ panel, the online listening service where users DJ in virtual rooms announced a deal with all 4 major record labels. I can’t wait to see what brands can do with this or how labels get on board to tap into H2H (hipster to hipster) marketing.
10. Andrew Bowyer makes a vow
This is the last SXSW I’m missing. Tickets go on sale for SXSW 2013 in August.
Autumn is one of the most exciting times in the creative industry as it hales the beginning of two things - the final commercial push for our clients as they approach year-end, and the start of the planning process for the new financial year.
“Peppa pig, iPad” said my 2 year old daughter Poppy very recently. Now my daughter loves Peppa Pig and she loves MY iPad, so I shouldn’t be that surprised that she now makes this kind of demand. She was referring to a Peppa Pig App which contains six fun Peppa Pig party games that she absolutely loves; she uses the on screen touch functionality intuitively and as confidently as if she has being using it far beyond the few months since she first showed an interest in playing with it.