How to sum up the past 72 hours at SXSW? Well, I think it says a lot about an event when you're unable to check your e-mail due to the massive amount of bandwidth overload happening every second. With over 10,000 attendees blogging, tweeting, IMing, surfing, and skimming within a two-mile radius, it’s a wonder the Internet itself hasn’t imploded yet. Austin may have been cold and rainy, but the Web 2.0 is heating up with user-generated content, random widgets, and iPhone apps a-flyin'. Highlights from the event?
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, gave Southwest Airlines a shout-out during his keynote presentation on Saturday. His down-to-earth, pragmatic approach to happiness in the workplace was fascinating to listen to, and his company culture appears to be as strong as Southwest’s. He actually offers his employees $2,000 to leave Zappos—that’s how confident he is about Zappos. Tony is one of the biggest names to follow on Twitter; @Zappos has over 240,000 followers.
On a much smaller scale, I attended a Core Conversation led by Daniel Hope from the University of Texas here in Austin. He’s an expert on corporate blogging, and he mentioned Nutsaboutsouthwest.com as one of his favorite blog names. Thank ya kindly, Daniel! Read about his tips for starting a corporate blog at www.tracksuitceo.com
Tip: If you can’t get into a crowded panel at SXSW, why not make your own? That’s right, the aptly titled “Twitter for Marketers” Sunday panel (featuring our fellow airline friend Morgan Johnston @JetBlue) was packed to the gills. Thanks to mob rule, we set up shop in the hall, and ended up having our own grassroots Twitter panel. Here at SXSW, random intellectual conversations about Tweetdeck versus Twitteriffic happen at every corner.
Speaking of Twitter, David Holmes (the Southwest Airlines Rapping Attendant) is blowing up. He was first discovered on YouTube and Twitter, and through the power of social media…he was even mentioned on CNN this week! Check out that clip at
And of all the 10,000 techie minds swarming the Austin Convention Center this week, our own Christi Day was interviewed for the local news. Check it out at: http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/sxsw_gets_interactive
With two more days of jam-packed panels, core conversations, trade show giveaways, and keynote speakers, we can only hang on to our hats (or perhaps iPhones?) and enjoy the ride.