This week I’m letting my geek flag fly.
I’m heading to Austin for South by Southwest — not the cool indie music festival, nor for screenings at the the film festival, but for day after day of social media, Web design, mobile and other tech buzzwords at SXSW Interactive.
I could not be more excited about a professional conference. While I’ve always enjoyed the media events I’ve attended, the prospect of being part of the scene as the next big thing arrives, as Twitter did at SXSW 2007, thrills me.
These are fast-moving times we live in and you never know what’s going to transform technology and how we interact with it. If the iPhone isn’t revolutionary, I don’t know what is.
This is my first SXSW and I expect much of what I learn will be unexpected, like the bands I happen to stroll past at Jazz Fest. But there are a number of people I’m looking for by name:
- Chris Brogan, a new media marketing leader whose book Trust Agents I’m reading now
- Andy Carvin, NPR‘s social media strategist
- Tom Conrad, chief technology officer of Pandora and a fellow Michigan grad
- Elisa Camahort Page, founder of BlogHer who inspired me and cracked me up when I saw her at MediaBistro Circus
- Ian MacLurg, social media analyst from ArtPrize, the art extravaganza John participated in last fall in Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Peter Morville, my former boss at Argus Associates, one of the pioneers of information architecture, now at Semantic Studios
- Evan Williams, a serial entrepreneur now best known as a cofounder of Twitter
There are many more. On the SXSW Web site, you can search the attendee list by company, industry, state and name and on a cursory first pass, I marked about 200 people I would love to talk to about what they do.
Maybe it’s just easier to introduce myself to every single person as they pick up their badges?
Here Loic Le Meur, founder and CEO of Seesmic, talks about why he comes to SXSW every year. “…it’s the place to meet all the geeks in one place.”