Monday afternoon update from South by Southwest

Well, so I did see Robert Scoble at the podtech Vloggies booth; that was fun. He has so many folks wanting to talk to him, and he's representing his startup, so I hate to take too much of his time at these things. I did manage to congrat on the fact he and Maryam are expecting, and to hand Irina a QnA t-shirt as a howdy gesture for commenting on my blog recently. I did see the video of her shooting at a range, and frankly if you didn't respect her before you might try working on it now. 😉

Being part of the "twitter sxsw" phenomenon as it evolved has been pretty interesting. First, it makes this event more fun, and largely because Scoble's so generous with his followers that you get to follow the antics of the technorati by following him. It also is a high-powered PDA/phone app though, which because I am on a dinosaur Nokia from beyond Lost Time isn't as relevant for me. I'm reading twitter on my tablet and via Twapper rather than a mobile sized bite of it.

On the other hand, for Evan and crew at Twitter, sxsw is the perfect launch pad for folks to try it out. The conference is young, hip and as mentioned, Scoble's been so inclusive it's not hard to feel part of a large flock(?) twittering on. It's an event where moment by moment stuff changes, and where you have rest breaks where you can bring people up to date.

For example, Molly Wright Steenson of wrote she'd twitter from the stage asking Dan Rather a question. I wasn't in that seminar, and the next thing that pops up is something like "dan rather is 75 years old. damn. "

And yet at conferences some of the more inspiring moments are face to face.  I first met Molly at the Microsoft Research Social Computing Symposium last year . Her brain is awesome & intense & never stops; found out at sxsw she just got into a doctorate program at Princeton. (Nice!) Chatting at the Blind Pig Bar Saturday with Mary Hodder of about what it takes to break off and start a company.  The small thank yous for the panel on Saturday which I appreciate and the folks who said  "yes, I'll take a t-shirt from you" at the Platinum Lounge party Microsoft sponsored yesterday (Sunday). I'm by nature a shy person (haha on me that I ended up working the community side of the internet) but we tend to remember the small human moments that matter.

 Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress) had a great quote from his presentation on scaling community today: "Speed is a feature"  He said this as, with great personal irony to me,  the convention center's wireless was conking out on me, sending 3 packets for every 1 received and making everything load so slow as to be unusable.  Matt said other good things too, about how you start building in community success from the beginning. He made a big deal about Caterina Fake greeting and recommending things to every Flickr user before they had tagging; what powerful resonance and loyalty that creates! Speed to user is as important as page load times.

Tonight's my spoken word experience - 20x2. More on that later...gotta go see "When communities attack!" panel....

Might be a job for the cod. 😉


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