Since it’s already the end of day 3 here and I haven’t had a chance to blog a lot about the events here, I’ll try a retrospective of my first day at “South by Southwest”. All I can say is that I’m really overwhelmed by the crowd and especially the friendliness of everyone. It’s just like Molly described it, a real geek fest.
Panels I went to:
10:00 Beyond Folksonomies: Knitting Tag Clouds for Grandma
11:30 How to Be A Web Design Superhero
15:30 How to Bluff Your Way in DOM Scripting
17:00 How to Create Passionate Users
Originally I had the idea to pick out one panel, which in my opinion was the highlight of my day and write a bit more about it. After the first day I had to realize that all (or at least most) of the panels are highlights and I couldn’t pick just one.
In the first panel I went to, the discussion revolved more or less around taxonomy, folksonomy and how content could be tagged, classified or labeled in a more efficient way than it is already done by such well perceived and highly frequented services as del.ici.us or flickr. First of all, we have to realize that tagging is only done by a minority of internet users (mainly because the tools are still too complicated to use) and therefore doesn’t really mirror the average experience of the people out there. Secondly, one of the main challenges is our different ideas of the same term. Since tagging is done by humans, there will always be differences in opinion about the meaning of terms like “web development” or “web technologies”. What exactly do they include? In addition, people might use different tag for the same term: “webdev”, “webdevelopment”, “web development” etc. Let alone spelling mistakes. But that is o.k. since tagging as a form of folksonomy should reflect the ideas of different users and should not be influenced by anything. What we need are tools that fill that need for an easy interface.
Then I went over to the Andys’ humerous comparison of web designers and superheroes. I guess there isn’t much I need to say about Mr. Budd and Mr. Clarke, or about their presentations. As Brits, they have an innate witty humor, which might not find the linking of everybody. But I really like it. They already made their slides available online. They are worth ebery bit of the 13.5MB.
Who else would be perfect to give a brief wrap up of the document object model (DOM) than Jeremy Keith and Aaron Gustafson? In a tour de force they showed off how you can show off and make people’s mouths stay open in wonder. May the DOM be with you.
Now on thy Kathy Sierra. Can you believe that she actually made us participate? How could she do this to us? I was hoping for some laid back presentation but instead we had to talk to our neighbors. Is that what I paid my hard earned $ for? I guess it is. It was a great experience and an awesome presentation. The title says it all. I just hope it’ll soon be available online.
After getting back to the hotel room I had problems logging on to the freely provided internet access. Without success. So I called the hotline and they promised to send someone to replace the modem in my room. I’m not sure if that someone actually came because I was hit by the jetlag about an hour later and fell asleep. So I also missed all the famous parties going on. But at least I had a very inspiring day.