SXSW Interactive 2008 – Day 1 (Friday, March 7th)

I started the day with a much needed cup of coffe, after a long day traveling from Nuremberg to Frankfort, to Washington, D.C. and on to Austin, TX. Of course that is nothing compared to some of the trips I made to Alaska which took me sometimes up to 30 hours to get there. But I have to admit that I’m also not getting any younger.

At around 9:45 am I joined the still small queue for picking up my badge for this year’s SXSW Interactive. I was pretty glad that I was there a few minutes early because the queue kept growing and growing. Sometime around 10:15 am I was all set and picked up my bag with all those useless promotional items (at least most of them are), met with Colleen (the communicatrix) and we went for a late breakfast at the “Liberty Tavern” in the Hilton, right across the street from the Convention Center (CC).

From there I went on to a meetup with some fellow WaSP ILG members (Glenda, Henny, Steph, Derek, Gez and Norm) at the Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill for lunch, which is also right next to the CC. Unfortunately Martin and Jan couldn’t make it, along with a few others, because Jan was shopping for clothes since his suitcase hadn’t arrived and Martin was stuck at Washington airport due to some unknown problems. It was great seeing you all after communicating via basecamp and mailing list. Since I just had a late breakfast with Colleen, I didn’t have anything to eat there, which I regretted right when the others got their plates full of all kinds of delicious stuff. I’ll keep that in mind for the next time.

After lunch it was time to start headfirst into the conference. Together with Henny I went to two book readings: “Pro JavaScript Design Patterns” by Dustin Diaz (Google) and “The Principles of Beautiful Web Design” by Jason Beaird (Jasongraphix.com). Very interesting topics but twenty minutes is just too short to dig deeper.

Then it was off to the first panels. As always at multi-track conferences, the toughest part is choosing which panels to go to and which panels to miss. I decided in favor of “Career Rev 342: Dabble Dabble, Toil and Kick Ass” and was glad that I did. Amy Hoy’s enthusiasm and humor is a great way to start a conference with.

After that there was no doubt about it that “Respect!”, moderated by Jeffrey Zeldman, would be my next panel of choice and was joined by Henny and Gez.

From there we wanted to go to the “Friday Night Mix at Six” but the queue was just too insanely long that we went to the Fadó Irish Pub. We stayed there all evening apart from a short dinner trip to an Italian restaurant on 5th St. After that we went back to the Fadó to meet Steph and Porter. Later on, Martin, who eventually made it to Austin, joined us.

UPDATE (March 11th, 2009): Unfortunately I didn’t get around writing more about my experiences at SXSW 2008 but I’ll be covering my experiences at SXSW 2009.

SXSW 2008 – Time to start blogging again

Ok, here I am again in Austin, TX.

It’s been two years since I last attended the awesome SXSW Interactive conference here and I’m looking forward to some very interesting panels and of course meeting new people. Unfortunately I am ill prepared and have not yet decided, which panels I’ll attend. But I’ll keep you posted. For that I’ll revive my blog again, which I have left unattended for way too long. That will change… NOW!

Stay tuned for more about my visit to SXSW…