When you think of SXSW you instantly think of all the great music that streams from the local bars. But for me, it is all the information and technology that flows from the conference center – this is Vegas for the techies. So many tech companies showing off their goods in a place that most likely held the latest boat show a week before. I really expected a sensory overload of information from every corner of the building, and I was not disappointed.
By far the coolest attraction, for me, was the guys taking CDs and putting them on vinyl, what? This has never been the case; everyone wants to go from vinyl to CD or MP3. But this was cool, watching a record being made in front me. Maybe it was the fact that I am so naive or not old enough to appreciate what records once were, but it was a pretty cool process.
Then there is the hardware, Das Keyboard was there showing off their gear. As someone who sits in front of a computer all day, I can really appreciate a good quality keyboard. There really wasn’t much to demo; it’s just a keyboard. But it is a
keyboard with style. I did not see Logitech there with their latest line-ups, but that could be a different story.
Among the other groups there, the Tor Project was there. And anyone who is concerned with the privacy on the internet knows who the Tor Project is. These guys/gals were the coolest and friendliest people to talk to. I am not sure if it is just their culture, but they were not trying to sell you on anything – they just wanted to chat. The simplest and the best of them all had to be The Happiness Challenge. Not sure why, but this struck me as something that actually made sense and gave technology a reason for being. For those who don’t know, it is an organization that focuses on sending photos to one another to help lift spirits on another person. There is no monetary value or alternative motive behind this. It uses technology to help reach out to those that need it at the time of need. I might be just getting old, but this was something inspirational.
As always, you have the celebrity sightings. Team Codero had the luxury of a spot right next to Amazon, but because of this, I did get to shake the hand of Guy Kawasaki. Who else can say that in their lifetime (well besides Emil, and friends of Guy)? Then there was Shaq, this guy walked by our booth and it was impossible to miss him. Shaq is huge, yeah on the screen he looks 2 inches tall, but in a face-to-face encounter, we are talking about a guy that is huge.
So yeah, there is tech. But there is also the music at SXSW, in case you did not know or catch it in the first paragraph. I had the opportunity to volunteer with the i2coallition in order to help get signatures for a petition concerning the 4th amendment and Online Privacy Rights. This is a great thing. One of the perks to volunteering included seeing DeadMau5 v. Richie Hawtin. Want to talk about a show that will produce an epileptic seizure. I also lucked out, because Local Natives and The Joy Formidable were also playing, which are bands that I do follow. But as the concert was going on, I also met people from all walks of life. And it was something cool; I made quite a few acquaintances that I plan to continue the conversation with.
All in all, it was a great time. So many companies to follow up with, a lot of people to get their twitter handles, and a few days to recover from everything.