Articles Tagged: SXSWi

Press Room? I Said Rest Room!

You’d be hard pressed to find a more digital savvy group of people than the ones who attend SXSW Interactive. The vast majority of conference attendees are armed with laptops and logged onto the ubiquitous wireless available throughout the City of Austin. Most of the attendees have at least one blog that they post to on a regular basis (I think the average is actually 2.32 blogs per attendee, but I’m having trouble fact checking that number). It’s like an army of field reporters have descended on a conference to provide coverage from every possible angle.

Don’t believe me? Check out:

All of this just makes the fact that there is still a SXSW Press Room seem that much more archaic. What the hell happens in that room? Seriously, what sort of special accommodations could “real” reporters need that aren’t already available to every attendee?
I’ve racked my brain on this one and the only things I can come up with are:

  • Comfortable chairs
  • Fax Machines
  • D Cell Batteries

On the last day of the 2005 conference renowned CSS Guru Eric Meyer was called to task for daring to take photos of his friends without proper press credentials. I guess security hadn’t notice the 9,000+ session photos uploaded to flicker over the previous four days. Meyer played along and was ultimately granted a press pass for his camera. Apparently media credentials are now just a bureaucratic formality.

Meanwhile, the SXSW Press Room lives on, like some kind of vestigial organ completely out of place in the 21st century.

Radio Killed The Radio Star, Part One

Part One: The Music Industry Doesn’t Have A Clue, And The Government Isn’t Helping Either

Remember when it was just video killing the radio star? Today, it’s the Internet and satellite and the iPod and, let’s be frank, general boredom with the medium. Does radio have a future in a digital world?

This was the topic of a SXSW panel called “The Future of Radio” (perhaps it’s a sign of the times that the podcast doesn’t seem to be online yet, but the video is — link below). Panelists included moderator Kevin Smokler, Celia Hirschman of Downtown Marketing and KCRW, Roman Mars of WBEZ, Elise Nordling host of Indie Pop Rocks from SomaFM, and Tim Westergren of Pandora, bringing together lifelong radio listeners, public radio professionals, Internet radio stars, and purveyors of social networking applications.

Before the session started, I eavesdropped on a conversation between two long-time radio professionals. At one point, the man said, “I’m very, very interested in podcasting.” And I’m thinking, “So you should be, so you should be.”


The Darknet Panel: Meet The Consumer

I admit it – when I heard that the MPAA was sending someone to SXSW to sit on the “The Future of Darknets: Can Hollywood See The Light?”, my first thought was, “That’s gonna be fun.” You know, fun in the way that root canals happening to someone else are fun. Fun, fun, fun.

And it was. I have a sick sense of humor that way. As Kevin Smokler said the next day, “There’s a street fight a-brewin'”.

Let me set the scene: the panel was hosted by J.D. Lasica, author of Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against The Digital Generation. Panelists included Kori Bernards of the MPAA, Mark Ishikawa from BayTSP, Ian Clarke, creator of Freenet, Heather Champs from Flickr (who was mad as hell about the DMCA, a perfect mood for the panel), and Dave Toole of Outthink. Oh, and a room packed with tech geeks, media consumers, and filmmakers. These groups were not mutually exclusive.


Fast, Cheap, and Redefining News: Rocketboom

When we started Medialoper, one comment I heard really resonated, but probably not in the way the speaker intended. In a discussion about creating content for Internet-distribution only, a well-meaning but ill-informed pundit opined that regular, quality content required major infrastructure behind it. There was no way (no way!) that people working out their living rooms could produce programming on a regular basis.

Mr. Pundit, meet Rocketboom.

Rocketboom is a daily video log (vlog, if you will). Think of it as a hipper, cooler, smarter nightly news. With correspondents around the world and regular production schedule, Rocketboom pulls in over 250,000 daily viewers — people who catch the current show and people who access the programs extensive archives. The daily program is largely created by two people: director/producer Andrew Baron and co-writer/host Amanda Congdon. Others work on the show in various capacities. And, as revealed during their SXSWi session “Democratization of the Moving Image”, almost no expense has been made to produce this show.


Nick Denton Is The Most Generous Man On The Internet

Battling Roomba RobotsI know, the title of this post might surprise some of his employees. And it’s true that after arriving early to the Side Bar we were a bit skeptical that there was really going to be much of a Lifehacker party. The fact that there was no cold wine and exactly one half pint of Guinness Stout didn’t bode well for the evening’s festivities. Really, when has anyone ever ordered a half pint of Guinness? It sort of seemed like someone might have forgotten to add ‘party planning’ to their next actions list.

The unannounced live performance by Diamanda Galas on the outside patio only added to the confusion. Nothing against our old friend Diamanda, but we were forced to stuff quarters in the jukebox to offset her sonic attack with the sounds of Tom Waits, Jonathan Richman, and Sly and the Family Stone.

Eventually the Lifehacker crowd showed up and Nick Denton started paying for our drinks. All was well. Better yet, we were treated to battling bluetooth enabled Roombas that also played pool. What more could a Medialoper possibly ask for?

Factlet learned from the Side Bar mens room wall: 2,500 left handed people every year are killed using products designed for right handed people. Don’t let this happen to you. If you’re a lefty, get a left handed mouse immediately.

Thank you Lifehacker.