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.