Another South by Southwest (SXSW) has come and gone and Austin’s streets were no less frenzied, vibrant and action-filled than previous years. From interactive panels that ranged from healthcare, social media, relationships, big data, science & space, mobile apps, gamification, fitness, happiness, virtual food, activism, hip hop, libraries and museums, natural language processing, location based apps, fashion, beauty and literature, to investment opportunities around the world (Chile, Canada, Argentina, Ireland, Australia and others), there was plenty of information to take in.
Chevy was once again a sponsor so you had an opportunity to test drive one of their many, including a nifty yellow convertible which I took for a spin around town, escorted of course.
Tealet set up shop at Rackspace’s hosted party but they also had a brightly pink-haired tea lover roaming the streets attempting to get the brand name out there.
The streets aren’t just lined with musicians, but also magicians and everything in between.
Girls with hoola hoops performed….
And a man in a banana suit was roaming around, selling or pitching what I’m not quite sure.
Al Gore was in a fireside chat with WSJ’s Walt Mossberg and later signed books for the eagerly awaiting SXSW crowd. See my extensive write-up on the panel that ranges from the need to bring democracy (true democracy) back to America to global warming and technology.
And, this guy was just hang out smoking a cigarette and I couldn’t help but capture one of Austin’s many interesting walls.
If you’re not a smoker, then reading the paper on some random Austin corner isn’t an uncommon sight, especially near one of the city’s many alleys, which are often lined up with garbage pails, bikes and trees.
NEA and Silicon Valley Bank held a party. Below, HAPILABS Andrew Carton, DEMO producer Erick Schonfeld, Google’s Don Dodge and Renee Blodgett. (Shot taken by their hired photographer)
There were cool new products to test out, such as this gorilla pod on wheels and the olloclip, which I used to take all the fisheye shots you see on this page.
Robert Scoble set up shop in the Rackspace abode, conducting interviews with geeks who were either great storytellers or who had interesting products. Sometimes, it’s both.
View from the top of the Silicon Valley/NEA Party. (taken by their hired photographer)
The below shot was also taken by the NEA/SVB hired photographer – this was on one of the rare occasions it wasn’t raining in Austin during Interactive.
I met the Augment guys (did a write up on Augment), who showed me their cool 3D augmented reality app, which allows you to experience a 3D experience (surprise, surprise – I asked for a travel destination). This was transplanted into view in thin air using his iPad and as you can see beyond it, the physical environment of the party we were at continues in the background.
Central Desktop was bold and brought on a male angel of sorts to dance on a bed, or was it a cloud or ? You get the idea. It was an attention grabber.
Conquistador aka @conquistador who was busy filming when I came across him on the street.
Blue hair, tattoos and dancing in perfectly unified blend of sorts on Sixth Street.
IndieGoGo’s Slava Rubin at their very own IndieGoGo party, which was on the top of some Marriott or Hilton or another, presenting a fabulous view of the city for its guests.
Dogster’s Ted Rheingold doesn’t dress like other geeks in his category, but then again, we all knew that….
GO CHILE!!! Start-up Chile was there in full force and I can’t wait to learn more about their companies and adventures ahead.
Space is the final frontier. Or at least some say. I may not be a space geek, but even if you’re not, how can you not be intrigued, engaged and into whatever NASA is doing. NASA’s head of social media John Yembrick was on a panel with astronaut Ron Garan talking about how they’re using social media as a means to reach out to new audiences while giving people behind-the-scenes access to areas rarely seen by the public. By using tweets, blog posts and streamed video interviews with groups across the world, the astronauts living and working on orbit have a unique vantage point in which to conduct science-altering experiments, encourage the next generation to study STEM in school and to open a door that rekindles the dreamer in all of us. And, well this little guy without a face below was just roaming the streets.
The Hootsuite bus was seen floating around town on more than one occasion. There was even a furry Hootsuite owl sharing his moves. He (yes, the owl) even danced with me at some agency party on some late night to some hip hop music while some bubbly of sorts was pouring. The owl has rhythm. Kudos to Ryan and his team. We all had a great time.
American Airlines set up a couple of lounges on-site and had a couple of massage therapists giving out shoulder rubs. You could also jump into a photo booth of sorts, and then tweet something out with your attached photo and your tweet would appear in gigantic letters across a massive digital screen with an American Airline plane splashed across it. Those of you who are travelers (which is likely anyone reading We Blog the World), know that American Airlines has a new look-and-feel.
Andrew Hyde and Renee Blodgett. Yup, am holding his fabulous new book called This Book is About Travel.
With Ray Wang at the Hotel Driskill, which continues to be a favorite late night haunt.
Jeff Pulver had his annual bash. Renee Blodgett and Melissa Pierce, who is in her traditional Austin hat, which she wears every year just because she can. I need to bring one with me next year.
Klout’s Matt Thompson aka @DaddyMention, Laura Fitton aka @Pistachio, Renee Blodgett at some roofdeck party I can’t remember the name of. Another great view. Yeah, I’m wondering what Monsieur DaddyMention is thinking of too.
Oh yeah, and Oklahoma was there. Wow, right? Not music, not interactive but the FILM side of the fence. Very cool!
Yeah well, it was hard to avoid HootSuite, they were following us everywhere, not that we minded! Love these guys.
GoGo was at the GDGT Event and btw, there were other products that I discovered at the GDGT event we’ll be writing about. It was a great place to learn about cool products. GoGo of course was specifically useful for travelers and their tagline says it all: Its the Internet. In the Sky. I haven’t tried them out yet though.
And as always at SXSW, girls just gotta have fun, or is it wanna have fun, or is it? Never mind. It’s mostly my LA posse though caught up with women in the world of social media, tech, healthcare, music, film and Fortune 500 companies from Kansas, Indiana (yeah, that’s you Andrea — not pictured here), Florida, South Africa, London, Australia, Boston, New York, San Diego, Las Vegas, Houston…the list goes on.
C.C. Chapman did a book signing thing – I couldn’t help but capture a mobile screen grab. How we missed each other is beyond me but I read the book and remain a fan. (of the book I mean). No, C.C. I mean. Okay I mean both, already. You get the idea.
Book pimping again and no they’re not paying me. Her. Us.
Startup Chile had some incredibly cool companies there, including this 3D printing solution. Check out Chile, Startup Chile, Gigabot and beyond.
Below is a shot of the TRAVEL BLOGGERS meet-up, which wasn’t very well publicized and frankly, I would have LOVED getting everyone’s Twitter handles in advance somehow. I am not following up with anyone I met – no one had business cards or twitter handles readily available. Where was the white board or the electronic one or something?
Las Vegas Tech sponsored a little gathering, or rather a big gathering, with a boat load of dancing, the place where I met the man who stood beside me at 6’11 and he confirmed that no, he didn’t play basketball.
And of course the Austin food truck scene was a great way to quickly and inexpensively get fed at 2 in the morning – think sausages, other kinds of ‘dogs,’ burgers and tacos. Here’s a glimpse of them in our Austin food trucks write up.