Tag Archives: sxsw

SXSW Interactive panel recap – Promiscuity or Private Groups: Mobile Photo Sharing

11 Mar

The big question in the SXSW Interactive panel “Promiscuity or Private Groups: Mobile Photo Sharing” was where is it all going?

The panel was moderated by Mayank Mehta, co-founder and director of products for Cooliris, and featured Louis Gray of my6sense and Danny Trinh of the photo sharing site Path.


Now that most mobile phones have better cameras, couple with more powerful 3G cellular networks, have made for better and easier mobile photo sharing. Mobile apps like Instagram have seen a rapid increase of users in a short amount of time, but Mehta pointed out that email remains the top photo sharing method.

Will apps take it over?

Gray said a lot of people have talked about email going away for a long time but it hasn’t happened.

The key for apps to capitalize in order to overtake sharing through email is emphasizing relationships, according to Trinh. Tringh’s application, Path, allows you to share photos with people you know versus broadcasting to the public. 

“Mobile photo sharing will make relationships stronger,” Trinh said.

Part of the success for mobile photo sharing are the filters and exclusivity. Instagram, which according to Mehta is pushing 1 million users. It makes people feel like they are better photographers than they are. You take a photo, modify and upload.

“The filter makes your photo look pretty good and makes you feel like a better photographer,” Trinh said. 

However, Trinh said he understands why pro photographers may not find the photos as appealing in terms of their artistic value and quality. 

“It’s really a means to an end with the filters and tilt shift — to get the someone interested in using the app.”

Furthermore, Gray said the success of photo sharing apps is also dependent on whether a person receives feedback they want (and expect), in other words, social validation.

“You post crazy photos and get tons of validation while others don’t and they drop off,” he said.

Nonetheless, Trinh said it depends on what’s more important to you: public social validation or private social validation.

“I feel more engaged sharing with people I know.” 


An ADHD procrastinator’s guide to SXSW Interactive

10 Mar

SXSW is upon us and I’m already twitching in excitement. 

OK, it might be all the coffee I’ve had lately. Or my anxiety. Or my ADD.

I’ve spent the past few weeks planning for my Core Conversation with Anna Tauzin, so scheduling and planning for anything else fell down to this week. 


I’ll probably continue to harass you all about the Core Conversaton until it’s over, so sorry in advance (kinda). We have a blog for it, which you should check out, and see us in action Tuesday, March 15 at 11 a.m.

Tools to get you organized

The good thing about being a frazzled procrastinator nowadays are all the helpful apps and websites around to get you organized. 

I’ve been using SCHED to create my calendar for each day. I think it’s safe to say my schedule is set.

I also made sure to download a few apps onto my iPhone for the fest. ReadWriteWeb has a great article on five apps you should download.

Beluga and Hashable look like they will be really helpful. Hurricane Party looks like a party. Let’s just hope the wireless networks hold up. AT&T says they will boost the network in anticipation of the SXSW crowds.

Don’t forget

So if you are heading out tomorrow to the first day of SXSW, don’t forget to pack a few things. This is what I won’t leave home without:




Flip video camera

power strip

business cards

Noms such as a granola bar and peanut butter sandwich

water bottle (reusable – respect the environment, yo)

chanclas (that’s flip flops for your non-Spanish speakers)

a light jacket or sweater

Film and Music

Tiny baby Jesus. There’s still film and music to stress about! I’ll post about that soon. There will be plenty to watch and see.


SXSW, here we come

18 Jan

Yesterday, I received great news that the SXSW Interactive panel proposal written alongside friend and colleague Anna Tauzin, who is the web and social media editor at J-Lab, was accepted.

The proposal, titled ‘Landing Your Next Job Through Unconventional Personal Branding,’ will be featured as a Core Conversation at SXSW, which is a format that allows us to interact at a more personal level with our audience. We hope you can join us and we will spread information on the precise time and date, as schedules are still being constructed.

To say we are excited is an understatement. We can’t wait to share our thoughts on this topic. Searching for a job is no easy task, regardless of whether you are a recent college graduate, recently laid off or a veteran in your field looking for a new position. The web has provided us with many outlets to network with potential employers, but standing out from the crowd of job seekers takes some extra initiative.

In the meantime, the process of gathering ideas and solidifying the content of our conversation will be the task at hand. Hope to see you there in March.



New episode of The People’s Media

10 May

Good day world!

Like any media geek, I love to talk a little more indepth about certain issues within this industry. I cohost a web show on citizen journalism and technology called The People’s Media with my good friend Scott Thomas, who is also a journalist. After months of procrastination, we finally got a new episode together to share with you. We started the show around August of last year and hope to bring you shows a little more consistently.

In this episode, we talk about some cool citizen journalism sites, Apple vs. Adobe and more.

Let us know what you think. You can also follow us on Twitter or become a fan (or Like, I guess) on Facebook.

SXSW 2010 Music: The Antlers, Rachael Ray Feedback Party

20 Mar

Saturday has been lots of fun so far. I got a chance to see The Antlers play at the IFC Crossroads House (which is very cool) and chatted with drummer Michael Lerner afterward. It was a great, intimate set and they are really nice guys

After that, I froze outside to get into the Rachael Ray Feedback Party. I had to wait in line for quite awhile and unfortunately missed seeing Andrew W.K. and Jakob Dylan. However, I did get to see Justin Townes Earle (who was amazing!) and She & Him.

Zooey Deschanel was super cute and the music was a great end to a great party. Rachael Ray even stepped out and thanked everyone for showing up. Thank you Rachael for all the great free noms and drinks!

SXSW 2010 Music: Friday recap

20 Mar

Friday was another busy day for me, but I did get a chance to take in a little music.

I went to The Mohawk Friday afternoon to take in Frightened Rabbit. I managed to nab some footage of their first song.

Afterward, I headed to Club DeVille to work. I’m a FARM Representative for Cornerstone Promotions, who helped put on the Green Label Sound showcase that featured Neon Indian, Theophilous London and Ra Ra Riot. I grabbed a clip of one of Ra Ra Riot’s songs.


SXSW 2010 Music: Day 1 picks

17 Mar

The transition from film buffs and interactive geekery to music is complete. Today is the first official day of SXSW Music. I’ll be getting my volunteer on for a whopping 11 hours today at the Austin Convention Center today, so I won’t be able to take anything music-wise in.

However, here are some cool day parties for you to check out, and if you have a music badge or wristband, some showcases I wouldn’t miss (but I am…).

Day Parties Top Picks

Paste Magazine SXSW Party – Galaxy Room

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and free beer is available while it lasts. Two bands I would really stick around for are Roky Erickson of Okkervil River, who is playing 4:30 to 5:10 and Frightened Rabbit from 5 to 5:30 p.m. Personally, I think Frightened Rabbit is the hot band to check out this SXSW. They are playing a million showcases (OK, just a lot of them), so if you miss them today, you will have lots more opportunities.

Brooklyn Vegan – Emo’s

This party starts at noon and has lots o’ free delish, healthy vegan noms (nom nom nom) courtesy of Mr. Natural, Daily Juice, Raw Revolution Bars and Hail Merry. Oh, and free booze from Magic Hat and Firefly Vodka. However, if they food isn’t your thing, the music definitely will be. I would check out The Black Angels at 3:45 and the one, the only, the GZA at 4:30. I just love saying that, the GZA.

SXSW Terrorbird/Force Field Day Party – Red 7

Free gift bags and beer from Linden St. Brewery will be handed out at this party. Don’t you just love free swag? Best music pick here is Neon Indian if you haven’t seen them already. This show starts at noon and is right around the block from Emo’s.

Thanks to the always awesome do512.com for putting up such a great schedule for SXSW 2010.

SXSW Showcases

I’d say the top battle goes to the showcases at Stubb’s and The Parish. NPR is hosting the Stubb’s showcase with Broken Bells, which features Danger Mouse and James Mercer of The Shins, and Spoon, an Austin favorite, tonight. The Parish will have We Were Promised Jetpacks and more Frightened Rabbit (see, I told you they are everywhere).


Have fun and be wary of that green beer tonight.

SXSW 2010 Interactive wrap up

17 Mar

Interactive went by so fast. I can’t believe this portion of the festival is over. I learned a lot from the panels I attended and had a great time.

Interactive Town Hall

One panel I wish I would have attended was the Interactive Town Hall, where attendees could ask questions and address concerns regarding the Interactive festival. However, Omar Gallaga, the tech writer at the Austin-American Stateman, provided a great synopsis of what was said by those who attended and remarks from SXSW organizers Hugh Forrest and Shawn O’Keefe.

Much of the comments centered on the Evan Williams keynote, which Forrest admitted could have been more compelling.

My Last Panel

The last panel I took in was Geeky and Wonky in DC and featured Peter Corbett of iStrategy Labs. He discussed the open government movement and DC Week. Check out the video, which has his full presentation.

This panel was really a part of a rapid succession of presenters who spoke for about 10 minutes each. I had intended to see the Twitter and Photography panel, but then realized I was at the tail end of it. Nonetheless, Corbett had some pretty cool stuff to say.

Final Thoughts

Interactive is always fun because it’s a great gathering of brilliant people that motivate you to learn, create and build upon everything related to technology. My only criticisms would be that none of the keynotes really blew me away like last year and I feel like maybe it’s a little too big now. Panels were held at the Courtyard and Radisson, but I never felt compelled to venture outside of the Austin Convention Center or Hilton. Nonetheless, there was so much to choose from in terms of panels. I’ll be looking forward to next year’s conference.

I’ll probably be heading out to Interactive Closing Party and maybe checking out Motorhead at the Austin Music Hall tonight. Say hi!

SXSW 2010 Interactive: Daniel Ek keynote

16 Mar

Daniel Ek, CEO of the European live streaming music site Spotify, gave the final keynote for SXSW Interactive 2010. He was interviewed by Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired.com.

Currently, Spotify is only available in Europe but they are examining ways to have the site in the United States. The biggest issue for having the site in the U.S. is licensing (well, yeah).

Ek gave an overview of the site and discussed using mobile technology with Spotify. He said phones come equipped with Spotify in Sweden, his home country. Ek said the first few months free to access the site are free and they continue to expand partnerships with mobile carriers in Europe.

Revenue for the site is generated in various ways according to Ek. People pay with time by watching targeted advertising, which Spotify can charge more for.

Van Buskirk asked what was in the future for Spotify in the next five years. Watch Ek’s response.

Ek said the music industry and technology are on the same page for first time ever.

“Music is one of the most social objects we have,” he said. “If you can access it anywhere, manufacturers will find value in that.”

Overall, I enjoyed this keynote quite a bit. They even did a question and answer (gasp!) at the end of Ek’s remarks. I’m not sure when or if we will Spotify in the U.S., but it would be great to see a little friendly competition with iTunes.

SXSW 2010 Interactive: How The Other Half Lives – Touring The Digital Divide

16 Mar

Have you ever wondered what it was like to not own a computer or have daily access to the Internet?

Probably not.

How The Other Half Lives – Touring The Digital Divide, was a great panel discussing how two librarians, Jessamyn West and Jenny Engstrom, handle teaching those who don’t have regular access to computers and the Web. West and Engstrom both discussed the types of hurdles and financial struggles they have to deal with on a daily basis. Though grants have been available in the past to teach technology in libraries, once those grants dry up, they struggle with finding the resources to teach those that want to learn. With the economic downturn, it has become even more difficult.

They also discussed how important usability is for those who don’t have regular access to technology. Though the admitted Internet Explorer is not the best web browser, it is what they have to use in many cases on their library computers. Both also discussed how jargon like cookies and operating systems fall on deaf ears for people that utilize their technology.

“Most people only have 45 minutes on the computer, so make it worth their time,” Engstrom said, citing how most libraries have a forced time limit on computers.

She said things like forced registration and instructional video for a site waste time. She suggested puttting a list of steps people can read, but also making sure not to force users to download a PDF or any other document.

They also said many are worried people will steal their identity and beleive they are at risk already. Part of usability for those on the digital divide means assuring that their information is safe and that the Web site as a whole is easy to access and use.

“We have lots of people who can tell you just how bad your Web site usabillity sucks,” West said.

Check out their slides used in the presentation here if you want to learn more about the digital divide, usability and libraries and technology access.