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First day, first SXSW

First day, first SXSW

Actually did some work today, and attended a couple of panels of the SXSW conference – gaining rather an interesting insight as to what’s obsessing American interactive dudes.

The first panel I went to was being helmed by Craig Newmark of craigslist.org – on how to build communities. (see the transcript).

He made some interesting points about any online community having to trust the moderators, and ideally the community policing itself. But then he threw up one example which inadvertantly (to me) pointed out the whole problem of communities.

Someone wanted to post an ad selling guns – and the community decided that that wasn’t allowed. Which is all well and good, but that rather defeats the point of the internet being used in an inclusive manner to create and empower communities, if those same communities can be exclusive. However, I guess that mirrors real life.

There also seemed to be a worrying amount of hero worship from the crowd aimed at Craig. Sure he’s a great friendly guy and I’ve got no problem with craigslist.org – but he’s a man. With a huge amount of goodwill thrown at him, but some of it got a bit much. And I think even he was embarassed by it.

The next panel, on Getting More Out of SXSW, seemed to turn into a “How to be more popular and network”, which apparently involved introducing you to five random people at the conference. Which doesn’t quite explain how to do that when most people seem to be buried in their laptops or talking to their colleagues!

There was a SXSW party tonight, and I was intending to go, but then tiredness and jet-lag caught up with my colleague and I… and networking when tired is usually a terrible idea. Plus there were gadgets to play with!

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow we’ll shake the cobwebs from our heads and get down to some serious networking and panel-attending. Should be fun!

1 Comment

  • Hey, I appreciate the kind feedback, thanks!

    I do think we made the right decision re guns, given that we think of ourselves as a commons.

    Also, I am embarassed by any signs of hero worship, that's one reason it's hard to find photos of me. I ain't no big deal.

    Craig

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