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Confusion, shyness and annoying salesmen at SXSW

Confusion, shyness and annoying salesmen at SXSW

After a late breakfast, the first panel on Sunday’s SXSW was on Technology and City Guides – and of the three panellists, two of them turned to be essentially self-selected editorial dudes deciding what was hip and worthy of inclusion, and what wasn’t.

It being 10am on a Sunday, the panel was sparsely attended, so there was a joke made about it being a Sunday school. To which I held my hand up as if in primary school, and unfortunately the moderator took it to be a hi – presumably from a sad geek with no social skills – and waved hi back. Embarassing. Or maybe I’m projecting.

I did ask a work-related Q about how they deal with negative comments, and alas the three experts had come up with pretty much the same solution as work had – they delete the comments for fear of libel etc. Although interestingly, menupages.com allow users to rate restaurants, negatively as well as positively.

Then it was a relatively luxurious Sunday lunch in Austin downtown, while my colleague kept exclaiming at the Sydney-ness of the area, as well as the fantastic gorgeous food. The Old Pecan Cafe certainly gets my vote.

Then back to panelling, and two film/web related panels back to back. It was rather depressing the way the panels were mostly attended by people wanting to know technical Qs about streaming, compression and effectiveness – presumably from film producers who want to save money by doing all the work themselves, or getting their cousin to do it on the cheap. Which is so the wrong way to go about building a film site – would you ask your cousin to edit your film?

In the mix, there was very little discussion about the content of film sites that went beyond the glaringly obvious. So either I’m a conceited arrogant little git who needs a bit of humbling, or I really do know all there is to know about how to build film/TV sites. Anyone fancy giving me some freelance work?

My attempts at networking proved amazingly ineffectual, and there was an intensely annoying guy who turned every Q he asked into a plug for some kind of web publishing software. Which of course drove the theme of the panel even further into technical dullness and obscurity.

Consequently, I wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind to attend the SXSW Awards. There wasn’t any food although it was promised. I wasn’t exactly expecting the Oscars, but it was interesting how many winners were a no-show – and given it was held in the Governers’ Ballroom at the Hilton, it was an amusingly amateur production.

Again, not in the right frame of mind for networking, so we retired to the bar, and then bed. The seeming lack of parties didn’t seem to help either.

Must get the hang of this networking thing one of these days.

1 Comment

  • On the film sites question I'll go with the former… 😉

    Nice to see you managed to ask *one* work related question, and our license fee payers' money isn't going to waste…

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