Wrapping up – South By Southwest 2011. SXSW this year was crazy – more forums, panels, speakers, meetings, shmoozing, happy hours, parties and concerts than could reasonably be handled in a single week. But I tried to do as much as I could, and had a great time in the process. Here’s an itemized account of all the media I produced during the conference. Photos I actually brought both my SLR and medium sized camera (Canon G10) out to Texas for SXSW. However, upon arrival and the first day of the crazy schedule, I decided that it would be easier, and actually much much more relevant to shoot photos of the week exclusively on my iPhone4. I always had it with me, and since it’s a phone too, I could upload the photos to the web immediately, rather than waiting until I got home. Overall the photos weren’t quite as nice as the ones I could get with my SLR, but I think it was the perfect too to capture the spirit of the event. Throughout the week, I tried to take pics of all the things I did, people I saw, and every checkin. Every time I checked into a location on Foursquare, I attached a picture of where I was at the moment to the checkin. Using FlickrSquare, pics from 4SQ posts were automatically added to my Flickr photo stream, for one unified stream of photos. My photos from SXSWi on Flickr
This year at South By Southwest Interactive, QR Codes – high resolution barcodes used to deliver web addresses and other data to mobile phones by way of scanning with a phones built in camera – were EVERYWHERE. Amidst the seas of catchy flyers, posters, leaflets, coasters, handouts and stickers, almost everything had a QR code emblazoned on it. Even napkins in bars had QR Codes.
This year at South by Southwest, I attended the Ignite Austin event, with the whole Morpheus Media crew. Ignite is a get together that features fast paced 5 minute mini lectures. Each presenter gets 5 minutes, and 20 slides, which auto advance. Presenters can, and do, talk about anything they want, and the crazy fast pace often leads to some very interesting presentations. Ignite parties are held all over the country, including Austin and NYC. Also at Ignite, there’s the tradition of doing an egg drop. For Ignite during SXSW in Austin, I decided to give it a try. We were given 1 egg, 5 sheets of paper, 3 feet of masking tape, and 10 minutes to make a container that would protect an egg from a 1 story fall. I believe my idea was sound, but had a few construction issues which prevented it from working. Next time, I would have used a parachute design for the drogue, rather than pom pom design. I think if we had taken more care in efficiently constructing it, we could have had the necessary materials to construct a parachute from an entire piece of paper.
Panel – Voices From The HTML5 Trenches: Browser Wars IV Summary: The term HTML5 now refers to the much-hyped kitchen sink of the web. It covers *everything* including things not officially part of the HTML5 specification. Yet “HTML5″ is now the catch phrase to describe the new wave of platform competition on the web, and browser vendors vie to outdo each other on benchmark tests touting compliance and performance. Every major browser vendor — Apple, Opera, IE, Chrome, and Firefox — will have a significant browser release by SxSW 2011. Microsoft’s recent IE9 press event suggests that they are “all in for HTML5.” So if all of us browser vendors are “all in” for HTML5, what does this mean for web developers? And what’s up with the dirty marketing buzz around tests and demo pages? This panel will expose the areas where we browser vendors cooperate as well as compete, and will push on the painful spots where we seem to disagree. We’ll bring every major browser vendor to the table, and talk about open video on the web (and video codecs), what this all means to Flash, APIs (including contentious ones, like databases), CSS (including once hot areas like fonts) graphics, SVG vs. Canvas, WebGL, Device APIs, and security. This browser wars panel will be less like Inside Baseball, and more about the practical issues confronting web developers today. We’ll poke at the raw spots that browser vendors need to discuss. As always, audience participation will account for a substantial chunk of time.
SXSW Dual – Touching Stories: Designing Digital Magazines for the iPad Summary: The launch of the iPad signaled the start of a new era for magazine publishing. A single device that delivered the fidelity of print and the interactivity of the Web, all wrapped up in a fun and easy-to-use form factor gave the industry new reason to hope. There was one trick: no one had designed for this brave new medium yet. Editorial teams suddenly needed to consider multi-touch gestures, multiple orientations, dynamic layout and the integration of rich media into the design of their issues. Ink-smudged print teams had to reach out to the pixel-based life forms in charge of the company Websites, and engage a new breed of Cocoa developers as well. Whole new models of information design and user experience we’re launched at high velocity into the App Store. Both speakers were involved in designing some of the first digital magazines that launched on the iPad on April 3rd, 2010. They’ve spent the last year exploring new ways to experience and engage with magazine content on this exciting new platform. Together they’ve worked on iPad editions of magazines such as Spin, Dwell, National Geographic, Car and Driver and many others. In this session they’ll share hard-earned knowledge and useful insights on how to design for gestural interfaces, how to integrate interactivity smoothly into digital magazines and what it takes to build an issue for the iPad.
Panel – Moving the Web onto Mobile Devices Summary: Take a look at how the complexity of design has increased exponentially with the web moving onto today’s mobile devices. There are so many more considerations when thinking about a design or a campaign that go beyond the basic, “who is my target audience….how do I reach them?” Now it’s also, “what devices do they use…what browsers…..do I use Flash in my designs….what about HTML5?” Hear from a panel of industry experts about how they are dealing with these questions and what winning strategies they have found to be most successful for them.
Future15 – NFC and RFID, How It Will Change Mobile, presented by David Berkowitz, Sr Dir of Emerging Media, 360i Summary: How Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) will change the wireless industry, user experiences, marketing, and shopping. Mobile phones a now being looked as a ubiquitous device that plays an increasingly important role in our lives. The mobile phone started as a tool to talk to people while away from a landline. Apps began to emerge on legacy phones, with the networks controlling content. Smart phones and most importantly the Iphone changed this stranglehold on content by creating an open developer ecosystem. Now the mobile phone is more akin to a computer than a phone. As the mobile phone increases in importance and new features are integrated such as RFID and NFC technologies the functions the mobile phone is used for will likewise increase. Today we use the mobile phone to use apps and surf the net. Tomorrow we will use the mobile phone to open doors (literally), pay for our purchases, earn loyalty rewards, redeem coupons and much more. The introduction of NFC and RFID into the mobile phone, which is a certainty, will not only change how we as users engage with our environment but also how retailers and marketers as well as network operators do business. Network operators will begin to look more like credit card companies, marketers and retailers will now be able to track purchases and redemption of coupons, in turn rewarding these behaviors with loyalty reward points.
Panel – Japanese Mobile Leaders Forum Summary: “Japan” “Mobile” “Social Media” – what do you see when you have these words together? Cyber utopia? Shrinking Galapagos? Ninjas with high-tech swords? It’s about time we know what the real scenes are in Japan. With the leaders of the mobile social media in Japan, we will discuss what the Japanese mobile social media world looks like, where they are headed, and how the “outer world” will affect / or be affected. Needless to give examples like the explosive rise of Twitter in Japan, the question is not whether the country is the “land of the rising sun” in mobile social media or not – it’s how high has the sun risen, and why.