Ever wondered about….SXSW?


What is it?

SXWS (South by South West) annually marks two weeks in March when Austin, Texas is officially the coolest place in the universe to be.  What originally started as a music festival in 1987 now encompasses film alongside music but importantly – and fairly logically – interactive media, which gets a 4 day gig as part of the festival as SXSW Interactive.

Needless to say, it’s become a natural place to be if you’re interested in tech, social, comms and start-ups.  And not surprisingly, plenty of start-ups are launched – or if already launched, come of age – at SXSW.  It’s been a springboard for Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla and Bump in previous years.  What will 2011 hold?

Why should I care?

If you’re using Twitter, reading blogs and generally have any interest in tech (and what marketer doesn’t?) you’ll be hearing a LOT about it.

2011 looks set to be hot. Big names are speaking, so expect announcements, product launches and plenty of online chatter, alongside news of some of the most dynamic tech start-ups we might see this year.

Quite apart from the fact that big industry events often signal industry change and progress, SXSW also points clearly to what we should be understanding loud and clear by now: It’s no longer about social vs marketing vs technology vs content.

This is a further wave of digital convergence and demonstrates that social and interactive media is implicit in business, content is implicit in digital, and technology underpins the whole shooting match. Sit up and take notice.  Look out for:

Keynote speakers and panels

Expect predictions, killer stats and controversy from Valeria Maltoni (@conversationagent), Dennis Crowley (Foursquare), Beth Kanter (@kanter), Eric Qualman (Socialnomics), Thomas Knoll (Zappos) and Guy Kawasaki.

Start-ups

With Twitter and Foursquare launching (or at least gaining real traction through a world stage) at SXSW, you can expect to hear about some start-ups that are sure to become ubiquitous fairly quickly.  Again, take note.

Cool

Bands including Bombay Bicycle Club, Frankie and The Heartstrings, Erykah Badu and Klaxons.  Films are guaranteed to be on the quirky side, but whatever gets screened there will be bathed in kudos, believe me.

Kate Spiers is director at Wisdom London, an integrated communications agency with a passion for technology. If you’d like to talk about social media and content strategy as part of your integrated communications approach, get in touch!

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One Response to “Ever wondered about….SXSW?”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kate Spiers, Kate Spiers. Kate Spiers said: Ever wondered about….SXSW?: http://wp.me/pN3pZ-nt […]

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