Mindboggeling SXSWi ’09
Last year was my first SXSW and it proved to have a similar effect like my first visit to Reboot in 2005. It was the first ever time I met so many people at the event, in the streets, in the bars, in the cab, in the shuttle, at the cafe store â€“ in one word: everywhere â€“ that I understood what my family meant with "why don’t you go out more often into bars and cafes and just meet people?". If this is what every life is for normal people I understand why they say it. Just speaking to a stranger and to be sure that you are not the weird one doing funny stuff yuo have to explain every single time and still get the looks, but to actually have a conversation starting by off something from the Twitterflow or else is just amazing. I’d like that everyday, please. Oh wait, that is why I do blog and twitter and stuff â€¦ But back to SXSW
Like in the fairy tail, when the clock hits 12 [or your flight leaves] I am now back in LÃ¼beck digesting my second SXSW experience. Which of course was different than the first one, better in some regards, not as exciting in others. But I somehow have the feeling that not by what happened there, but by a general feeling about what is yet to unfold in the next months the word I am looking for is "mindboggeling".
I have been around digital communication for over 20 years now and had my share of excitement of what was new and hip. Being on the forefront of those trends in Germany is also one of the reasons why I get a better sense of what is hype because only the hip thing get the ‘media attention thingy’ where there is a small group of people who are always asked about that. It was so with blogging, podcasting, second life and now twitter. Yet, there is currently something different in the mix.
Something new and exciting and I leave SXSW with the feeling that the next 6-12 months will be amazing. We will be flabberghasted and disappointed, excited and depressed about what is possible and what will not be done. Mix in the fear (and hopes!) about the recession and other not nice things, the current change in society on so many levels and you get a feeling which I only can describe as ‘I need time to get my head around this and think a lot about it. Head spins. Mindboggeling.
ps: And for better or worse, I hope that next year there will be more than 4,5 Germans present from the digital sphere. no I am not kidding. We found @heiko @ulrike_reinhard @grex and myself, the .5 is @mattbalera who is Australian but lived in Germany for 10 years. Given the size of the market, the industry and the population there should be at least 50 from this sphere, from agencies over companies up to individuals. It is a shame that they stay put at home not realizing what is happining in a spot like this but stay separated from the market and the international development. A trip to SXSWi is not about the parties nor the conference program, it is *the* meeting space with over 11K people. Are there more high profile events? Yes and they are also more expensive. SXSW is affordable if you just start planning early enough (and that means now) and given the fact that this is a 20h a day experience well worth the travel time and costs.
Nuff said. Need thinking time now. And see you in SXSW 2010.