Tag Archives: Austin

Six SXSW Finds You Should Check Out

23 Mar

As promised, I contributed more SXSW content to Bulletproof today in our weekly Six@Six feature. If you don’t already subscribe to our series on social media tips, be sure to sign-up after reading my post.

Six@Six: Six Start-Ups at South by Southwest that Caught My Eye

With the online space rapidly evolving, staying ahead of curve is an essential element of any successful communications or marketing strategy. With everyone guessing at which technologies, services, and trends will be tomorrow’s latest craze, I traveled to the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, last week for a better idea of what might be around the bend.

SXSW is known for showcasing the “next big thing” – and this year was no exception.  I spent time exploring the Trade Show floor and attending the Microsoft Bizspark Accelerator in search of the tools that are most likely to change online reputation and brand management as we know it in 2010 and beyond. This week’s Six @ Six provides a brief glimpse of what I found.

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Recapping SXSW

21 Mar

I’m recapping my SXSW experience on Bulletproof Blog. Check out my first piece published this past week and be sure to check back on Tuesday when I discuss six start-ups that caught my eye for our 6@6 series.

South by Southwest 2010: Unique, Authentic, and Relevant

This week, I’m joining more than 15,000 public relations practitioners, Web developers, entrepreneurs, advertisers, marketers, and journalists at the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) in Austin, Texas for one of the largest gatherings of social media professionals ever assembled.

My first day at SXSW was packed with discussions and keynotes about the future of social media and the significant impacts it is having – and will continue to have – on businesses of all shapes and sizes. The sheer volume of people attending the conference seeking the latest insights into the strategies, tools, and tactics that spell success in the social media realm proves digital’s dominance is not far off on the horizon – it has arrived. As such, the companies still sitting on the social media sidelines do so at their own peril.

I’ll be offering key takeaways from my favorite speeches and discussions – and to start, here’s a brief outline of the major themes that have emerged here in Austin:

Does Austin Rival Seattle for Best Coffee Shops?

11 Mar

  1. Owl Tree Roasting - Named a Best Coffee Shop by Bon Appetit

Reason two I love Austin: Coffee Shops. Austin is a caffeine addict’s paradise. All over the city seem to be unique coffee shops with large patios just waiting for you to kick-back and relax.

I could have spent all day on my laptop working, drinking coffee, and soaking up the sun. That might be why everyone here seems so happy and stress-free. They all get to work on sunny patios with an endless supply of caffeine.

Adding to the glory of the Austin coffee shop – adult beverages. All the coffee shopsalso appear to be bars. It’s the same combo that Northside Social in my Arlington neighborhood at home is adopting. After my Austin experience I’m eager for the store to open for business.

In SXSWi news, I braved the long line at the Austin Convention Center to claim my SXSWi badge and “big bag.” Glad I took care of that task in advance so I can jump right into the festivities on Friday.

With the conference about to start I’m only left with two lingering questions:

  1. Will my iPhone workand can I withstand it failing me?
  2. Do people really wear their conference badges out all night even if it’s not necessary?

Austin Day One

11 Mar

Twenty-four hours in Austin and I’m in love. The weather is gorgeous, the people friendly, and the town unique. One of my favorite sites today was a visit to the top of Mt Bonnell.

Our trip was a spontaneous detour that turned out to be a true highlight. The “mountain” is the highest point in Austin and boasts a panoramic view of the city.

According to Austin360, legend states it was “once called Antoinette’s Leap, named after a damsel who leaped to her death to avoid capture from Indians that killed her lover, who fought to his death to defend her.” The site is now one of the most “romantic” places in Austin.

If you need an escape I recommend grabbing a picnic and trekking the 106 steps to the top. You won’t be disappointed.

Countdown to SXSW

9 Mar

Photo thanks to gtmcknight's Flickr stream

February flew by in a snowy haze leaving little time for anything but work, work, and more work (as evidenced by my lack of blog updates). I’m really not sure how it happened, but March is here and with it SXSW!

As I type away I’m in route to Austin for my first SXSW and my pre-conference stress has finally subsided into all out excitement. For years I’ve read about the SXSW experience and now I finally get to experience the festivities first-hand.

Being the absurd over-planner that I am, last night I delved deep into the interwebs to start constructing my Austin experience. Deep down I know all my careful planning will be usurped by events of each day, but hey, it makes me feel better to get my ducks in row.

If like me, you need to have an action plan in place, I’ve outlined below a few resources I found and things that I’m glad are ticked off my checklist.

Have I left anything off my checklist? Do you have a great SXSW resource? Let me know! And, if you are going to be in Austin I can’t wait to see you there!

Checklist

  1. Updating My.SXSW: I registered for the conference back in December and since then have given little thought to revisiting the Web site. Between e-mails and tweets was there anything left I still needed? Yes! I needed to update my profile and integrate my social networks via My.SXSW. An hour later I had a profile picture posted, a badge picture uploaded, group membership secured, tweets synced, and contact information updated. Phew.
  2. Planning a Schedule: If I spent an hour fiddling with My.SXSW, I easily spent another two or three reading through the schedule of events for the week and then looking up more info on panels/events I might want to attend. This little exercise was probably better for managing my expectations than actually deciding what panels I want to attend. I learned there are so many interesting, innovative, and intriguing things happening I just won’t be able to experience it all. I also used My.SXSW to create a schedule, which allowed me to pinpoint the things that I want to check out the most.
  3. RSVPing: Are you supposed to RSVP for events at SXSW? I don’t know. But what I do know are the rules of etiquette according to Emily Post and Emily says you always RSVP. The result: I’m on a lot of party lists.
  4. Registering for the Mashable Directory: No brainer. Of course maybe I should actually use it to find a few people interested in forming a running group…
  5. Updating my iPhone:  When it comes to apps I’m a bit picky. This keeps my phone from turning into an app wasteland, but also means I don’t always have the latest and greatest at my fingertips for use. In preparation for SXSW my phone required a serious update. In the process I added the SXSW app, i-nigma (to read the badge QR codes), and Flickr. Plus I took time to rearrange all my apps to put the ones I would use the most during the conference on the homescreen. Although I can download anything I need during the conference I don’t want to spend time messing with my phone that I could be learning.
  6. Looking at a Map: I’m directionally challenged. I don’t even remember how I got places pre-iPhone and GPS. That said, I still like to have a lay of the land before touching down. Checking out Google Maps for 10 minutes seemed a worthy use of my time.

Resources

  1. SXSW Baby: Fun blog with lots of tips and advice for attending the conference and making the most of Austin.
  2. SXSW Insider’s Guide: A ton of helpful advice and things to consider for a newbie like me.
  3. How to “Rawk” SXSW: My goal is to “rawk” this conference and yours should be too.
  4. SXSW Party List: Keep up with the party scene via Twitter.
  5. Austinist: I love to keep up with local news when I visit.
  6. Serious Eats on Where to Eat: Because I’m a foodie.
  7. The First-Timers Guide: Advice from the conference.

I’ll be updating daily with my favorite finds as well as authoring content for my company’s blog. Be sure to check back, subscribe, and follow my tweets.