A Recovering Addict at SXSW Interactive

This weekend in Austin, Texas - I had an incredible experience. Being the way I am - I always wonder, “Do I fit in?”

The SXSW 2010 Interactive Festival was my kind of party. I’m from Fort Lauderdale, and interacting with the web community in South Florida is like trying to find an alligator in New York City (I apologize for the swamp reference - but I do live in an area with a shit ton of reptiles and mosquitoes, its not just a stereotype… its real MUHAHAHHA).

So what did I learn? First and foremost, I learned that I HAVE TO TWEET. I am a late adopter of Twitter, yet my colleagues seem to think there’s something behind this Twizzler thing (see Arnie Wexler’s Blog for clarification).

I also learned that I have to be public about my opinions on technology and the world in order to get ahead. Hence this blog.

Without further ado, here are my opinions (continue at your own risk):

What was the hot thing at SXSW? Geo-location services like Foursquare or Gowalla. I chose to participate in the Gowalla experiment, checking in wherever I went. I got stamps and items, and notifications that my friends were in the general vicinity. It was cool, until I got an iPad stamp. I want a real iPad, not a virtual one. I also got a “Designing with web standards” book by @zeldman. No, not the real book, a virtual item to which I could place virtually where I checked in.

I decided from now on i’m going to check into places as decoys so “they” can’t get me. I don’t know who “they” are but I’m legitimately afraid of them.

I also learned that the “networking” events were akin to college keg parties - no place for a recovering addict such as myself. Not much networking was happening in the parties.

What did work, were the amazing panels - meeting people like Scott Heiferman from Meetup, talking about sparking a movement in 21st century and hearing the experience of the people behind the internet curtain. Handing these folks my business card wasn’t too shabby either.

I do fit in with these people. These are my people. I’ll take the pepsi challenge to your nerdiness any day and you can take that one to the bank. Bitches. (sorry.)

Big thanks to Melissa Smolensky of Big Picture Media for getting us (In The Rooms) out there and helping us make great connections in the tech industry.