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A Brief Recap of SXSW

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A Brief Recap of SXSW

South By South West is over, and  in the case of a few TMA staffers– we came, we saw, we conquered. But since everyone didn’t get the privilege to attend the conference, we thought it would be a great idea to combine and  share some of our notes and  insights we learned over the course of 4 days in Austin. For now, here is a shortlist of nuggets we gleaned from an assortment of panels and  keynotes during SXSW. If you care to dig deeper, check out   Scott Biggers’s notes or   Larry Weintraub’s recap.

Scott Biggers’s 10 Favorite Observations from Sessions

  1. Check in is a brick-and -mortar “like” button.
  2. TV used to be the definition of being at home. Only way it could grow was to escape from the home.
  3. Social TV simply mirrors the allure of watching TV together. (Remember the laugh track?)
  4. Number of followers and  likes in social media is not a good measurement of engagement.
  5. Nor is giving a thumbs up or making a comment; that’s not engagement.
  6. Agencies are afraid of non-fiction for their brand s. They’re used to “putting Vaseline on the lens.”
  7. 40-year-old mom is the hardcore gamer for Zynga.
  8. Augmented Reality leads us to the Outernet, where the phone becomes your mouse and  everything is clickable. (The Internet of Things)
  9. Customers are more interested in talking to your employees than to your brand .
  10. Innovation is driven by desires. It used to be driven by companies – but now is driven by consumers. Mobile TV has nothing to do with technology and  everything to do with people.

To elaborate on that final point:  amid the promises, explorations, and  celebrations of the latest technology at SxSW, there was a constant reminder of humanity. Technology and  innovation only work when they provide a utility and  serve the needs of people. Also, people love stories – and  they love to be part of stories.

To top it off, here are my five favorite quotes overheard during SXSW:

  1. “Ronald Reagan is the father of Foursquare, because when the Navy put up the GPS system the chose to keep it open to the public.” – Tim O’Reilly
  2. “Mainstream is nothing anymore. Mainstream is whatever you are interested in.” – Felicia Day
  3. “The story is going to get people excited. How do I tell your story? – Blake Mycoskie
  4. “In a web of apps, APIs are the new hyperlinks.” – Ragavan Srinivasan
  5. “The mobile phone really acts as a cursor that connects the physical and  digital worlds together.” – Marissa Meyer