If you’re a person who is passionate about technology and communicating through online and social channels, there’s something special about landing in Austin for SXSW (read: I’m a geek). We spend so much time trying to explain to our friends and family what we do for a living that when you get to Austin, it’s like being around a 30,000-person support group. Bloggers, new media thought leaders, tech venture capitalists, online content developers, social media platform creators…Smokey Bear (or at least his Twitter voice) will even be presenting today.
The conversations I’ve had in the first few hours alone have already been impressive. My personal favorite: metrics of social media. “The old model of paid media will crumble,” said one presenter. “With social data we’re able to look over the past five years, on these 3-4 issues, with these 3-4 competitors, in these 3-4 cities and say, ‘here is what has happened.’ Its up to us to be able to interpret that data and better communicate with our key audiences.” No doubt the first of many huge, interesting, complex and forward thinking conversations over the next five days.
Our favorites from the first night in Austin (Thursday):
Nom nom: If you are looking for good, locally-sourced, farm-to-table grub (especially if you’re a breakfast for dinner guy like Jim), search no further than 24 Diner (600 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin). Consumed: Sweet potato hash (Jim) and the veggie po’ boy (Alexis).
Libations: Harpoon Leviathan Uber Bock. With semi-sweet honey flavor and 11% alcohol…pace yourself.
Celebrity-ish Sighting: We’ve only had a few hours so forgive us if yesterday’s sighting is a place and not a person: The 80,000 sq. ft. Whole Foods Flagship headquarters left Alexis dreaming of new recipes, and Jim wondering how to fit a charcuterie bar in his building.
Through the lens: Rainy Austin, day #1
Grab Bag: Its not every day a Texas State Trooper shows you an iPhone video of himself being tazed for training purposes…don’t ask.
Number of steps taken: Jim & Alexis: 2,458 each.
Hours of sleep: Jim: 6.25. Alexis: 7.
Caffeinated beverages consumed: Jim: 3. Alexis: 2.
Number of connections made: 9 (and counting…)
~ Jim Licko