SXSW 2008 Preview

Meet me at SXSWiLast year, a coworker and I made a submission for a panel at SXSW Interactive. Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough votes (but thanks for yours if you took the time!) – that or it was because we’re not internet rockstars (yet).

But I’m still going as an attendee and finally took a closer look at the sessions that did make the cut. It’s not a final list yet nor is it a list with the full details of each session.

As you can see from the list below, it’s pretty huge and I’ve chopped out a ton of sessions simply because I don’t know more about them yet. This is usually the problem at SXSW – there are too many great sessions going on and they always seem to be in the same time slot. I think there is something like 8 sessions going on at any time during the conference so it’s impossible to have a perfect schedule. Somehow, I’m sure I’ll manage, possibly with the help of some good BBQ.

Ironically, I had gone through the schedule before the names were attached and had actually circled the “Blame Canada” session without even knowing that kk+ was the one giving it so I’m sure it will rock. I’m also glad to see Kathy Sierra on the list again – she’s made SXSW worth attending every time I’ve been to her sessions.

Here’s a few sessions that have piqued my interest based on title or speaker alone – hard to believe this is only a small portion of the sessions too:

AJAX and Flash Mistakes (Jonathan Boutelle)
Behind the Scenes at the Onion News Network (Sean Mills)
Filching Design: When the Shoe Fits (Lindsey Simon)
How to Rawk SXSW: Achieving Geekgasm (Ariel Waldman)
The Rise of Authentic Media (Derek Powazek)
Social Marketing Strategies Metrics, Where Are They? (Tom Parish)
Social Network Coups: The Users are Revolting! (Annalee Newitz)
The Suxorz: The Worst Ten Social Media Ad Campaigns of 2007 (Henry Copeland)
Taking Your Web Talent to the Video Game Industry (Adam DuVander)
Top Ten Lessons Learned in E-Commerce (Tony Hsieh)
Worst Website Ever: That’s So Crazy, It Just Might Work (Andy Baio)
You’re the Pawn, Sucker: a Google Maps-Nintendo Mash-up (Rodney Gibbs)
Keynote Speaker: Mark Zuckerberg
A/B Testing: Design Friend or Foe? (Corey Chandler)
Career Transitions: From DIY to Working for The Man (Jason Garber)
Does Tomorrow’s World Need Designers? (David Merkoski)
Everyone’s A Design Critic (Jason Santa Maria)
From Frustration to Elation: Getting Emotional by Design (Dan Rubin)
Logos: Why They’re Irrelevant and Can Actually Hurt Your Business (Bryan Zmijewski)
Magic and Mental Models: Using Illusion to Simplify Designs (Jared M. Spool)
Make It So: Learning From SciFi Interfaces (Nathan Shedroff)
Mobileactive: How Mobile Technology Impacts Politics and Vice Versa (Justin Oberman)
The Science of Designing Interactions (Andreas Weigend)
Scope Creep and Other Villains (James Archer)
Social Design Strategies (Emily Chang)
Tools for Enchantment: 20 Ways to Woo Users (Kathy Sierra)
A Critical Look At OpenID (Jason Levitt)
The Art of Self-Branding (Lea Alcantara)
Blame Canada: 7 Ways We’re Ahead in New Media (Kris Krug)
Browser Wars: Deja Vu All Over Again? (Arun Ranganathan)
Building Developer-Friendly Web Service APIs (Ben Vinegar)
Building Portable Social Networks (Jeremy Keith)
Hardware Mashups: Introducing the Long Tail of Gadgets (Peter Semmelhack)
How Piracy Will Save the Music Industry (Jason Schwartz)
Make Your Audience Love You (Tom Merritt)
Mobile Phones: International Devices of Mystery (Michael Sharon)
Self Replicating Awesomeness: The Marketing of No Marketing (Brian Oberkirch)
Social Networking and Your Brand (Jina Bolton)
Startup Metrics for Pirates: AARRR! (Dave McClure)
Content Management System Roundup (George DeMet)
Creative Collaboration: Building Web Apps Together (Paul Hammond)
Data as Art: Musical, Visual Web APIs (Peter Kirn)
Designing for Freedom (Gina Bianchini)
The Future of Corporate Blogs (Lionel Menchaca)
Futurists’ Sandbox: Scenarios for Social Technologies in 2025 (Michele Bowman)
Getting There Faster By Using Open Code (Jack Moffitt)
How to Rawk After SXSW: Staying Inspired (Kevin Smokler)
Life After the i-Phone (Kate Ryan)
Roll Over Gutenberg, Tell McLuhan The News (George Kelly)
Secrets of JavaScript Libraries (John Resig)
Take Municipal WiFi Back (Joanna Rees)
Taking Over the World: the Flickr Way (Simon Batistoni)
Using Entertainment to Create Effective Mobile Advertising (Adam Zbar)

Whew…it’s going to be a busy conference.


  1. Anjuan says:

    I am a traveling consultant, but I happen to be working in Austin (actually Round Rock, a suburb North of Austin). I really hope that I can take some time to attend this conference. It looks like a lot of great information will be presented in these panels!

  2. Peter says:

    So I think the Red Bulls will be constant just so we can keep up. Wow.

  3. John says:

    Fortunately, Redbull is usually a sponsor ;)

  4. tyfn says:

    I’m soo excited. I’m counting down. I expect to have a great time as a first timer.

  5. DaveO says:

    I followed along with many of the panels and presos last year via the excellent podcast feed. Some exceptional information conveyed in a conformtable manner it seems – bar-b-q afterwards (and/or during) makes it even tastier!

    Indeed, KK’s panel should be real interesting as Canadian entrepeneurs have a bit of a mixed reputation (according to Mr. Pate) compared to eager Americans start-uppers.

  6. Tom Scrace says:

    Sadly I can’t attend, but I’m excited nonetheless (will be hoping for good online coverage).

    I put together a list of the most interesting looking sessions here –

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