It took a few days to realize this is what I would be asked most often. The place is teeming with virgins. I haven’t wandered into some creepy harem in Abu Dhabi… I am in Austin, Texas for my inaugural South by Southwest. Or I was when I wrote this…
Newbies pronounce and write all these letters. Once you are in the know, it’s SXSW in print and South By in speech. I had planned to put more effort into tracking my experience on the blog as it unfolded but my life philosophy is to make sure that I get the full experience even if I forget a few details by the time I get to documenting it. And SXSW is very expensive so I was focused on getting my money’s worth 🙂
As anyone who reads this blog knows, I have been working every minute until I stepped onto the flight to Austin so I was totally unprepared for my SXSW experience. I delusionally thought I would be able to figure out a plan once I arrived. But then I went to the registration desk to secure my Platinum Badge and was presented with a cloth bag so heavy I had ridges in the shoulder for the first four days from carrying it around – and the music information wasn’t even ready yet!
As if all the official SXSW options weren’t enough to immobilize me, I’d also signed up for RSVPster to RSVP to parties with minimal effort required. I’d managed to comb through about 130 emails before I left home and noted events by day but new emails and event reminders continued to pour into my in box every day so I quickly just gave up any hope for an optimized plan.
SWSW is a live human experiment in big data. Every hour you have tons of options. Not everything will be great but there will be enough great events that you are always missing something no matter what you choose.
It is easier if you have a focus. There are three separate conferences – interactive, film and music. Of course, I love it all and these ten days were some of the most delightful and stimulating of my life.
There is talk that SWSW has lost its way and is too corporate. There is definitely a lot of branding and sponsorship going down – but that’s just the way of the world. If you are clever, you just take the free stuff and ignore all the marketing. Corporations only win if you let them 🙂
I definitely wish that I had lost my virginity in the 90s, back before the geeks made the internet easy to use and the world wasn’t inundated by 24/7 marketing. But I’ve always made my own choices based on careful analysis so it’s all background noise to me. And if ridiculous levels of marketing means an open bar, I’m OK with that 😉
Losing my virginity was a thrilling, mind blowing adventure… details to come…