Why SXSW Interactive Still Matters

Photo by mjpeacecorps

Just over a week until SXSW Interactive kicks off in Austin, Texas. Next Friday, March 9th, the digerati from all over the globe gather to share, learn and generally get our minds blown. It will be my 4th SXSW. It’s not the content or the “scene” that keeps me coming back, it’s just the only conference I’ve experienced where the impassioned geeks, irreverent code artists and social mad scientists gather for a week of mental jujitsu. I love going because most people I meet there are in the business of buying and selling cutting-edge ideas, whether its related to social media, gaming, crowd sourcing or online community building.

Has SXSW Jumped the Shark?
Several of my marketing colleagues dropped out this year claiming SXSW Interactive had “jumped the shark”, meaning that it’s hit that arc of decline in an event’s evolution when quantity of input and attendees eclipses quality. Maybe so. But one thing that keeps me going back is the sheer intensity of innovative spirit that gushes forth. Of course some of it‘s schlock. But the vibe wave the schlock rides on is a thrill. SXSW Interactive is rapid immersion into what’s about to be realized in the digital culture. And I intend to bathe in it.

How to Follow the Action from Your Desk
Take note: any of you brandmakers wanting to keep tabs on the action from afar, the Social Media Club editorial team will be providing session, event and party coverage throughout SXSW, along with daily recaps featured on their Ustream channel from 2pm-3pm CST (GMT-6) Friday, March 9th through Monday, March 12th.

Hat tip to @jessicarmurray for cluing me in.