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SXSWi Day 2

posted Mar 12, 2011 at 11:52:27 PM by Doug Gibson.

Day two at SXSWi started with the unpleasant realization that the official SXSW shuttle service was entirely incapable of handling the capacity it needed to. Waiting for 40 minutes for the shuttle, there were already enough people to fill two vans by the time one arrived. They always say “there’s another one coming” to appease those waiting, but it’s not coming for another 30+ minutes in reality. But I was glad to have gotten on that shuttle and made it to the convention center a mere five minutes before the first session began.

“How Print Design is the Future of Interaction” was an interesting talk by Microsoft Creative Director Mike Kruzeniski that covered past trends in desktop, web and print design and how we can draw more from the principles of print design going forward.

"Drawing Back the Curtains on CSS Implementation" sounded like something fairly developer-centric, and featured Molly Holzschlag, a big name in the realm of CSS. However, the talk was a dud, coming off as a canned-Q&A that was way to informal and focused on the inner workings and struggles of the working group and product developers as opposed to anything that really applied to developers.

By noon, the Screenburn Arcade Gaming Expo had opened up, showcasing a few dozen booths pertaining gaming sites and services, upcoming games, and even most interesting (to me), an upcoming mobile platform based on JavaScript, Kinoma.

I ran off to the “Mistakes I Made Building Netflix for the iPhone” session only to find a line of folks waiting to get in, as it was full. So I gladly returned to the Screeenburn Expo and to track down some lunch until the next session.

I felt compelled to go to “Changing the Web Accessibility Game Plan” due to the mandate of accessibility at my job and the fact that those techniques are generally a good practice. This was more of a discussion, however, with no solid takeaway points. The question was asked if the web as a whole was becoming more accessible and discussion stemmed in many directions from that. Unfortunately the conversation lead to few solid take-away points, or at least nothing to apply to my job as a developer.

The final session I attended was called “Zombies Must Eat: How Genre Communities Make Money.” It was quite a walk to get there, but it was worth it, especially in the beautiful spring weather. What caught my attention is that it was headed by site owners in the horror movies niche, Skot Leach of Lost Zombies and KW Loww of Dread Central. It focused more on community building than actual monetizing of site traffic, which was fine. The experiences of the presenters were very interesting and mirrors my own in many ways. It was more of a reinforcing discussion than enlightening, but the presenters and subject matter kept it very interesting.

Day two of SXSWi was a mixed bag, with a couple of good talks and a couple not so good, but that’s to be expected at any conference. The good definitely made it worthwhile. Let’s just hope the shuttle issues are resolved tomorrow. Rather than leave it to fate, I expect I’ll just plan on getting up even earlier to beat the rush, despite the loss of an hour of sleep tonight.

2 Reader Comments

1. John Bliss writes:

Nice! Was just telling my wife that it's notable that, for one week in March, the center of the tech universe moves to Texas. We really want to drive over one of these years...me for SXSWi and the wife for SXSW-music.

# Mar 13, 2011 @ 9:03 AM ET | IP Logged
2. dgibson writes:

It's a good time and even quite exhausting actually. You can stick around for the music part and catch tons of free shows it seems, even without a badge. But I'll see how that turns out in the end. Off to explore Emo's tonight.

# Mar 13, 2011 @ 9:16 PM ET | IP Logged

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