I’m attending my third South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas for the next week. I’m lucky to have a job that helps pitch in on an expensive but incredibly engaging experience with tens of thousands of people who tend to think and interact in social media like I do.
So many people think like me that I had a realization today about this conference: SXSW is like a live Twitter experience.
Before you laugh, let me explain.
In Twitter, you can follow conversations and join in at any time. It’s a fun way to meet new people and share thoughts. It isn’t rude to interrupt. It’s common to just talk. That type of experience happens all the time at SXSW.
After I talked about the SXSW experience with a first-time-to-SXSW friend who traveled to Austin with me today, I had this big aha moment. We spent two hours in the car driving to the airport discussing the conference experience. By that point, I was in “SXSW mode” and caught myself randomly talking socially to someone in the bathroom as if I was already in Austin. There is this flow of conversation here that you can’t have anywhere else. It’s the ebb and flow of ideas that can course through every nerdy location across this downtown area.
I brought this up to a few people after I had picked up my badge and became and official conference attendee. They seemed to agree with my vision.
SXSW is a live Twitter feed. And if people I randomly talk to at this conference don’t like it… Well, they’re missing out on the core fun of this event! #SAST