Thursday Mar 19, 2009

Robert Eckstein: Some Thoughts on SXSWi

SDN staff writer and sometime videomaker Robert Eckstein, who lives near Austin, Texas, attended the SXSWi conference. Take a look at his observations on future directions in technology.

Tuesday Mar 17, 2009

Postings From SDN's Intellichick at SXSW

Sun's Intellichick Heidi Dailey is blogging from SXSW in Austin, Texas, this week. Take a look.

Thursday Mar 13, 2008

SXSW: Keynote with Lou Reed

I know I may be starting to sound like a broken record, but the week was an amazing experience that brought together a very diverse and talented crowd of folks. It was great to see some of the latest and greatest new social media trends and technologies. It was also incredibly interesting to listen to folks in other fields talk about how technology is helping, extending, or, in the case of Lou Reed this morning, hindering, their artistic expression.

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SXSW: Working on the Conference Wrap-Up

So we are leaving town today after a brief stop at the convention center to check out Lou Reed's panel and the trade show floor. I'm currently working on the conference wrap up, and we've got a few more videos to edit and load to youtube http://youtube/users/suntotalaccessnet. It's been an amazing week and we've seen and learned a lot. I hope you've enjoyed coming along for the ride. :) Stay tuned for the wrap....


Wednesday Mar 12, 2008

SXSW: What We Learned from Billy Bob Thornton and Moby

Yesterday Jenn and I attended the SXSW Sessions: A Conversation with Billy Bob Thornton and A Conversation with Moby. We were interested in these sessions for obvious reasons (Oscar Winner! Grammy Nominee!) but also because we wanted to see what, if anything, they had to say about technology.

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Tuesday Mar 11, 2008

SXSW Session: A Conversation with Michael Eisner

The conversation with Michael Eisner has started and Mark Cuban is the moderator. Cool. Michael talks about Vuguru, a video production company founded by Tornante (headed by Michael) in March 2007. Vuguru's "Prom Queen," was shot in 90 second shots for 80 "sessions". Vuguru is producing new, fresh content in somewhat unexpected ways. To hear someone like Michael talk about new media was fascinating...I'm dating myself...but I remember watching the movie of the week on ABC as a kid and one of my favorite parts was his lead-in especially if Mickey was accompanying him. Fast-forward to today and he is onstage with Mark Cuban talking about how we will consume content in the next 5 years.

There was a nice interplay between Mark and Michael. Mark is a self described geek. After one particular stream of technology-laden opinion from Mark, Michael looks at him and says, "I don't understand anything you just said" and the audience broke up in laughter. But what he did say is that he understands the story and the importance of the story and the hunger of people for the story. His example was user-generated content. It can be the worst content ever, but people will watch it. People are hungry for the story. And that these new media channels are an important addition to what currently exists. And that the time is right. Michael pointed out that while it is bouncing along now, at some point the traditional media will wake up and professional content and delivery through the internet will explode. And he also feels that is absolutely will not erase traditional will do what new technology always does "1 + 1 = 3" -- just like the marriage of movies and television created a wider audience, the marriage of new technology and traditional media will create a wider reach.

Michael talked briefly about how Vuguru got off the ground...and the fact that it's a small shop (3 folks?) and that they jumped right in. They never did focus groups, they never had a plan, instead they found the community...the people who were already doing it and doing it well and they paid for it, stiched it together, and made it work. That is how Prom Queen got pulled together.

Key Takeaway (and for those of you who are paying attention at'll see a theme here):
If you are on the internet you have to go to where the community is. You have to find the people who are already users, creators, and consumers of the content you are putting out there and listen to them and tap into the resource.


SXSW Session: The Future of Corporate Blogs

Jenn and I are in the first session of the day...and we learned our lesson from yesterday. We got to the session early and actually have seats. This is a panel discussion with Mack Collier, moderator (The Viral Garden), Kami Huyse (Communication Overtones), Lionel Menchaca (Direct2Dell), and Mario Sundar (LinkedIn).

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Monday Mar 10, 2008

SXSW: Keynote

Jenn and I attended today's keynote given by Frank Warren, creator of PostSecret . As a fan of the site, it was great to see the presentation and the secrets that have never been seen...until this afternoon! But beyond the poignant, funny, and heartbreaking secrets there was Frank's overall message that virtual, online communities are a powerful thing. A thing worth taking part in, a thing worth creating, a thing worth nurturing. That the virtual community can impact our real life community in really profound and dynamic ways.

We'd love to hear how a virtual community, whether based on technology, a hobby, a lifestyle, has influenced your life. Email us at sun_tan AT sun DOT com and we'll post some of your experiences in this space (anonymously of course).


SXSW: The Bloggies...and the Winners Are!

Annnnnnnd we're off! Here are (most of\*) the winners:

Best Gossip Weblog

Best Asian Blog

Best European Blog

Best Application for Weblogs

Best Topical Weblog

Best American Weblog

Best Writing of a Weblog

Best Group Weblog

Best African Weblog

Best computer or technology weblog

Most Humorous Weblog

Best Design

Best Blog about Music

Best Food Weblog

Best Canadian Weblog

Best GLBT Weblog

Best Photography of a Weblog

Best Kept Secret Weblog

Best New Weblog

Lifetime Achievement
Heather B. Armstrong (

Weblog of the Year

\*I may have missed 1-2 categories...I'm working off of 5 hours sleep. ;)


SXSW Session: Going Social Now

Austin Convention Center is HUGE. Jen and I RAN to the first session. Got in just a few minutes past the 10 am start time. No seats left. We are sitting at the back on the floor. Important lesson: get to the sessions EARLY.

Shiv Singh from Avenue A/Razorfish is presenting. Clearly he's been working and playing with Social Media for a while. This is an intermediate session, so we dive right in and skip the "What is and Why Should" discussions around Social Media. Almost everyone in the room is on a laptop. The woman next to me is blogging, and Jen is next to me twittering. This room is connected.

So far we've heard:
We are more influenced by others than by direct response campaigns.
The corporate website is less important that it once was.
You can't leave the conversation to marketing.
You need to let the consumer shape the experiences and let that content come back.
Key takeaway: Social Influence determines action.

The three top influencers of consumers are:

1. Recommendation from consumers
-22% ALWAYS reads reviews
-43% SOMETIMES read reviews
2. Brand web sites
3. Email users register for

Shiv says we need to go to where our customers, or in our case, our developers, are. And while I think I have an idea of where you are, I want to know for sure: Where are you congregating online? Where can I join your conversation? I'm ready to listen!

Sunday Mar 09, 2008

Sun's Party at SXSW

Jenn Winger and I have just returned from Sun's Party at SXSW. It was an incredible night at La Zona Rosa with Seven Mary Three and The Smithereens playing to an excited crowd. It was great to get to talk to conference attendees whether developer, musician, or producer....they all had something to say about technology and how it informs their work and their play. Amazing! Jenn and I scored backstage passes (sweet!) and got to sit with both the bands for short interviews on their time at SXSW and how they think technology has changed the music industry....stay tuned....we'll let you know when we've posted to our youtube channel. Photos in the morning, or I guess, later this morning. ;)

-Jenn and Heidi

Friday Mar 07, 2008

Follow Us at SXSW

Jennifer Winger and I, Heidi Dailey, will be at SXSW 2008
next week in Austin! We will be live-blogging, video-blogging, and
twittering our way through five crazy days of incredible sessions,
panels, parties, and yes, booth duty at Sun's pod on the pavillion
floor. We'll hope you'll tag along! All you have to do is pick your
social media poison:

Follow us on Twitter

Read our blogs here and here

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Join us on Facebook

if there is something at this year's event you'd like us to try and
capture, shoot it to us in the comments and we'll do our best to comply.



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