Thursday Mar 13, 2008

SXSW: Things I'm Going to Check Out

There are not enough hours in the day to research and enjoy everything at SXSW. But I kept a folder full of flyers, scribbled notes, and handouts so that when I had a second, I could start taking a look. I thought I'd share some of my picks:

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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: Hey Cupcake!

Just had to say that Jenn and I just ate the Red Velvet cupcake from "Hey Cupcake!" -- eighteen kinds of yummy.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


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.

While Billy Bob did not specifically talk about technology, he did talk about innovation and the freedom to innovate. He spoke of Slingblade and how that was the last movie he made in which he had full control. That success doesn't equal freedom in the film industry. He talked about the community of consumers of film and media and how if we didn't crave the "crap" the media wouldn't produce it. That we should quit going to movies with the expectation of hating it...or critizing it....that we should be positive and we should be hopeful.

Moby talked briefly about his site and how his fans talk about everything from politics to abortion to (sometimes) his music. That the space is a place that conversation happens on all matters of life. And he also spoke of how he was perceived as being a militant in his earlier years and that now he wouldn't define himself that way because the world is a big place and militancy doesn't inspire change. When pressed by the interviewer Moby clarified that he thinks being militant equates with thinking you are 100% right, that militancy requires a certain level of narcissism, and that with age, you learn that solutions are messy and complicated and not perfect and that your narcissism should give way to more compassion and understanding of others.

So how do I tie this into the work of developers? The work of all of us at Sun? Throughout our time at SXSW Interactive, the theme of community has been paramount. Community drives defines success...lack of community can signal your demise. I think of all the open source communities developers participate in and how whether newbie or expert, everyone is encouraged and given the freedom to innovate. That the community, for the most part, is supportive and positive, and that we do expect the best to come out of those communities and we look to the results with hopeful anticipation of the Next Big Thing (tm) that will make our work, our play, our lives better.

Let's stay positive.


SXSW: Sun's Party in Second Life

Just a quick recap on our party last night in Second Life. We had a good turnout and had Second Life Superstar DJ Summer Deadlight spinning for us. If you haven't been to one our SL meet ups, you are missing out! We had great conversations about SXSW, virtual worlds, and of course, folks are still talking about MySQL. :) We also handed out some cool virtual if you are in Second Life and would like to pick up our virtual SXSW Swag Bag, just IM me inworld (Heidi SunMicrosystems) and I'll send one your way. And next time, join us!


SXSW: A Quick Note

Hey folk!
We are on our fourth day in the truly great city of Austin, Texas and are just on our way to the convention center now. Sessions don't start until 12 noon today, so while Jenn and I hang out at the local coffee shop I'll be crafting an entry on how what we've seen here to date and how what I heard from Billy Bob Thornton, Moby, Mark Cuban, and the folks from Dell all ties together.
Stay tuned!


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.

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While We're Waiting....

Just wanted to let y'all know that tonight, from 5-6pm PST/SL time in Sun's Club Java in Second LIfe, we'll be having our SXSW Second Life party. Summer will be spinning tunes and we'll have fab virtual shwag. So please do stop by and enjoy the party.


SXSW Session: The Future of Corporate Blogs

enn 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.

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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 Humerous 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: The Bloggies

Waiting for the bloggies to start. Just met Heather B. Armstrong aka Dooce>

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.

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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


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