Ok, this post is kind of overdue, but I ought to write it since I want to tell you that I’m back from the SXSW Interactive Conference. I have had a great time, but at the same time I’m glad to be back home.
The web is already riddled with people dissecting every panel so I won’t put to much effort into that. Instead, in the next five posts or so, I will describe day by day what went on, to which panels I went to and what I thought of them, people I met etc. My hope is that it will be interesting to you even if you weren’t there and not just all about the panels.
My first gut feeling when I got home was that I didn’t want to touch a computer. I was sick of them, although I was one of the few that didn’t use one while in Austin, as opposed to all the other people live-blogging, taking notes and so on. I think the conference was just like an overdose to me, too much computer geeks in one place. There were also things like meeting people with too little self-distance or people not being as humble as they should be that kind of got me down. I really have to say, though, that most people were a delight to meet!
Also, I think I realized that while it would be great to work with any of the persons attending SXSW, where everyone knows about web standards, accessibility, are also already sick of the term Web 2.0, I would have to go home and meet a lot of customers and web developers that are nothing of the sort. People not interested in doing a proper job, just in getting paid and then scurry on home. For some reason, certain people in life seem to think that being good at something automatically means working 80 hours a week. That’s not the case, just learn to do things right and feel the rush of actually being proud over what you do.
All in all, the people and events I will tell you about stood out and made it a wonderful experience, so I’m genuinely happy I went. My only hope is that people reading my blog and then meet me in person at SXSW don’t feel like they found out that I’m nothing like they expected and that I disappointed them; that while they like my writing I bored them in person.
I would also direct thanks to Daniel Hansson, my friend and travel colleague, who always seems to end up in the most peculiar and entertaining situations.
There are some people I really want to mention for being such outstanding individuals, for making my visit the great time it was and for being as good persons as I want to be. If you ever get the chance, make sure to meet then and talk to them, or alternatively, read what they write (the ones that blog, that is). Trust me; they will most likely enrich your lives. This is not meant as name-dropping, but rather just a guide to great people. They are:
- Carl Camera
- It’s hard to find a more friendly, nice and caring human being. Always happy, constantly eager to please, and doesn’t seem to hold a grudge for anyone in the world. Texas inhabitant together with his lovely family.
- Stuart Colville
- Stuart is a very funny and happy English bloke that certainly has got a tough skin and a good distance to things. We had many long nightly talks about things and seem to agree almost a little too much.
- Chris Mills
- A totally crazy guy from England. About twice my height, long hair and a long beard, he looks like some crazed-out ent, and he’s got a sense of humor to go with that.
- Dave Schroeder
- Very laid-back, but always on top of things and a wicked sense of what’s fun. With an appearance like a Neil Young look-alike, this Minnesota-guy is always up to something.
- Shane Shepherd
- One of the caring persons, always feeling empathy for others and just being there when needed. And another Texas inhabitant, no less!
Honorary mentions should also go to some other truly nice people I meet and spent some time with, and they are also most recommended to meet in real life: