The online playground of Andrea Schwandt-Arbogast:web design, university web development, animals, books, and other slices of life.

SXSW 2009 wrap-up

I’ve been trying to figure out how to sum up SXSW 2009 since I got back, and I’m still not sure I can do it. It was a much different week for me this year than it has been in the past, due I’m sure to all the personal changes I’ve been through in the last year. I have been in a weird space since I moved to Wilmington— not sure where I am professionally and isolated from my friends. I kind of detached myself from the Web world during the move, and I haven’t been able to figure out where to enter back into it. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to. So my goal for SXSW this year wasn’t to party and meet folks that inspire me and learn and get new ideas, it was to give a shit about the Web again by the time I left Austin.

I think that goal was met for me, in spite of the size of the festival this year and the overwhelming prevalence of “social media douchebaggery”, as Jeremy called it. I went to a lot fewer panels this year than in the past, and saw some real klunkers along with some that were really good. But I’m not going to go into the panels here. What really hit home for me was the time I got to spend with folks I didn’t realize I was missing as much as I was, and how many people I knew from previous years that I was happy to see and were happy to see me. And how it was easy to fall into conversation with these folks about the stuff I didn’t think I cared about anymore. I felt like I had a tribe. And if that’s where my tribe is, I guess that’s where I’m supposed to be.

I didn’t meet as many new people as I would have liked, but I did meet some real gems. The flyers helped with that— if I didn’t have those squirrels my social capitol would have been severely reduced. But, meh. I guess it’s good to have a conversation starter. And they are cute. There were of course several people that I only saw in passing that I wish I could have spent more time with, but that is always the case and I suppose that’s what the Twitter is for. (At least that’s what I think it’s for. The social media douchebags could probably show me how to leverage something with it, but I’m not interested.)

So. Looks like I’ve written another post that essentially says “SXSW is all about the people,” probably one of the biggest clich├ęs in the online world by now. But it was for me this year in a very different way than it has been in the past. And I ended up having an awesome time. There are too many folks that contributed to that for me to name them all — you know who you are. But I do want to say a special thanks to Elaine for being a great roommate and friend, and for putting up with my noctournal schedule, Glenda for the picnic and for the always great talks we have, and Matthew for hanging out with me all week and now being stuck with me as a friend whether he was planning on it or not ;).

Now to figure out where to go from here…

Commentary

1

Craig writes

Mar 30 at 08:56 AM #

It’s always great to visit with you in Austin, Andrea. I’ve referred to SXSW in my blogs for a couple of years as “the web industry’s annual group hug,” or something like that. I’m proud to be a part of your tribe.

2

Dan Klyn writes

Mar 30 at 11:16 PM #

flyers? squirrels? are there photos of these artefacts?

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