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SXSW 2009: Tips, Tricks, and Resources

It’s about that time: the time when the dorkiest Web 2.0 dorks in the dorkosphere all descend on Austin, TX for a week. This is my third SXSW Interactive, and as such I finally feel veteran enough to comment on the experience.

This year, I’m on two panels:

P2P 2.0: Copyright, Streaming, and Circumventing Chinese Censorship

Tuesday, March 17, 3:30 – 4:30 PM. With Adam Fisk (LittleShoot, LimeWire), Ian Clarke (Uprizer Labs, Freenet, Revver), Wendy Seltzer (Berkman Center for Internet & Society, co-founder of Chilling Effects), Aaron Ray (The Collective, lots of film/music projects).

AND: Just announced: “Is Privacy Dead or Just Very Confused?” Saturday, March 14, 10-11 am.

I’m so excited to be added to this panel, as it has some slam-dunk academics on it: my friend and future co-worker danah boyd (Microsoft Research) and my former advisor Siva Vaidhyanathan (UVA). Judith Donath rounds out the pack – her current work on signalling is amazingly interesting and I can’t wait to hear where this panel goes. I’m stepping in to sub for one of my terrific advisors, Helen Nissenbaum (NYU).

Tips

  • If you’re trying to decide between two or three things, pick the one with the most famous person. That way you can always say you saw them, even if the event is a bummer.
  • Do not use your laptop while you’re in a panel, because you won’t pay any attention to the actual panel. Did you go to Austin to hang out and meet people and learn stuff, or to obsessively check Twitter?
  • Get to parties about 30 minutes after they open. Earlier and you’ll be the first person there; later and you won’t be able to get through the door.
  • VIP party passes are your friends, beg, borrow, and steal whenever possible.

As a non-drinker, I avoid the worst curse of SXSW: being so hung over every day that the week becomes more like an endurance test than a fun experience.

Resources

  • SXSW ’09 Insider’s Guide. My friend Corey’s genius social network for SXSW fans.
  • SXSW Sched.org: this was the best app of last year. It’s been supplanted a little bit by SXSW’s own home-grown calendar solution, but it’s still really excellent, and updated daily.
  • The Geek’s Guide to SXSW Film. Every year I say “I’m going to a movie!” and I think I have exactly once, to see one of my friends’ short films. This year I am, at least, going to see the new Paul Rudd/Jason Siegel movie I Love You Man. I’m an Apatow sucker.

See you there!

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1 Comment

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