CamWorld: Thinking Outside the Box
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 March 2000 


SXSW Attendees
Ben Brown
Bryan Boyer
Hack the Planet
Martin Archer
Max Adams
Rebecca's Pocket
Sapphire Blue
Steven Champeon

Email me to add your name/site.

SXSW Weblog


SXSW Weblog

South By Southwest (SXSW) is an annual conference held in Austin, TX. It started out as being a music and film festival, but in recent years an interactive portion has been added. As conferences go, SXSW is much hipper (and cheaper) than the rest. Where typically you pay upwards of $1000 a person to sit in a drab lecture hall with boring speakers, at SXSW you spend more time mingling and conversing with other attendees. Some would even say that you actually learn more because you are encouraged to particpiate.

This year, many of the independent weblog editors have decided to attend, and some have labeled SXSW2000 as the "first unofficial weblog summit." It's important to note that many of these attendees are the best of the best when it comes to designing and writing for the web. [See list of attendees to the left.]

Friday, March 10, 2000

Today's SXSW Conference Itinerary:

11:30 AM - Flight to Atlanta
3:35 PM - Connecting flight to Austin

5:00 PM - Pick up rental car
6:00 PM - Check into LaQuinta Hotel
7:00 PM - Pre-Party at GSD&M
9:30 PM - City of Ideas Reception (Four Seasons Hotel)

The flights were uneventful. We ended up getting a white Chrysler Sebring convertible with 300 miles on it. I've already decided this is a car I will never own. We arrived at the hotel only to discover that they had given our rooms away to people who had stayed extra nights. After arguing with the hotel and pointing out that we had made reservations well in advance, they scared up two rooms. I ended up in a room usually reserved for wheelchair guests (the bathroom is huge). Sara and her husband (Sara is my coworker) ended up in a room with a window that doesn't shut and locks that don't work.

The GSD&M pre-party was truly awful. They held the "party" in the lobby of their building, which holds the likely title of worst acoustics in a building in all of Texas.

It's tornado season in Texas. We saw some pretty ugly skies that were clearly classic tornado breeding grounds. Fun!

Saturday, March 11, 2000

Today's SXSW Conference Itinerary:

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM - Various Open Houses at New Media companies in Austin
3:30 PM - Panel: New Media Design
6:00 PM - Web Awards Party (Radisson)
9:00 PM - Deepleap Launch Party (invitiation only)

So far, today was pretty low-key. We attended some open houses at various new media companies in Austin. After fighting off the recruiters, we focused on studying their workspace environments and asked questions they couldn't answer. It was fun playing with their heads by launching into a tirade of questions about technical issues. Still, it was great to look at other new media company officespaces and make mental notes about what works and what doesn't work.

At 3:30 we attended a very good panel discussion about new media design. Interestingly enough, it was sponsored by the Texas branch of the Industrial Design Society of America. Lots of great info and ideas from people at Frog Design and BodyMedia.

The DeepLeap party was a blast. Free drinks and lots of familiar faces. The only problem is that I still don't know what DeepLeap is. Whatever it is, it will be cool. The people behind it are very smart and talented people.

Non-SXSW News and Links: Jakob Nielsen review. is finally out of preview mode. I like the new design. Very clean.

Gallery of the Absurd is a great collection of real-world objects and items that completely fail the real-world usability and functionality tests. Anyone who is fascinated by this industry ought to read Donald Norman's amazing book "The Design of Everyday Things." Tales of Near-Sex Experiences. Finally, someone has put something on the web worth reading! [Over 18 only, please.]

Sunday, March 12, 2000

Today's SXSW Conference Itinerary:

10:00 AM - Keynote Speech
11:00 AM - Panel: Design Techniques
12:30 PM - Lunch
1:30 PM - Panel: Freelancing in the New Media Landscape
3:30 PM - Panel: Internet Industry Trends
8:00 PM Frog Design Party

The panels were pretty good. I'm very impressesd by the quality of some of the speakers. Of course, the SXSW organizers seem to have a knack for putting the most popular panels and roundtables in the smallest conference rooms. I'm sure they're breaking all kinds of Fire Marshall laws. Still, the interaction between the panelists and the audience is very good.

The Frog Design party was really cool, clowns, drum dancers, free drinks, and loads of cool people.

Monday, March 13, 2000

Today's SXSW Conference Itinerary:

10:00 AM - Keynote Speech
11:00 AM - Panel: User Centric Design
12:30 PM - Lunch
1:30 PM - Panel:Interface Culture
3:30 PM - Panel: Syndication of Content
6:00 PM - Cocktails With Courtney
9:30 PM - Movie screening: "Spectres of the Spectrum"

Today's panels were even better than yesterday's. The keynote speech was fun, if not a bit flighty. More crowded conference rooms, more free drinks, and more industry gab.

The movie was absolutely horrid. Depsite the "good" reviews, half the auditorium was asleep despite the cranked sound system. I think the sound was to try and compensate for how bad the movie was.

Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Today's SXSW Conference Itinerary:

10:00 AM - Keynote Speech
11:00 AM - Panel: Weblogs
12:30 PM - Lunch
1:30 PM - Panel: Writing For the Web
3:30 PM - Panel: Web Development for Tomorrow's Browsers
7:00 PM - Party at Bruce Sterling's house (invitation only)

The weblogs panel was awesome. Despite some crowd flare-ups, Derek Powazek did an awesome job moderating the heated discussion. I missed the second panel because of an impromptu lunch gethering down the street.

The SXSW Closing party sucked. Bruce Sterling's party was much better. Met lots of people I hadn't met at any of the previous parties. Bruce even told me he has my site bookmarked. This was surprising news to me. BTW, he has a lime green iMac.

Despite what you hear, I'm not "giggly." Heh.

2002: Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul | Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan
2001: Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul | Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan
2000: Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul | Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan
1999: Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul | Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan
1998: Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul | Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan
1997: Index of 1997

 © 1984, 1993-2003 Cameron Barrett