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#SXSW wrap & rawk: part 2 of 2 … the highlights

Posted by Ms. Herr on 04.7.2009

As I listen to the podcast of Rawking SXSW Year Round panel, I’m finally writing the last of my South by Southwest wrap up posts. What can I say, March was a busy month, first getting my #getmetosxsw on, then the event itself, then returning to a visit from my aunt and cousin from Kansas, and finally getting backing into the groove of work and the real world.

So how was it? In a word: AWESOME! In all realness: the dress rehearsal for next year.

Despite all the people I talked to and the questions I asked before I went, there really is no way to know what to expect until you’ve experienced it once. Over and over I was told that it was less about the panels and more about the people. As a knowledge lover, it’s hard to let go of the desire to attend panels, lots and lots of panels. My selection of these was hit and miss. Some I couldn’t even get into because they were over capacity. The good news is that most, if not all, of them are supposed to be available as podcasts.

But the people… The people were a definite hit. Three types of people specifically. Type 1: The people you only get to see when you’re both in town for the big conferences. Type 2: The people that you’ve connected with online, but have yet to meet in real life. Type 3: The people you never knew you never knew. My SXSW highlights are [almost] all about the people.

Blowing kisses at SXSW. (photo credit: Brian Brodeur, mightyb.com)

Darryl Ohrt2, Missy Reitner3, and Joey Leslie3 discover a new tasty bizzeverage – I’m not a beer drinker, so when I rendezvoused with Darryl for drinks, I ordered a snakebite and black. Part lager, part cider, with a splash of black currant. The slightly red coloring piqued curiosity. The taste won over a few new fans. >> Darryl and his Plaid colleagues on will venture on their third PlaidNation tour this summer. I’ll be watching, and I’m scheming on how to secure one of their super nifty retro hotel keyrings.

Clarence Smith, Jr.2 – For my part, I was captivated by @dykc from the first “Marinate.” We mutually followed fo a year, text tagged the first two days of SXSW, greeted like old friends, and the got up got up & got down and the dance floor before all was done. Not one moment was anything less than uplifting. >> Clarence, both storyteller and storyseeker, took a turn on the mic at Fray Café 9.

WLTV impromptu wine party(s) – This was my first time seeing Gary Vaynerchuk1 in a big conference setting, and he impressed me on a variety of ways. From greeting people he’s met only once or twice before to yielding over two-thirds of his panel to his audience, he has a way of seeding meaningful sentiment into each encounter. One night, Gary threw two impromptu wine tasting parties advertised with a few simple tweets and drew a significant turnout. The magnetism this man has with an audience thirsty for inspiration is awesome to behold. >> Gary’s got more projects than a girl has breath to talk about, one of which is a book due for release this fall (likely under a different title than the one listed in the article).

Kissing Penguin – By the second day, I had decided to kiss Jeremy Tanner1 every time I saw him. Plant a quick peck on the cheek, then walk away without a word. He’s like a big teddy bear. But he’s got some stealth too. The sneaky devil beat me at my own game once! >> Penguin was recently selected as a Ford Fiesta Movement Agent.

Declared missing by the #phx crew (sorta) – At the WordPress BBQ, Curtis Miller and Chris Chandler told me they thought I’d disappeared. We’d had an early dinner two nights before, but not even a passing in the halls since. I took it as a compliment. It meant I was off meeting new people. >> Chris and Curtis deliver a wickedly dry humorous podcast called Personality Flatline. It’s been on a bit of a hiatus as they get their new company, Flatterline, off the ground, but I hope it makes a quick return.

Lunch with strangers –I bumped into Jeremy Hubert3 after tweeting about wanting to have lunch with strangers. I’d met Jeremy the night before, so he didn’t count as a stranger. The two guys with him did. After lunch, and I told Jeremy I’d eat with him everyday on condition that he introduce me to strangers each time. Call it an effort in outsourcing my networking.

And gettin’ my dance onFriday night, Saturday night, Monday night… I got my dance on quite a bit. Indeed, one morning I woke to soreness and a monster blister on my little toe. More often than not I was with Chris Smith3 (aptly named @groovemonkey), Brian Brodeur3 (a #phx peep I never knew I never knew), and the Blurb crew3. Good, good times! >> Brian was at SXSW photo documenting Media Trust’s Relevantly Speaking shoots at SXSW, and is responsible for the shot of me shown above.

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