From Guy Kawasaki’s Twitter addiction to Evan Williams’ keynote
I‘ve learned long ago the challenge of covering South by Southwest Interactive, which hums along at its own idiosyncratic pace compared to more linear conferences. Thus, I spent last year and this year doing less blogging, conducting more interviews (which I’ll roll out in the coming weeks), taking more photos and doing much more networking.
I returned home from my fourth SXSW last night after 74 exhausting but satisfying hours. Here are 54 photos from the event I just uploaded to Flickr.
Before I return to real-world mode, here are some snippets from the South by Southwest 2010:
A few random bits from SXSW
Exchange between Guy Kawasaki and Laura Fitton at the last panel I caught on top Twitter tools. Kawasaki: “There are two types of Twitter users: Those who want as many followers as possible, and those who are lying.” (I’ve heard Guy repeatedly trot out this chestnut.)
Fitton: “Bullshit, Guy, you have to find the right followers.”
I’m with Laura on this one. I could have hit 50,000 followers long ago through manipulation rather than attracting the 10,000 high-signal followers I have now. Twitter is about connecting with the right people, not creating another broadcast station, though I see how Guy has made good use of his large following.
• If there was ever a doubt that Twitter co-founder Evan Williams is a tech rock star, his keynote chat made that clear. The main exhibit hall and two ballrooms were packed to capacity. I like the modest new Twitter program @anywhere, which lets users follow a writer straight from her byline or tagline on a blog or news story without having to go to the Twitter site. As Ev says, “It reduces friction.”
• Williams: “Openness is a survival technique, because some of your core assumptions are probably wrong.”
• More Ev Williams: “it’s been important to us for Twitter to reach the weakest signals in the world. SMS can reach all these people. It’s actually profound in the right situations.” Those of us who rely each day on the Internet forget that billions of people still don’t have Internet access, though many of them do have cell phones. Twitter has agreements with 65 carriers in world, and people in the developing world are discovering the benefits of using Twitter via mobile carrier. “We take that [Internet connectivity] for granted, that anyone can communicate with each other,” Williams said. “For Chilean farmers who hear there’ll be a downpour in a few days, it can be a life-changing event.” Continue reading