April 1, 2009

MindBites: The how-to video marketplace

JD LasicaAt South by Southwest Interactive a couple of weeks ago I heard about MindBites, a year-old instructional video marketplace based in Austin, Texas. I had the chance to sit down for a few minutes with Jason W. Reneau, founder & CEO, and Huntley Tarrant, vice president of business development, who walks us through the online learning and training site.

Unlike sites like Lynda.com, which require a fairly steep subscription fee, MindBites lets trainers set a price — generally as low as 99 cents to $2.99 — for watching an instructional video. Reneau says he came up with the idea after discovering that his only choices were hit-or-miss experiences on trainers’ websites or the old-fashioned Berlitz instructional CDs.

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March 16, 2009

Photos and takeaways from SXSW 2009

LA tech scene

JD LasicaI was surprised today to learn that attendance at the venerable South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, is up by 20 percent over last year. In this economy? Yep. SXSW is one of the premier networking events in the tech world. I’m back home now after spending two full days at the gathering, my third SXSW (after talking about “random acts of journalism” on an SXSW panel in 2003 and about my book Darknet on an SXSW panel in 2006 — funny that I get the itch every three years).

I spent the bulk of my time meeting new people and catching up with old friends, attending talks and sessions (such as the roundtable on LA’s tech scene — the participants paused to pose for a group shot above and the LA Times wrote it up here), conducting eight or nine video interviews (I’m now seriously backlogged), and taking photos. Here is a 76-photo Flickr set of SXSW 2009.

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