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Get Social at SXSW 2009 with my.sxsw


Get Social At SXSW 2009 with my.sxsw The first SXSW I attended in 1996 celebrated the 10th anniversary of the conference. At that time, the word “interactive” would have caused a blank stare with most. My, how far we’ve come.

Although I expect that the hard copy pocket guide will still be a vital tool to use during the Austin mayhem, 13 years later SXSW’s Interactive portion of their two week conference is going to their head in a good way.

This year they’ve launched a more sophisticated version of the previous online scheduling tool to embrace social networking software. Teaming with BDG, they’ve presented my.SXSW, which utilizes BDG’s conference social networking solution called The Social Collective. Through this online tool you can not only set up your schedule, you can connect with other interactively before, during, and after the conference.

If you’re boss is looking for an ROI report post SXSW, this tool could prove to be invaluable. It will also help you to stay posted on the parties, free booze and food.

The initial email you receive after you’ve completed your SXSW attendance registration is more of a receipt of registration. You will then need to wait for the “Welcome to my.sxsw” email that contains the link to set up your account on The username and password you used during the registration process will not work.

Once you’re at the “Setup Your my.SXSW User” page, you can choose to use the default number that appears or choose a user name of your own. Choose wisely, because it will be set in stone after you click the button. If you pick “butthair” on a whim, you’re stuck with it baby.

From your my.sxsw home page you can upload your badge photo, your avatar photo, begin to assemble your schedule, and also connect with people on your Facebook to see who’s attending.

This works, sort of. Ric Baca is on my Facebook and his shining face appeared, as did Michael Davis and John Moore. Problem is, they were the right names but the wrong people. I did report this back to the SXSW support folks, who responded quite quickly, saying that they were on it to get that fixed.

SXSW09 EventsTo spread the net wider beyond who you already know, you can search for people attending based on industry, city, and state. For example, I searched on “media” and turned up over 1,450 writers, editors, and others currently registered, along with 57 events relating to media.

A few events that caught my eye were “Social Media Marketing” and “Twitter for Marketers: Is it Still Social Media?” With a click on each, they were both added to my calendar.

Speaking of Twitter, the my.SXSW messaging system integrates with Twitter. Next to each person that appears on the search result is a “Follow” link, which can be a cool way to stay up to date on where your friends are going to be, or for band members with their demo CD to stalk you around town and not just down 6th Street.

Another search result was the people who had joined the “Social Media” group, and since I’m a lemming at 1am, I joined as well. But then…what other groups were there? On the geek side of things, there was Perl Group and a Linux Group, which was tempting, but I passed. Instead I went for Web Development, Film Fans, Writers, Media, Bloggers, Music Fans and Music Critics.

Within each group you’re able to leave message to the group, which is a cool way to communicate with everyone as a whole.

Next year, I expect to see an iPhone application and a mobile web version of this online tool, which will truly make available in the palm of your hand.

The South By Southwest Music & Media Conference and Festival takes place at the Austin Convention Center and on over 80 stages throughout downtown Austin, along with panels, interviews, workshops, peer meetings, and trade show exhibition.

For the latest information as it is updated or to register to attend the Music, Film, Interactive, or all three SXSW conference programs, go to



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