Monday, March 23, 2009
My last week was spent at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin Texas. It’s a full week of events with three main subjects: interactive, film and music. It’s really a magnificent event that completely overtakes Austin, with people from all around the world presenting their work both as panelists or performing artists. I came to present my own panel on “New Interfaces for Performance” at the Austin Convention Center. Soon I realized that with simultaneous panels happening in around 20 different rooms, there’s so much going on that you just wish you could be in more than one place at a time.
Interactive is mainly dedicated to tendencies revolving around new technologies. There was a big focus on web 2.0 and social networking. It’s not a subject that particularly interests me so I looked for good alternatives. Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Trying to keep up with the geeky spirit, I’m posting directly from SXSW!!! Everyone is sporting an iPhone, a Mac computer and a t-shirt with some clever coding/tech innuendo…
The lines for getting the conference’s pass, which is no longer mailed to participants, ran close to 2 hours. I was happy to get my pass from the speakers’ booth in 2,5 mins (now that is what I call a benefit!.:)
2 sessions today:
How to rawk SXSW 2008 – The basics of the festival: how to deal with alcohol during parties, how to pick your panels, how to go with the flow of the whole thing, how to meet people and where the cool stuff is at in Austin. Panelists: Min Jung Kim (minjungkim.com), Ian Lloyd (accessify.com), Matt Mullenweg (Founding Dev, Automattic/WordPress), Jason Toney (Disney Online), Rannie Turingan (photojunkie.ca), Tim Ferriss. These guys drank a bottle of Jack Daniels during the 1,5 hour session (apparently a tradition at this specific session) . The session ended with one of the panelists dancing on the speakers’ table while the Accordion Guy (seriously) played Britney’s “Baby one more time”…
Battledecks II –Powerpoint meets Karaoke in a battle of wits – some of SXSW’s favourite speakers got on stage to deliver 5 minute presentations using crazy slides they’d never seen before. 3 judges gave them marks based on criteria such as use of jargon, gesturing and credibility. Very entertaining and educational!
Several opening parties tonight. Tomorrow we have the real deal. View the schedule here and let me know if there’s something you’d like me to check out for you (one of the correct answers is “please tell me all about that really interesting panel on Location-Based Entertainment!”)
Friday, March 7, 2008
Most of us have heard of South by Southwest but think of it exclusively as a music festival. SXSW is that and much more. It is a 2 week long event that takes Austin over and it’s starting on Friday!
The Wikipedia description:
“South by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of interactive, film, and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring in Austin, Texas. Originating as the Austin Battle of the Bands, SXSW officially began in 1987 and is centered around the downtown Austin Convention Center. Each of the three parts run relatively independently, with different start and end dates. SXSW is one of the largest music festivals in the United States, with more than 1,400 performers playing dozens of venues around Austin over four days in March. Though it is an industry-based event, SXSW Music links locally with events such as the annual Austin Music Awards show. SXSW is the highest money-making public event for the Austin economy, bringing in more revenue than the Austin City Limits Music Festival or the Texas Longhorn home games.”
Music is cool, and we all love Film but this year Interactive is the place to be at – especially because YDreams will have a special say in how it turns out. I’ll be a speaker at one of the panels on Saturday, “Location-based Entertainment, Animating Overlooked Spaces” (learn more about it here).
I expect to take advantage of my Gold Pass as much as possible over the next week and will try to report back frequently.
Wish me luck!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
YDreams opened an office in Austin, Texas last August. This office will be the center for YDreams’ North American operations. It was through YDreams affiliation with the Portugal – University of Texas at Austin Program that key doors were opened in Austin’s business community.
Austin is one of the premier cities in the World for digital media: major video gaming studios, advertising agencies, design companies, independent film makers and well known musicians are based there. Companies such as Dell and Whole Foods also have their headquarters in the city.
In Austin YDreams found a support ecosystem matched only by Silicon Valley at a fraction of the cost. This ecosystem includes media, software and hardware companies but also lawyer’s offices, communication agencies, business angels, venture capitalists, and a major University.
Austin will also be a key location for YLabs, YDreams research laboratory. Ivan Franco, YLabs Executive Director, lectured recently at IBM Research Lab and visited several other major companies in Austin. Texas based companies are already working with YLabs in the development of our next generation of interactive products. Our first quarter in Austin has shown that we selected the perfect location to launch those products.