SXSW-interactive's Sessions are Posted

Scott Francis
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SXSWi has one of the more interesting content picking processes I’ve seen for a conference.  It has turned into a well-oiled machine, and it is, in my opinion, responsible for allowing SXSWi to reinvent and remain relevant (even more relevant) over time. Recently, topics for SXSWi-2012 were released.  These are the panels and sessions that were voted on by attendees or prospective attendees (although a vote isn’t the only input into the panel picking system). If this year is like most, some additional featured speakers or top-down content will be added, in addition to a few late-selection panels to reflect any late-breaking news or changes in the world around us. Topic areas:
  • Keynote Presentations at the Austin Convention Center
  • Featured Sessions (Austin Convention Center)
  • Better Tomorrow (Austin Convention Center) – a focus on economy and social issues
  • Book Readings (Austin Convention Center)
  • Branding and Marketing (Stephen F Austin hotel – which was also the site of the BP3 all-hands meeting!)
  • Convergence (Austin Convention Center)
  • Design and Development (Austin Convention Center)
  • Emerging (Hilton Austin – Downtown)
  • Future of Work (Courtyard Marriott)
  • Government and Global Issues (AT&T Conference Center)
  • Health and Education (AT&T Conference Center)
  • Journalism and Online Content (Sheraton Austin)
  • Latin America (Hilton Garden Inn)
  • Lifestyles and Sports (Campus TBA)
  • ScreenBurn and Gaming (Campus TBA)
  • Social Networks (Omni – Downtown)
  • Startup Village (Hilton Austin – Downtown)
  • Workshops (Radisson – Town Lake)
The biggest change I notice : moving the startup events to the Hilton (which is like ground-zero, right across the street from the Austin Convention Center), rather than having them at the AT&T Conference Center, as they did last year.  Last year’s startup sessions were really high quality – and the AT&T Conference Center at UT is a fantastic facility for an event like that – but it is removed from the core action at SXSW.  My guess is that there was an effort to bring this core area back to the center of the activity at SXSWi.  The only downside is it will be much harder to park this year! To anyone trying to organize a conference, I submit to you that you just haven’t seen crazy til you’ve been to SXSWi.  The number of people and the logistics involved in feeding them, moving them, parking them, seating them, and providing wifi and 3g cell connectivity for their 3 connected devices is an incredible challenge.  And it is impressive how well it all works. The Startup Village has its own set of articles on SXSW’s website.  This promises to be a great conference.  The number of topics is overwhelming, but the organization into campuses and topic areas at least helps focus attention on the topics you care about. As I was about to post this, I ran across Austin Startup’s coverage of the same subject.  GREAT tidbits they pulled out from the schedule:
Stephen Wolfram on Computation and Its Impact on the Future. Any chance to hear him speak, I will take it.
Definitely. I look at this session as being potentially as promising as the Craig Venter session from the 2011 conference.  They also pointed out panels from Dachis Group, RecycleMatch, WP Engine, and Foreca.st (local startups).  Josh Baer will reprise a topic he owns: 3 Secrets to a Killer Elevator Pitch.  Even this far in advance it looks like a very strong lineup.