The Nerdpocolypse Cometh (SXSWi)

Post by
Scott Francis

That's right.? SXSW-interactive is coming to Austin.? Soon.? This week, even.

It all started innocently enough - a few "multimedia nerds" years ago.? And then the focus shifted to blogging, before blogging was cool.? And then... something happened last year.

Maybe SXSW-interactive jumped the shark.? Or maybe it just tapped into the zeitgeist.? But there was a feeling last year that it was its own living thing - not something easily contained.

Attendance was up, way up.? More than 14,000 people had access to SXSW-interactive last year (although, that includes premium badge holders who might have focused more on the film and music portions of SXSW).? An article I read, just days ago, estimated that actual attendance could be up 30-40% again this year - and that SXSWi briefly entertained capping attendance for the first time.? Its hard to imagine SXSWi being bigger this year than it was last year.? To put it somewhat in perspective, I attended IBM Impact last year - a huge conference with over 6000 attendees... And SXSW-interactive was twice that size.? (And the wifi and 3g coverage mostly worked... unlike my experience at Impact last year)

SXSWi has split the event into 10 campuses - at least one of which is so far away you can't walk to the other parts of SXSW (though the AT&T Center at UT is a fabulous facility to hold meetings and conferences in!).

So how do you make sense of the Nerdpocalypse?? First, if you live in Austin, and aren't attending SXSW - just pretend downtown Austin doesn't exist for the next two weeks.? You'll be happier that way, because festival-goers are going to take over every eating establishment and parking spot Austin has to offer.

If you're going to SXSW-interactive, check out some of the following resources:

The SXSW side-parties database, by Austin360.

Joshua Baer's Austinpreneur's Guide to SXSW 2011

The Unofficial Apps Showcase (you know, for SXSW)

SXSW official "social" site

Julie Germany's How to Survive SXSW Interactive post

And, I feel sure, there will be many other resources worth reading on the subject - but these are just a few to get you started.

Some of our regular readers, if they've gotten this far, may be wondering, what does SXSW have to do with BPM?? Well, nothing explicitly.? But there are several topic areas that are tangential to what we do at BP3 and impact our work and lives.? I intend to get some of that famous "cross-pollination" experience, and reconnect with colleagues near and far at the same time.

I'm planning on attending the SXSWi/LeanStartup sessions - some of my favorite bloggers and startup experts are on panels or speaking that day, at the AT&T Conference Center.? But I also intend to catch Craig Venter's talk, and several other topics that will probably get my brain going.? And I'll be looking for tidbits to take back to BP3, or to BPM, or just to keep in my head.

I've said it before, I'll say it again - don't underestimate the value of meeting real people who are excited about what they're doing - it's incredibly energizing.

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