And just like that SXSW

And just like that SXSW is a blur. How much of a blur was it?

I just got home to San Francisco tonight, after speaking for 90 minutes on the first panel of the day, and 90 at the end of the day. I can’t recall anything I said in either panel, but I was exhausted and feeling under the weather, so hopefully it wasn’t too bad. I distinctly remember a few outbreaks of laughter at both panels, and an outburst of applause once, but I haven’t the faintest idea what I said to elicit those responses.

I’ve got a lot of good photos to put up and some words to write down. I should probably write before I’ve forgotten the experience, but it is largely a blur.

I noticed from surfing around

I noticed from surfing around a few sites mentioning “sxsw” at daypop, there are a lot of people here I haven’t met yet. I kind of wish there was some sort of wireless application to solve this problem. I have my bookmarks stored on my laptop. Many of those bookmarked people are here but I don’t know what they look like. What if we could send out little pings of our url, and whenever someone within your list was within 50 feet of you, you hear a beep. Getting closer to them, the beeps would begin repeating at an increasing rate. Then you’d find those people.

Or something like that.

Last night I finally made

Last night I finally made some money (instead of spending it) from the SXSW trip. Mena, who never wins anything was up for best weblog at the awards. At some point on sunday we had the following conversation:

“you’re totally going to win that blog award you know”

“what? no I’m not, I never win anything”

“you are so going to win”

“I guarantee you I will lose. I always lose. I’ve spent my whole life losing”

“I’ll bet you five bucks”

“you’re on”

It was nice to see her win and all, but I was happier to win the bet. Five bucks, pure profit.

Thoughts from the Dallas

Thoughts from the Dallas airport, 5:30AM

It’s far too early to be walking next to camouflaged men wielding M-16s.

While I’ve been trying to forget this is my first flight since 9/11, and keep thoughts of hijacks to a minimum as I await my connecting flight, the airport’s faux CNN feed is looping stories from the tragedy.

Keep in mind I’m in an airport.

I just heard someone’s final words from tower 1, spoken into a cellphone and recorded as a message explaining that something bad happened and she might be late getting home. Next up are real stories of courage and conviction staring firefighters. Following that is the story of a buried victim saved 27 hours afterwards. She’s happy to be alive but can’t walk normally again. All of it is presented with a mock Stone Phillips style of narration. Apparently the tragedy is television gold for late night programming.

I can’t remember the last time I saw the trade center video, and this morning I’ve watched tower 2 fall several times. In an airport.

The absurdity is capped off with a quick celebrity “InStyle” interview with Stevie Nicks, and her struggles with drugs through the 80’s and 90’s. Yeah, that’s about the same level of hardship as 3,000 lives lost. Sure.

Before 6am, the airport is sparsely populated and the TVs are very loud. You can’t escape them, as there seems to be one about every 50′ in the terminal. As you one fades away, the next grows louder. Thank god for headphones and this wayport wireless connection.

Yes I’m cranky from the red-eye flight.

If you didn’t see it

If you didn’t see it in the past few days, Michael overhauled stinkfactor.com, the place previously known as “that one site where the guy eats a lot of cinnamon then pukes.” Aside from the nice layout, the coolest new feature is the ability to cough up dough to see new challenge met. I chipped in 10 bucks to see a guy eat tabasco, thinking it couldn’t be done, and although the person was successful, I think this image makes every penny worth it.

Remember when banner ads were all the rage for making money online? Then selling widgets or site swag was the way to a quick buck? I think Michael and the rest of the gang at his work have discovered and perfected a new profit model: double-dog-dare-commerce.

If Google were a woman,

If Google were a woman, I’d divorce Kay and run off to Vegas and marry Google. Stuff like this proves how effective honest, open communication with users (and customers) benefits a company. Google doesn’t come off sounding like a corporate behemoth that spouts marketing speak, not only do they have a clue who their users are and what their users want, but they actually give it to the users time and time again.

Seems like a pretty simple plan that Google is so skilled at executing:
1. figure out who your users are
2. figure out what they want
3. give them what they want

It’s a wonder so few companies can successfully do all three things.

SXSW stuff: I’ll be speaking

SXSW stuff: I’ll be speaking on a couple panels in Austin next week. On Tuesday I’ll be talking about freelancing in the morning Peer Meeting, then later that afternoon I’ll be doing a community panel with Derek, Caleb, and John. It already seems like there are a million things going on during SXSW, but I’m going to try and hit the SoNewMedia party featuring The Dakota Smith and I hear Cory‘s doing a reading I don’t want to miss. There are at least a few dozen people I haven’t met yet that I’d like to meet up with, if you see me around, feel free to say hi.

Someone asked me who all is in this photo described here.

Back row: Owen, Maura, Jason, Ariana, and Christine. Front row: Robert, jack, Brig, me, and Ev. I don’t know why I took the photo at the time, or how I got everyone together like that, but in two years everything Jason described has happened.

Biggest regrets about going? Putting off freelance work and writing for a week, knowing I’ll come back to crazy amounts of work while trying to get ready to move simultaneously, and also missing From Monument to Masses shows coming up.

Some shots from the

Some shots from the Noisepop show last night. It was fun to go, hang out, and catch some good live music. I especially enjoyed hearing Dealership live, after hearing their recorded tracks so many times. They stood out among the hard rock theme of the night, even going so far as to drop a plinky, soft edged “Anarchy in the UK” Sex Pistols cover that was delightfully cheeky.