South by Southwest 2011

I’m extremely pumped to be headed to Austin, Texas next weekend for my first South By Southwest.  I’ve been trying to go to this for around four years now, and UAHuntsville has been gracious enough to send me to represent it at the Interactive conference this year.  I’ll be there March 11th, 12th, and 13th, where I hear the weather in Austin is sunny with a 95% chance of BBQ.

From around 10am until 5pm each day, I’ll be attending Interactive panels and keynotes in the Austin Convention Center.  I’m not going to try to be the oddball that tries to “liveblog” everything, but I will be taking a lot of notes and posting daily recaps to here as I can.  I’m still finalizing my schedule, but the main events that I’m going to attend are below.

Friday, March 11th

  • Keynote with Marissa Mayer, VP of Consumer Products at Google
  • Offline America, Why We Have A Digital Divide
  • Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills

Saturday, March 12th

  • How Print Design is the Future of Interaction
  • Using Twitter to Improve College Student Engagement
  • Flash is Dead! Long Live Flash!
  • An Interview with Mythbuster Adam Savage

Sunday, March 13th

  • Design-Driven Innovation: How Designers Facilitate the Dialog
  • Designing iPad Interfaces – New Navigation Schemas

I’m still finalizing a lot of that, and will likely add a few things or have to forgo others.  But it does look like I’ll be able to go to most of the larger ones and will definitely get a lot out of the conference.  I’ll also be visiting the Screenburn area of SXSW a lot, trying to make contacts for our bi-annual UAH LAN Party that we have on campus.

After hours, I’m of course going to try and have a lot of fun as well.  I’m a little ashamed to admit that I will be “that guy” at this conference, but I’m going to do a lot of bar hopping Friday night at some of the different sponsored parties I’ve RSVP’d for.  I’m also going to try to hit up a few of the SXSW Film events Friday evening if I can.  The director of Moon with Sam Rockwell, Duncan Jones, has his new movie called Source Code premiering that night, and I’d love to get in if I can.  Even if I can’t get into the actual movie, going to a premier event would be a first for me and should be a lot of fun.  Plus, David Bowie is going to be there!

Saturday evening, I’m looking forward to hearing Adam Savage speak again.  My friends and I saw him at Dragoncon in Atlanta last year, he always has a lot of hilarious stories and sometimes does a few experiments on stage.  As I’ve already seen him before, I might duck out early so I can get a good spot in line for the Diggnation party that’s downtown later that night.  This is probably the biggest party at SXSW, and I’ve been dying to go to a live Diggnation for a long time now.  I’m sure this is going to be a blast.

Those are my plans in a nutshell!  I’m going to have my iPad in tow and will try to upload my notes here whenever I have a few minutes to spare.  I’ll have a more detailed report once I get back and settle in.  But the BBQ is all for me, sorry.

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