Archive for the 'SXSW' Category

Girls with Macs conference wrap-up: what have the past few weeks taught?

After attending all of these big tech conferences lately - SXSW, NTC, and Women Who Tech - the trend I’ve taken closest to heart has nothing to do with technology at all. It actually involves doing the opposite of what this fast-paced industry has been pushing for years: slowing down.

OK, we’ve all equally enjoyed puttering around on Facebook, uploading images to Flickr and seeing how many comments we’d get, putting together photo books on Blurb, and building our own social networks in Ning, but now the initial “woah” has worn off (or there’s just too much damn stuff to keep track of) and it’s a good reminder to return to the business practices communications folks have been practicing for years: planning, frameworks, and process.

Web 2.0 applications don’t happen in a vacuum. They’re fun, definitely addictive, and continuously challenge us to look at what we do in new ways, but there is one thing they also consume of us - our time. We all know in the back of our heads that using these pieces of technology *should* have a purpose. Granted, I’m sure we’ve all thrown together a blog because the boss said so, or set up a Facebook presence because the folks at *that* campaign did it. The point is, getting the basics together upfront will pay off dearly in spades later on.

Continue reading ‘Girls with Macs conference wrap-up: what have the past few weeks taught?’

Pimp My Non Profit panel at SXSW 2008

Pimp My Non Profit photo

Our panel on Monday night went fabulously, and thanks to all who contributed and made this the most widely attended non-profit panel at SXSW! Special thanks to Ed and Katie for taking a chance on including a newbie like me, and for picking great pimp gear for us to wear, and to Rachel, Agent Handy, and Beth for being an awesome crew to “pimp” with.

Although I still have a lot of blogging to catch up on, the nasty cold/flu that I picked up in Austin is encumbering my efforts a bit. However, I did want to make sure that my notes (see below) and slides were available online in case folks had any follow-up questions (and I am happy to answer those via email too). I promise that write-ups from panels and more formulated thoughts will follow soon (and hopefully before I make it to NTEN next week!). Continue reading ‘Pimp My Non Profit panel at SXSW 2008′

SXSW: I have arrived

It’s actually a small miracle that my 8-hour trek to Austin yesterday didn’t take longer. With the snow that had fallen in Dallas the night before, flights were overbooked (mine by 12 seats!) and the next flight out was at 7:35 pm last night. A few folks (including me) squeezed our way onto the tiny USAIR plane, and made it to Dallas despite awful turbulence and the flight attendant turning the temperature down to 50 degrees, to keep people from vomiting with all the bumps. Actually, cold has been a theme this year of SXSW.

When I arrived in Austin at 3 pm yesterday, the overwhelming thought on everyone’s mind was “man this place wasn’t supposed to be so cold!” But it is. Last night I think the temp went down to 20 degrees - not ideal for a bunch of skinny techies anticipating 70 degree, balmy days. My jean jacket and jeans would have to suffice, and worst case, there’s been chatter of finding a local REI to bulk up on some thermals. Continue reading ‘SXSW: I have arrived’

Promises, promises

What was it I said a few weeks ago about being back in the blogosphere? Yeesh. I didn’t expect to fail so quickly. But one thing I’m sure most of you would agree with is that making the assumption that your workload will lighten up once you launch an enterprise-sized website is foolish, and that if anything, the work has only *just* begun. So that’s where I am - in the midst of post-launch updates and planning for future interactive modules. There’s a lot of fun work down the pike, but for now, we need to make sure the basics are covered and most importantly, that stakeholders are happy with the new site.

All this, and I get to take a few days away from the daily grind to congregate with other geeks at this weekend’s SXSW Interactive festival. I’m stoked to return to this event - a year after I first attended - and this time as a presenter on non-profit technology. I had an amazing time in 2007, but felt there was very limited discussion about NPTECH and how non-profits can leverage the same tools as for-profits, and how big those results could be. I’m speaking with Beth Kanter, Erin Denny, and Rachel Weidinger, on a panel moderated by Ed Schipul, where we hope to impart some wisdom to both non-profits and vendors on how best to kick ass with technology. I’m most excited about the discussion time after the panel as it will be a good pulse check to understand where folks are struggling most and what issues we need to focus on more as an industry.

I’m also eager to meet all the great folks I’ve been networking with for over a year, including my fellow panelists! Last year I attended with a group of colleagues from graduate school and I was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, and fairly lost in the techno-whirr of the festival. There were long lines of folks waiting to chat with geek rockstars - mostly people I had never heard of. There was constant twittering about good and bad panels, the best parties to attend - a veritable smörgåsbord of SMS diarrhea - and I wasn’t quite sure how to take it all in. This year there won’t be an absence of that fire-hose guzzling phenomena, but I’ll have a bit more context to apply, a lot more friendly faces to look for in the crowds, and new technologies and strategies to be inspired by.

I also can’t wait to enjoy a decent enchilada, margarita, and barbecue platter :o).

I hope to continue my blogging from the conference (I am really trying to keep this promise), but please disregard the fact that I’ll be using my work PC. Obviously I’d rather use my Macbook Pro, but toting along my work computer makes the most sense for a number of reasons. The good folks at EchoDitto promised to bring me an Apple sticker to plaster over that hideous Gateway logo, and hopefully, that will keep several of you from thinking I’m a techno-hypnocrite :o). Because I swear I’m not.