Posts Tagged: ‘Austin’

I’m pretty certain that in a past life I must have been a musician. I’m not sure what kind — or if I was even successful. But given the amount of time in this life I’ve spent listening to music and going to concerts, there must be the soul of a musician trapped inside me desperately trying to escape. And knowing that after years of piano lessons, I can still play only one song — and not that well — I can see why the poor soul is frantic to flee.

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It is getting to be that time of year, when the creatives roll into Austin, TX., and pretty much take over downtown for a few weeks during South by Southwest. Chuck and I are doing our part with a two-day stand, one an official SXSW event even.

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Monday’s TechStuff episode was all about South by Southwest (or SXSW), an enormous, chaotic and amazing conference that the city of Austin hosts each year. The conference’s original focus was on music. Austin is known as a live music town and has an abundance of bars, restaurants and clubs with dedicated stages for music acts. It was a natural fit for Austin to host a week-long music event. Since 1987, bands from around the world have converged on Austin to play music, hang out with fans and eat their weight in BBQ. And as waistlines have grown, so too has the conference.

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Last weekend, I flew out to Austin, Texas to hang out at South by Southwest (aka SXSW). I had a great guide help me out: Brian Brushwood, extreme magician and tech guru. One of the many things Brian had on his schedule was to cover the opening of a special Apple store in downtown Austin for the debut of the iPad 2. Austin has two Apple retail stores already but neither are close to the action at South by Southwest. Apple decided to convert some retail space into a temporary Apple store to cater to the hardcore SXSW base. It paid off.

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Right about now, nerds, hipsters, tech journalists, Internet celebrities and the Twitterati are stirring in their beds in hotels across Austin. They’ll be shaking off the hangovers and fuzzy memories generated from a night of partying after the first day of South by Southwest Interactive, or SXSWi. The conference is all about sharing ideas about the state of the Technology industry in general and the World Wide Web in particular.

So what are the big topics discussed so far? I thought the best way to find out would be to look at a few of the panel discussions held yesterday coupled with a sample of Twitter messages sent out by people attending the conference. And away we go!

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