Sunday, March 12, 2006

South By and On

Two days into the conference and I can honestly say that many of the greatest minds here will play a role in changing the digital landscape of our future. And, since that digital landscape is becoming more and more linked to our physical landscape, these folks will indirectly play a role in how we all live our lives (and children's lives) down the road.

SXSW Interactive is the geek extension to the long-running SXSW Music and Movies Conference in Austin, TX. Basically, its an excuse for all the part-time bloggers, filmakers, developers, designers, programmers and (recently) industry reps from IBM, Dell and Apple (Apple sent the most) to come together and meet, talk to, share stories and shake hands with their web heroes. My buddy Stan Jones is a talented designer who got to meet Jeffrey Zeldman, a designer who changed the way everyone at this conference thinks about web design through his book Designing With Web Standards. I was able to hear Jason Kottke and meet other bloggers of community fame.

But what really stands out at an event like this is how much already in motion everyone is. I don't think the number of individuals here who are "blown away" by the content being discussed and introduced any more than other web conferences I've been to. In fact, I think most folks here know already much of the content being thrown around and talked about. So, does this mean that all of us techies are on the same page when it comes to web development? Maybe this community of interactive folks is more tight knit than we had previously estimated, and we're really only separated by 1 or 2 degrees?

Regardless, these conferences are necessary and an integral part of the community. Why are they necessary when we can be connected with audio, video, intstant messenger, cell phone, and text message? Because nothing can replace the human experience of meeting someone, shaking their hand and sitting down over a morning coffee to discuss a project that at the same time baffles and astounds you. And we're bound to have that here. The creativity is being scraped off the walls like butter and slathered over all who are willing to soak it in.

Gotta love Austin.


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