Friday, March 19, 1999

Publisher's Note ~ Southwest Serenade

This week was a lovely break from NY as I traveled down to Austin, TX for the South By SouthWest Conference. Twelve single-spaced typed pages were not what I thought would endear me to my readers, so I have included an outline, some snippets and "teasers" to whet your appetite, and for you to link to.

I hope you enjoy learning about some of the fascinating people I met, ideas I heard, and attributes about this quite wired town, as I did while there.

Don't forget, if you're interested subscribing or advertising (cause it’s a great way to join my club and get in front of a savvy audience), then please drop me an e-mail!

A conference that discusses convergence is one thing,
but a conference that IS convergence is another. This
buzzword has been flying around the industry for a while
and Austin, TX's South By Southwest Conference (SXSW)
'99 was a real world manifestation of the future direction of
the Internet.

"Learn, Work, Play." These were the words of Lloyd Walker,
director of business development, Human Code that he gave
during his presentations at the conference over two days. I
feel they best sum up the experience of Austin's SXSW, which
focused on and highlighted the convergence relationship between
industries. This tri-part, eleven day "orgy" (conference) from March
10th through 21st has two "mini" sections for film and interactive
and then a bigger, longer music extravaganza. If you can imagine
every bar in town hosting one band each hour for a week, and with
all the top rock label reps, agents and musicians in town, this place
rocks! Not to mention the Tex-Mex food is divine!

But before the music show takes stage, the first two acts have quite
a draw themselves. "Film" draws at least 2200 registered attendees
and "Interactive" over 2000. Foot traffic for the exhibition will climb
over last year's number of 10,000. Charlotte Franklin, PR consultant
for SXSW said traffic and attendance have steadily risen since '94
when, Film and Interactive started, by one third and she expects that
number to get higher. The music segment, which has been in existence
for thirteen years, and is the main show for Austin, draws over 6000
people. Even the rodeo, an event you might typically associate with
a Texan town, which was going on at the other end of town, doesn't
draw as many people.

Personally, I was anglin' to escape the Technology Frontier track and
head over to hear the Whistling Contest or see Randall's Racing Pigs,
maybe check out the Cow Chip Toss or participate in the Animal Imitation
Contest. I can make a mean Moo! Well, anyway…