Craig Rowe

Techlead / Developer

17tn March 2009

SXSW - Fifth Day round up

Finally finished my last post on SXSW! took a while (and I kinda tailed off on the later days), but I'm glad I followed through with making notes and writing them up to help solidify thoughts in my mind, if nothing else... Day Five...

Again, it was as if the quality of talks to attend had decreased as the days went on. However we stuck it out for the final day and visited a few talks that weren't necessarily directly related to us but could provide insight or inspiration.

  1. Collabotition: Can Companies Work With Their Competitors?
  2. Online Comic Books: The Future of Graphic Novels?
  3. Who Will Check My Email After I Die?

Collaboration with Competitors

This was a very media/journalism focused talk. Essentially discussing the issues surrounding the vast amount of content out there and how providers are now competing for users time across such a wide space. There was reference to how journalists often link to each other across competitor lines as well as how competitors can work together to make their own lives easier. For example by standardising technical aspects (such as embedding ads in videos on web services), allowing easier entry to client markets.

Online Comic Books: The Future of Graphic Novels?

As if I didn't feel geeky enough being at an interactive conference, I decided to attend a talk about Comic Books...

It's interesting, as they face, very explicitly, the problems of people emulating print on the web. The idea of comic books on the web can be viewed as almost exactly this. It's not surprising then that a lot of the solutions include RIA based page flicking or simple single page images with click to next. However there were some interesting takes on other ways online graphic novels could be done.

Who Will Check My Email After I Die?

My first and only taste of a 'core conversation' whereby the speakers provide an initial introduction and then open up the floor for debate and act as moderators.

There are obvious questions that need to be addressed. Should providers (such as flickr) give over account details to spouses of the recently deceased? or just delete accounts as many do now. In my view you should take care of backing up and archiving your own information. Companies don't last forever and if it is important enough for you to want to pass down through generations you should do so yourself. Especially as there may even be issues in proving ownership of online accounts (they aren't tied to bank accounts or government IDs when being created) and there are ongoing storage/maintenance cost to providers. Which, even though it is getting cheaper, can't go on into infinity.

I didn't make notes as this was an interactive discussion but it was definitely worth attending to allow exploration of ideas and thoughts within a group in a very open way (unlike the panels and talks).

Media Temple party and IHOP pancakes

A long night out ended in breakfast at the IHOP... a seemingly traditional affair 'hosted' by Dustin Diaz before a long walk back to the hotel.


Overall SxSW was a brilliant experience. The talks and panels were plentiful and thought provoking but further than that being surrounded by likeminded people and getting to meet such a variety within the trade was invaluable.

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