SXSW Recap

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 8:47 pm | Comments off

South by Southwest – what a ride. As I said in my last post, I was hoping to write a bit each day about what went on, but I was so busy I just couldn't find the time. So, I'll write one big mashup of the events during the conference. I'm not going to talk much about the panels themselves, but rather the other events of the conference, as to me, that is what SXSW is really all about.


I wrote about Saturday's panels already, so I'll just pick up from there. After the panels, I went out for dinner with some of the guys from Bright Corner and a few other people. Next, I went to the frog design opening party, which I got to toward the end, but still had a chance to meet a few people such as Paul Nixon, Khoi Vihn, Ryan Sims, Brad Smith, Andy Budd and others. I had a great time talking with people and meeting a few for the first time. Next, I went to the South by Northwest party for a little while. There were a few people there that I wanted to meet, but ended up leaving early, as it was extremely busy and seriously the party was too loud to talk with anyone.


So on Sunday, I met Shaun Inman in the hall during the panels. I'd like to say, he really is The Wolf - very smart and very talented. I went out for lunch with Shaun, Jeff Croft, Rob Weychert, Ryan Carson and a few others. I think my favorite panel for the day was "Holistic Web Design" by Shaun, Jason, Garret Dimon, and Eris Stassi. I really enjoyed the panels that focused a bit more on design, and this panel was no exception. At night, I went to the Web Awards show, and would like to congratulate Bryan Veloso on his award for best blog design. Well done! Next, I went to the Web Awards after party, where I hung out with Shaun, Rob, Jason Santa Maria, Paul, Greg Storey, Eris, Dan Mall, Joshua Lane and Jeff.


Monday's panels were great. I really enjoyed the "Should Your Blog Have a Business" panel, which had both Inman and Zeldman on it. I also really enjoyed the "Design Eye for the List Guy" panel, by Paul, Keith, Cameron, and Ryan. They did an excellent job with it, redesigning craigslist. After that panel, a bunch of us went out for dinner and then I grabbed a cab with Keith Robinson to head to bowling. Bowling, I would have to say, was the highlight of the trip. I met up with Dan Rubin (keep blogging now, Dan!) for the first time, and spent a good bit of time talking to him. It was nice to meet him and I enjoyed our chat. I bowled one of the better games of my life, and ended up getting the most strikes in 10 frames (5) and getting the highest 10 frame score (179) - sorry to take your money away from you, Steve. ;) Unfortunately my team was eliminated in the second round, but still, I think everyone there had a very good time. Thanks to Bryan Veloso for putting that on for us. Hopefully next year's will be bigger and even better!


Didn't do much today – wasn't too interested in most of the panels, so I got to the conference center late and only attended one panel ("The Next Generation of Web Apps" - which ended up being very good) and said some goodbyes. The flight home was good, and while the conference was great, it's nice to be back.


To me, this conference was definitely more about meeting people than about sitting through panel after panel. I plan to keep in touch a bit better with many of the people I met, and look forward to going back to South by Southwest next year. If you missed it, I'd definitely encourage you to try your best to make it next year – you won't regret it. To everyone I met and hung out with at SXSW, thanks for making it a great trip – we'll keep in touch...

Lastly, my photos from the trip can be found on Flickr. Enjoy!


Patrick Johnson
March 17th, 2006
12:01 AM | #

Sounds fun grr, I had to miss it, im definatly going next year though.

My work made me stay to buy my new mac(wtf!), it couldve waited though. didnt :\

Nathan Smith
March 17th, 2006
12:18 AM | #

Ryan: I had a great time hanging out with you and your bro. After hearing from everyone how you're "the man," I made a point of subscribing to your RSS feed. Hope to see you in Austin again next year!

Nathan Logan
March 17th, 2006
3:09 AM | #

Ryan, as one of the guys influencing Mr. Smith, it was great to meet you and confirm my suspicions. I enjoyed the conversations and look forward to chillin' more in the future. And hey - tell your brother to get a site up.

Bryan Veloso
March 17th, 2006
3:14 AM | #

Dude. You're the bowling king! :D It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope we get the chance to hang out in the future, whether at another conference or at next year's SXSW.

Dan Rubin
March 17th, 2006
8:43 AM | #

Hey Ryan, great to finally meet and talk with you in person, and you definitely kicked everyone's butt at bowling :)

SXSW is now officially my favorite event of the year, and I can't wait for the next one to roll around...

Jeff L
March 18th, 2006
9:43 AM | #

Hey Ryan,

Good to meet you at SXSW and hang out a bit with you and Adam. Look forward to seeing you guys again next year, where team Hit or Miss won't choke in the finals like we did this year.

Paul Nixon
March 20th, 2006
11:44 AM | #

Great kickin' back in Austin with you Ryan! Look forward to hanging out again next year...

March 20th, 2006
10:17 PM | #

Great fun all around. Hopefully we can get a rematch next year and I can stay for the whole thing!

Ryan Brill
March 20th, 2006
10:44 PM | #

Paul - Absolutely. If I would have known how great SXSW was, I would have tried to make it earlier years...

Keith - If you try to leave next year, we'll chain you down! ;)

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