The Internet killed the last major conference I attended. Each November, eager young nerds would travel to Vegas for Comdex to hear the latest and greatest from the then-bigger hitters. My personal embarassing high point was watching Bill Gates demonstrate the WYSIWYG version of Microsoft Word that, wait for it, did columns.
THEY GET IT! THEY FINALLY GET IT! USABLE WELL DESIGNED SOFTWARE.
I was young.
Comdex did not die because we lacked cool in NerdTech. It died because it was a software show and, with the advent of the Internet, bits have become extremely easy to ship hither and fro. Why wait until November when there is an established distribution medium to get your bits in front of everyone?
The Comdex folks tried until 2003 to hold it together, but, in the end, many of the major participants just went to the somewhat-more-Internet-proof Consumer Electronics Show. This is why you see Larry Page, a software guy, awkwardly nerding his way through the CES keynote… it’s the only major NerdTech show around.
This morning I’m traveling to South by SouthWest which, as revealed by eighteen seconds of Wikipedia research, is a music festival. There are eight thousand folks who are headed to Austin, Texas to whoop it up at one of the biggest music festivals in the United States.
And me. The nerd.
Like CES sucked in the software folks, SXSW has sucked in both the movie folks and the nerds except they call it Interactive and Film. For each music attendee at SXSW, there are .375 Interactive and Film attendees which means there’s a good chance there will be a mosh pit at my panel.
Rands In Repose will go through a brief transformation over the next five days in that it might actually resemble a weblog.
The working plan…
11:00a: Flight from San Jose to Austin — Arrive @ 5p
6:00p: Car Rental + Hotel Shennanigans, Dinner w/ Friends
10:00p: Local Bar Recon w/ DF
9:00a: Sign-in, Coffee Acquisition
10:00a: Traditional Design and New Technology
11:00a: Daniel Gilbert Presentation: How To Do Precisely the Right Thing at All Possible Times
2:00p: Jim Coudal / Jason Fried Opening Remarks
3:30p: How to Increase Creativity at Work
4:00p: Panel pre-game @ Austin Hotel Lobby Bar
6:00p: Dinner w/ the Divorcee
10:00p: RANDS IT’S A MUSIC FESTIVAL HELLO
8:00a: Throw up
9:00a: Hit the Green Room
10:00a: Sink or Swim Rands Panel
11:30a: Decompression Hooch
2:00p: Keynote Conversation: Heather Armstrong / Jason Kottke
3:30p: Running your New Media Business
5:00p: Holistic Web Design: Finding the Creative Balance in Multi-Disciplined Teams
6:00p: The Cabel, Rands, DF Trio Play the Hits
8:00a: Finally Exercise
10:00a: Cluetrain: Seven Years Later
11:30a: Does your Blog have a Business?
2:00a: More Drinks Required Here
3:00p: Peter Morville Presentation: Ambient Findability
5:00p: How to Blog for Money by Learning From Comics
6:00p: Final Optional Booze Session