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I’ll be attending SXSWi in Austin, Texas again. My panel was not picked, but emotion aside all that means is that I’ll have to pay $blah or so for a ticket. So I’m definitely still going to go – it’s just well, you know, too lovely and awesome not to.
Last year we flew over a few days before and had some holiday time hanging out and getting acclimatimed and then flew back the day after interactive closed.
This time I want to take it a bit more gently. Here are the bare bones of the evil plan, which I’d prefer to do with a gang of tuttle-istas if we can find ways of funding it:
1. Find the shortest flight to North America possible (does that mean least-polluting? I don’t know but that seems like a good aim to bear in mind) and fly at least a week before SXSWi opens ie arrive March 5th at the latest.
2. Devise a series of train journeys from wherever I land, down to Austin, preferably going via New Orleans to visit that good friend of Tuttle, Mr Taylor Davidson and see how his Crescent City adventure is panning out. Yes, you read that right, train journeys. I understand that the US train system is not quite as beautiful or efficient as its European sisters. However, train travel rocks, it just does.
3. At stopping places throughout the journey hold Human-scale Conversation sessions with local people talking about differences between US and British culture – not trying to solve anything particularly, just getting the subject out on the table and seeing what comes of it. There will be heavy-duty social reporting of these conversations. Note that the format has been refined since July with some extra flourishes – this is how I introduced something like it at the Tuttle/Counterpoint event in December.
4. Once in Austin, continue to hold Human-scale Conversation sessions on the same subject and present #kebab-style what we heard, found, learned, saw along the way.
5. Make our way back to the east coast overland again, putting together a documentary film from the footage shot during the first part of the trip, so that we have something ready to show when we get back to London.
Howzat grab ya?
Here’s 8 ways you can help (and I’m sure you’ll come up with more)
1. Tell me how you’d improve on the plans and make them even more exciting.
2. Tell me why this is oh so very wrong-headed, misguided and stupid (I won’t listen very much, but I’d rather ask you for this than you just provide it out of the blue!).
3. Help me work out rough costings for each variation.
4. Provide money (just loads of it, regardless of the costs!)
5. Suggest routes and interesting stopover points, tell me why you think it’s interesting.
6. Volunteer to tag along and tell me how we’d pay for that.
7. Find other supporters with more money than time who’d like to see this happen.
8. Introduce me to sponsors who might provide help in terms of cash, food, shelter, transport as well as social reporting equipment.
UPDATE (18/01/10): The planning for this trip is now going on over here Come see!
1. This is America, we’re really in America not just a strange city in England that I’ve never been to before. And America and Americans really are different from us.
2. I am too much of a mimic, I nearly said “y’all” non-ironically and last night at dinner I asked for the “check”
3. You can choose to be seen or not seen here, since the convention centre is so huge – you can hide – or you can easily sit on one of the thoroughfares and someone interesting will walk past.
4. More than ever we (I) can’t get away with trying to sell premium stuff at the cutting edge. What people want right now, especially is how social media can help people get stuff done, even more so when the stuff you’re getting done is selling.
5. It’s cold here, it was supposed to get a bit warmer, but my weather widget still says 45 degrees.
6. We saw a bat on it’s own circling a lampost near 6th Street. We haven’t seen the bats properly since Tuesday night, I think it might be too cold for them.
7. I had a full-size American meal last night and I found it difficult to walk back to the hotel unaided. I then slept particularly well.
8. It’s the complementary stuff that really works. I wrote yesterday: ” Our experience has been that the most powerful uses of the social web have come where the technology has been used to complement and enrich existing face to face engagements. ” and incidentally where real-life stuff has been layered onto the technology plays.
9. I’m now in my first panel and treating it like a podcast or radio, it’s kind of on in the background, occasionally my ears will prick up but mostly I’m just letting it wash over me.