Tag Archives: sxswuk

Walkin’ in Austin

From the earlier part of the week before the festival started and definitely before the sun came out. Our experience was that walking anywhere more than a couple of blocks marked you out as either a tourist or poor. Or like us, poor tourists.

This happened to me a couple of years ago too when I went to Barcelona and it felt more like Bangor. We seem to have brought the sunshine back with us from Texas, but not the temperature, I think it’s still up in the seventies there.

more random notes from Austin

#kebab was interesting in what it brought out in people when they were given the opportunity to run something themselves. It certainly showed the appetite, particularly among the British contingent to do something different – the only problem was that everyone wanted a different sort of different. It also showed up the difference between UK & US cultures – one I want to explore more, I think there’s something to do to try and build bridges.

The Texas Tuttle went well on Sunday , lots of people packed onto the stand and I got to meet some new people plus Justin Souter who I’d only chatted to on the phone before. Big thanks to Sam and Emily for making us so welcome and arranging the catering. Which reminds me that I need to give a special Tuttle merit badge to Dougald for courage in the face of US customs, risking a full body search by entering the States with PG Tips in his luggage.

The regional whuffie panel put an interesting perspective on coworking and social capital building as a means to raise the social capital of a city or location as well as to that of individuals. junto.org looks an interesting event. Tony Bacigalupo put together this list of links to all the people on the panel and their various activities and endeavours. I came out able to say the word whuffie without dying of embarrassment. The single most important thing I’ve got from attending SXSWi has been the inspiration and motivation to pick up the coworking element of Tuttle again and make sure that we’ve got something to talk about with these folks, this time next year.

Random notes from Austin

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.