SXSW 2008: Farewell address edition


My time at SXSW drew to a close Wednesday morning. Waiting at the Houston airport, I penned this little farewell address. Nothing too strenuous, you know me.


Goodbye, SXSW.

After a solid two hours of sleep, I hopped in a cab this morning and began the painfully long process of getting home. I’m in Houston right now, watching CNN’s wall-to-wall coverage of Client 9, which is my new favorite phrase. (That and Client 10, but that’s a joke for about five people.) And, yes, my flight from Houston to New York has been delayed. I don’t think I’m flying ever again.

Back to the matter at hand, SXSW. I can honestly say that the show was lots of fun. Got a bunch of new contacts from folks hawking things you guys may be interested in; I’ll ping them if I ever get home. I do mean “fun” because, for all its glitz and perceived glamor, CES rots compared to SXSW. I understand they’re different shows with different goals aimed at different people, but SXSW has that hard-to-define “fun” vibe to it. If someway, somehow you’re able to attend, you’re in for a good ride.

What most surprised me at the show is that so many people are considered celebrities in this crazy little tech bubble we’re in. When I bumped into Kevin Rose at the Digg party last night (nice alt-rock soundtrack there, by the way), the high schooler in me (who watched TechTV like it was my job) wanted to freak out; cold, cynical 22-year-old me didn’t care so much. But it’s like when people come up to you like, “Oh, wow, you’re Nicholas Deleon? Man, I read your stuff, keep it up” it completely depresses me. Really, people read this? Really? And read close enough to notice my name and then recall it at a New Web 2.0 Service party while killing a Heineken? I don’t know, I just think men should be famous, or something close to it, for curing a disease or solving a legitimate problem, not because they write about this year’s speed-bumped MacBook or Twitter their every muscle contraction. (Not that I didn’t sign up for Twitter the next day—follow me!)

Truthfully, there wasn’t too much hard news at the show, particularly stuff we aim to cover here. Lots of new hot Web 2.0 Services that’ll change the way you change your ways, that sort of thing; I can’t see many of them lasting too long. Dog eat dog.

SXSW is one big opportunity to network and drink domestic beer. That photo up there just about sums it up. Fine by me.

The biggest story out of the show undoubtably was the Zuckerberg interview. (Though my little group there know what story I was most interested at the show. Did it ruin my SXSW or make it all the more fun? Who knows.) It’s a shame that Zuckerberg wasn’t allowed to say anything of note, or lead to say anything of note. History’s loss, I suppose.

Oh, and at one point the show’s IT guys entered the press room, inquiring about the shoddy Wi-Fi service—maybe my post had something to do with that? (Um, yeah, probably not.)

Well worth the hassle it was to get out there. Still waiting for my panel’s podcast to show up…

SXSW Interactive [SXSW]