Computers Are Heavy, and Other Reasons I Haven’t Blogged

I’m a bit of a blog failure this SXSW, but it isn’t just because my computer is so heavy and walking around with it for hours is the worst (although it is also that). I’m dealing with something I’m going to call a Top Chef Conundrum. You know on Top Chef when the chefs crumble because they can literally do anything? That’s where I am.

I’ve been to lots of really great panels (and, to be fair, some really bad ones) and seen some really great films and comedy so far, but I can’t quite narrow down on what to relay to you, dear Surrogate Reader. Do I talk about how social TV is really helping Top Chef engage their viewers? Do I get a little meta and talk about the composition of what makes part of this conference good instead of the actual content involved? Do I talk about how big the festival has gotten in the past five years and question its ability to contain it?

I can do any of those things. And I likely will, at some point. When the festival winds down, stay tuned for a full retrospective from me covering all 10 days of madness. For now, here are three things I’ve learned in the past five days:

1) Have a back-up plan to your back-up plan.

I don’t know what it was about this year, but getting to things was a comedy of errors of sorts. Everything always seemed to go wrong to inhibit me from getting where I was going. I missed panels I really wanted to see and I saw panels that I didn’t really want to. I still caught lots of great things, but not without a bit of stress.

2) Jimmy Fallon is the perfect panel moderator.

I caught the Digital Sport panel put on by Nike+ that Jimmy moderated and it was great. He was interested enough in the content to keep the conversation moving in a fun, engaging way, but not so much that he bogarted the panel. It was a lot of fun.

3) Don’t just put your show online.

I think we all could’ve filled in the blanks on that one, but both Top Chef and No Reservations have seen really great success in not only views but actual fan engagement online, all because they produced content specifically for the web experience.

That’s all for now. Head over here to follow my tweets through SXSW Music, and I’ll see you on the other side.




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