If you have been following my tweets, you know I ran around Austin for SXSW Interactive last week. And if you don’t follow me, you might have noticed a disturbance in the Force – as in, an overload on the internet of all things geeky during that special week of March when lots of technodweebs don’t sleep much, attend panels, attend parties, and see what the next trends for social media will be.
I will tell you one thing, if I never hear the words Chatroulette ever again I will be happy. Have you heard of this site? Basically random people pop up for your video chatting pleasure. I have only looked once, and the proliferation of male, um, stuff, was enough for me to block the site on our home network so hard that hopefully my son will never, ever even know what what the heck I am talking about right now. (Yes, that is a warning to you other parents.)
In all seriousness, the real take-home from Austin is this: LOCATION MATTERS. Brightkite (our Denver brethren), Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl and several upcoming others are earning their place in social media standing. Finding others is important, and these sites make it easier to do it. SXSW was a perfect example of location-based networking done right. Many, many, many times people checked in and found each other via these apps. When, otherwise, they might have never even ran into each other though the crowds – considering that Interactive badges outside the Music Festival this year. (NOT KIDDING.)
Of course, there is always the Dark Side of location. I have talked about this many times – but in a nutshell – think about what you are doing. Don’t check in at home, at your kid’s school, your church, when you are alone or any place you *don’t* want people to find you. Simple.
So. What is SXSW *really* like?
Well. I have a video to show you. In 2 and a half minutes, you will get the picture.
And no. I did NOT sleep for 5 days straight.