If you're not familiar with the annual mass geekery that is South by South West Interactive or SXSWi to its friends, you may be more familiar its big brother, the huge music festival which takes over Austin, Texas. Think Glastonbury without the mud, much better accommodation and plentiful Tex-Mex and BBQ.
There's a growing British presence at the festival and the BBC now covers the music side of things in-depth on telly and radio. The digital side of things has been something of an pilgrimage for the Brits in the know, but the last couple of years have seen it go much more mainstream.
You could call it an underground festival-cum-conference, but with something like 10,000 delegates to the interactive conference alone, that's not really doing it justice. Each year, the organiser's of SXSWi invite panel submissions, which are then voted on by the public. It's one of the more democratic conference organisations, although there's still an advisory board and their in-house experts who have a big say in what happens.
This year, I've had a hand in putting forward three possible panels/sessions, and begging your indulgence, if you fancy adding your vote for any of the panels, it'd be much appreciated. You have to register, but it's dead simple.
Web 2.0 Too Much Or Not Enough?
Five years ago Tim Oâ€™Reilly coined Web 2.0. Unquestionable innovation and the dramatic changes in online behaviour, but whatâ€™s the economic truth? A damp squib with the same players dominating or are the true changes still to come? And Web 3.0? A meaningful iteration or academic navel gazing?
My Ten Biggest Blunders: Adventures in Business
Midnight RAM raids, bailiff stand-offs, disappearing developers, spreadsheet snafus and cleaning-lady server outages. All real-life horrors from web veteran, Sam Michel. Join him on this humorous journey on the road to catharsis. Feel his pain, learn from his mistakes and indulge in some entrepreneurial group therapy.
The Dark Side of Social Media
Despite the hype there are downsides to social media - virtual problems are invading our real lives, or is it vice versa? Identity theft, scurrilous accusations, scams, stalking and bullying. Social media where open debate prevails has a dark side. What can be done about it?
There's also a much longer listing of all the panels from British digital companies that I wrote up on my official work blog at Chinwag, including a few choice cuts that piqued my sleepy interest as I was trolling through the list of 1,300 in the early hours of the morning!