My first experience at “South by” in 2008 was remarkable. Aside from the fact that I got engaged, I met so many wonderful people with whom I still keep in contact with today. I learned a great deal of things and took, at minimum, 20 pages worth of notes.
My second experience was nice. The transcendent niceness was, though, overshadowed with problems which arose while trying to haphazardly dodge hoards of people scurrying from one end of the convention center to the other. The adrenaline rush squashed, as harsh as the swatter to a gnat, by the sight of a long lines wrapping around every corner. Exacerbating the line problem was my chronic procrastination. Suffice to say, I was only able to attend a handful of panels and the only one that stuck with me was Ze Frank. I turned to all of the evening festivities to try and compensate for the less-than-spectacular daytime experiences, which was something I assumed everyone was else was trying to do, because lines wrapped around buildings for entry to those events as well. Overall, I was bummed. It was too crowded, too busy, too… too much.
A couple of months ago while hastily skimming the SXSW website, I decided I wanted to go this year. “Maybe it’ll be better this year. Maybe it’ll be less crowded. Maybe that small change in badge pricing will somehow tame the attendance level”. Maybe. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.
Honestly, I can’t quite point out why I want to go this year. I’ve witnessed the debates on Twitter about why people are or aren’t going but it was all very personal. I hope I made the right decision this year. For my own sake, I should probably set my watch 15 minutes forward so I’m ahead of the crowd. If all else fails, I can always count on catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Free booze never hurts either.
On that note, a couple of events you should check out:
Unlike GroupMe and Beluga, these guys were built to party. They can probably throw an awesome one, too.