In March, my life revolves around South by Southwest Interactive. Last year was the first time in many years that I threw myself whole-hog into the festival for my newspaper and this year, we went for it again with more staff devoted to the event, more videos planned and most space in the paper devoted to the fest.
I was so crazy-busy for five days, from Friday the 13th (ominous!) to the 17th that I had no time to post links to anything here, since everything was going on Digital Savant or on the NPR site.
Writing, shooting video, posting to Twitter... it was all I did for that whole week and now I can't even remember all the things I wanted to share with you here.
It's probably too much for one post, so I'll just post the first things now and continue the rest later.
My crazy week included getting my car towed, two parking tickets (my biggest SXSWi gripe: parking, no doubt), staying up very late, staying at my sister-in-law's boyfriend's very swanky downtown apartment on one of my late nights, meeting and interviewing Felicia Day from Dr. Horrible and The Guild (she was a complete delight) and trying to create drama with popular blogger Robert Scoble (it didn't work).
I also gave a grown man a hug and posted the video online.
Here are the first few bits and I'll continue the rest in another post tomorrow:
First, I did a couple of big previews of the fest. They are largely irrelevant now, but still. I post for posterity. The first was a set of lists and info about the festival itself, including top tech spots in Austin to visit and where to get good Wi-Fi in town. (It turns out you needed Wi-Fi because AT&T's network left a bunch of iPhone users digital stranded.) I also did a story collecting four festivalgoers and their SXSWi schedules. It was a lot of work, including photos and four videos and I collected those materials here..
I also did a preview of a keynote with Guy Kawasaki and Wired editor Chris Anderson that ran in last Sunday's paper.
My NPR segment that Monday was about the festival and maybe because I was so exhausted, but also because I knew so much about the fest, it came off as one of the better segments, I think. I didn't mean to actually say on the air that I was punchdrunk, but I was, and I think it sounded more natural and relaxed than usual. Yay, exhaustion.
Here's that hug I mentioned. I harassed poor Loren Feldman on Twitter for days telling him I was going to give him a hug when I saw him. He was not thrilled. In fact, he said something to the effect that he was going to kick my fucking face if I hugged him.
But I wore him down because that's what I do. Just ask my wife. He kept asking why I wanted to give him a hug -- was I crazy? Was it a gay thing? No, I just always had the sense that we two straight men were destined to one day hug. I'm usually not wrong about these things -- I intuit them well. I was later rewarded when we chatted and Loren said that I give off "A sweet vibe." That is why I give the hugs.