Even for the initiated, getting ready for South by Southwest Interactive can be overwhelming. But for the uninitiated, preparing for a first trip to the annual technology festival in Austin is downright daunting.
Five days in Austin, more than 800 sessions — many running simultaneously — to choose from. Do we want do get High on Hashtags or witness A Virtual Conversation with Julian Assange? Can we get from the AT&T Conference Center to the Austin Convention Center in 15 minutes? Who’s got a PhD in logistics?
Not that we are complaining about the chance to join the SXSWi extravaganza, which starts Friday and runs through next Tuesday. It is, after all, “tech’s premier celebration of itself,” as Taylor Hatmaker wrote in an excellent how to survive Southby post this week.
Don’t get us wrong, we do like to celebrate. And eat tacos. And network with the smartest people in hundreds of convention rooms.
But we are heading to Texas to work, and so we’ve been spending the last few days scouring the Southby interactive event schedule for interesting story ideas and events to share with our Marketing Land and Search Engine Land readers.
A few pop immediately. We’ll be sure to report from the session featuring Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, who with Schmidt co-authored “The New Digital Age.” They will be discussing issues they raise in the book, including: “how will technology change privacy and security, war and intervention, diplomacy, revolution and terrorism? How will technology improve our lives? What new disruptions can we expect?”
We also plan to catch up with another tech futurist, John Battelle, who on Sunday will sit for a conversation with Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Android, Chrome and apps. Battelle, an entrepreneur, author and journalist who runs Searchblog, is best known for his founding work on media properties, including the Industry Standard and TheStandard.com and Wired. He and Pichai will discuss what to expect next from mobile devices and the operating systems that power them.
On Tuesday, you can expect us to cover the appearance by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. Stone, now focusing on a new startup, Jelly, an image-based Q&A app, and Steven Johnson, author and now host of PBS’ ‘How We Got To Now,’ will talk about “our connected society, the science and nature of collaborative networks, creativity, and how great ideas are born into existence.”
In between, you can expect us — the Marketing Land/Search Engine Land SXSWi coverage team, Pamela Parker, Elisabeth Osmeloski and I — to spread out across Austin and share anything noteworthy we find. Watch this space or follow us on Twitter (@MartinBeck, @PamelaParker, @ElisabethOs) for even more details. If you are in Austin, ping us and we’ll try to meet you in person.
I will also be appearing in an (unofficial) panel discussion about Privacy and Personalization hosted by Gigya at 4 p.m. Sunday. The panel, Venture Beat editor Dylan Tweney, Turner Sports VP of Emerging Media Peter Scott, and Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer, will examine trends in privacy and personalization and discuss how brands can strike a balance that creates better user experiences and fosters consumer privacy.
Here are links to some other sessions that caught our eye, and we ambitiously (naively?) will try to make:
OMMA: Should Brands Be Part of the Real-Time Convo?, 11 a.m. @ AT&T Conference Center
Building Relationships Through Real-Time Relevance, 11 a.m. @ the Wanderlust
MMA: What Do Marketers Want from Mobile?, 12:30 p.m. @ AT&T
OMMA: Do Brands Fit in with Wearable Computing?, 2 p.m. @ AT&T
What Your Social Media Analytics Can’t Tell You, 3:30 p.m. @ Sheraton Austin Capitol
The Secret Sauce Of Real-Time Storytelling, 3:30 p.m. @ Austin Convention Center
OMMA: Instagram vs. Vine: Real World Smackdown, 4:30 p.m. @ AT&T
OMMA: The Best Mobile Ad Campaigns You Haven’t Seen, 5 p.m. @ AT&T
From Every Screen to No-Screen: Next Gen Responsive, 11 a.m. @ Austin Convention Center:
A Conversation with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, 2 p.m. @ Austin Convention Center:
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon: A Social Phenomenon Turns 20, 3:30 p.m.. @ Austin Convention Center
Inside Late Night with Seth Meyers, 3:30 p.m. @ Austin Convention Center
High on Hashtags, 11 a.m. @ Sheraton Austin Capitol View South
The Art of the Facebook Call Out, 4 p.m. @ Austin Convention Center Ballroom F
Keeping Score in Social: It’s More than Likes, 5:15 p.m. @Austin Convention Center Ballroom F
Building a Community Without Memes, Porn, Cat Pics, 5:45 p.m. @ Austin Convention Center Ballroom F
The Science of Predicting Earned Media, 12:30 p.m. @ Sheraton Austin Capitol
Sharknado & Twitter: The Perfect Social Storm, 12:30 p.m. @ Radisson Town Lake Riverside Ballroom
Content Shock: The Future of Social Media, 9:30 a.m. @ Radisson Town Lake Riverside Ballroom
Reddit: You’re Doing It Wrong, 9:30 a.m., @ Hilton Austin Downtown Salon
A Virtual Conversation with Edward Snowden, 11 a.m. @ Austin Convention Center
A Virtual Conversation with Glenn Greenwald, 3:30 p.m. @ Austin Convention Center
Faster than Real-Time: Predictive Marketing, 11 a.m. @ Hilton Austin Downtown Salon E
SXSW Interview: Neil Young, 5 p.m. @ Austin Convention Center
Modern Seinfeld & Our Social Society: More Than Just Yada Yada Yada, 5:45 p.m. @ Austin Convention Center Next Stage