It has been almost a year since geolocation services like Fourspare and Gowalla came into the iPhones of nerds (myself included) that made the annual pilgrimage to Austin Texas for South by Southwest Interactive. The Austin based Gowalla had a significant marketing presence at last year’s conference while Foursquare was stronger out of the gate, being the must have app for SXSWers looking for the hot parties and the who’s who’s of the tech world each night and filling out their badge sashes with the all-night benders that are a SXSW staple. Gowalla picked up steam throughout last year, and now many people (myself and most of my friends) use both apps whenever they remember to check-in somewhere.
It’s been almost a week since I left the awesomeness that is SXSW Interactive. In that time I have been trying to put together my plan and get focused on what are going to be the one or two projects that I tackle and and get off my ass and make a real effort in making something happen. This was my first year going to SXSW and for me on of the highlights was Gary Vaynerchuk’s keynote session. I’m getting on the Hustle 2.0 bandwagon and Gary’s session was really inspiring and game changing. It’s great to see someone that really gets it and wants to genuinely help others in the space. Embedded is the session, the video isn’t great but just hearing it gives you a real sense of the energy of the room.
With Macworld and CES going on this week, I’ve been looking forward to this year’s SXSW. This will be my first SXSW and I’m really looking forward to getting to see some of the panels and all the going ons at SXSW. Last year a lot of new media and social networking start-ups have been hit hard and even the big technology blue chips like Microsoft have had to announce layoffs. This brings me to my point. In these troubled times (take a drink) companies that normally throw huge parties during south by southwest are expected to drastically cut their budgets or not throw parties at all. This, I find to be very sad. At a time when people throughout the tech sector face layoffs, we need free beer. It will be a true travesty of epic proportions that any nerd find themselves walking down sixth street sober. Without the social lubricating elixir of free beer and an open bar, the code monkeys of the world will curl up in their shells like a armadillo along side a dusty country road. I urge tech compaines to keep the beer flowing, if not for us but for the future of the web.
Here’s the quickly thrown together video I made of some of the cools things at Makerfaire. Quality isn’t that great and I shoot it on a Flip Ultra. Nonetheless enjoy.
This weekend is the second annual Makerfaire Austin at the Travis county fair grounds. I went last year and really liked seeing everything and whole community of Makers there. This years Makerfaire in Austin promises to be even bigger and better than last year. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the robogames competition and the eppy birds. Last year I spent most of the day walking around and visiting booths, but this year I want to go to some of the sessions.