I’m in between render sessions, so I thought I’d take some time to put down an unordered list of thoughts.
- My favorite conversation thus far has been with Francine Hardaway. I got most of it on video.
- We didn’t do live video this year. I thought not having four hours a day blocked off my schedule would give me more time to relax and make me more productive. That hasn’t consistently been the case thus far.
- I did, however, do a crap-load of non-live video.
- This is important: I should remember to trust my instincts. I knew that the “Google Circles” announcement was BS. Several very smart folks told me I was wrong, and that it was real. I went ahead and told Kristen to write up the rumor, but I didn’t provide my skeptical comments. As it turns out, everyone continues to have a very, very, very surface-y understanding of Google’s core strategy (only AllThingsD seemed to get the analysis right). There is no Google Circles, and there will likely never be a serious contender for Facebook or Twitter to come out of Google, unless it’s by accident. They aren’t trying to kill their ecosystem like Facebook accidentally does sometimes or Twitter intentionally does constantly – they want to expand their ecosystem in every way possible. The more ecosystem there is, the more web and internet users there are. The more users there are, the more people there are using Google. The only way to grow Google is to grow the usage of the Internet. The sooner most internet pundits understand this, the sooner I’ll likely drop my annoying superiority complex.
- I’ve recorded a lot of interviews. They’ll probably be dripping out long after the festival is over.
- Big Data is an underlying theme, but it isn’t acknowledged by most folks as a real world.
- I’m pretty frustrated with the social media track. A lot of what’s discussed there is elementary school stuff when the rest of the industry has moved on to graduate school. We shouldn’t be rehashing the same topics for four years in a row when so much more is going on.
- This is important: There is no breakout “Twitter” for this year’s SxSWi. It’s not group messaging, it’s not location, and it’s not even Big Data (even though that would be nice for SiliconANGLE, editorially). Some folks may claim there is, but there isn’t. It’s a distribution year, not an innovation year. APIs, Big Data, Social, and Mobile are all sharing the spotlight equally.
- Most folks agree that Christopher “moot” Poole is the best keynote SxSWi has had in a long time. Pretty much the only folks I’ve found who disagree with him are Jesse Stay and Mark Zuckerberg (and anyone who works for either of those folks).
- I know it’s probably bad form to give shout-outs to PR companies, but once again, Josh Dilworth and his co-workers are the stars of the tech scene at SxSW. Amazing clientele and amazing organization amidst the chaos. No disclosure necessary, other than I’ve known Josh since his days at Porter Novelli (and my days at Mashable), and he’s always been a cool guy and a rising star. Special thanks to Kevin and Doug for being my “production assistants,” too.
- This is important: It isn’t clear to me exactly how prominent a role the algorithm will play in the newsroom, but this much is clear after close to 20 interviews of startups in: computer aided curation is hear to stay.
- I didn’t realize until today that Trulia, a company I’ve interviewed many times, is actually a Finish startup.
- Despite having worked at Nokia over 10 years ago, I haven’t, until today, gotten anyone from Nokia to go on the record with me. This includes my former Nokia co-workers. Yes, you know who you are, Michael. :-p
- I continue to be impressed by Wolfram Alpha.
That’s all I have for now. Going to copy some video files and get some sleep.