Once again, the crappy laptop has been rendering video day and night. I swear, I’m going to buy an Alienware laptop or something (I was going to talk to Alienware down at Screenburn – but the only booth with their signage on it was abandoned every time I came around).
At any rate, this laptop is slow, old, and taking forever, so I’m pausing between render cycles to tap out a few more list items here, since a few folks thought they were at least as entertaining as watching Valley residents get drunk in Austin the last time I posted them.
- I haven’t attended a single party since I’ve been here. This is mostly because I brought my family with me, and I feel a bit guilty partying with everyone when my wife is holed up in my sister’s apartment down here with all the kids.
- I did have sushi in town tonight, though. I didn’t feel guilty about that since my wife hates seafood, and my kids rarely want to eat anything but Mac and Cheese and pizza.
- The more people I run my “distribution year theory” past, the more people I hear agree with me. Or if they disagree with me, they’re nice enough not to do so to my face, which I certainly appreciate.
- They wouldn’t say anything on the record, but between the facial tics and the wink wink nudge nudging I got from the Canon reps on the trade show floor, there’s very little chance we’ll see a Canon 5D Mark 3 any time soon.
- Azure isn’t being pimped by Microsoft this year. Like, at all. Some folks who say they have the inside track at Microsoft believe that Azure is still a “high priority,” but are completely befuddled by the fact that they refuse to talk it up.
- I’d like to re-iterate my displeasure with a lot of the social track this year. That said, I’ve heard some pretty cool things that have been shoe-horned in to the social track that sounded a lot more like psychology, sociology, and data science. It’s too bad they were parenthesized by a lot of remedial social media.
- I talked to an app developer this evening, speaking of Azure, who said that his iPhone app runs on Azure technology, and his monthly bill for servers is less than his electric bill. It’s not an unpopular app, either. That said, he lives in the Valley, where the temperature never changes.
- Despite the fact that I theoretically shouldn’t feel guilty for not meeting everyone I’m connected to via a social network, there’s a lingering sense of guilt for not spending time with a lot of really cool folks. I’d name all the folks I wish I spent more time with here, but if I did, I’d probably leave someone out, and restart a brand new twinge of guilt cycle.
- I’d like to preemptively rebut anyone that says SxSW sucks right here and now. I enjoyed this year, and although it’s not a perfect conference, it’s still damn fun and educational.
- Hashable is the closest thing to this year’s Twitter as we’re going to get. It’s not really a runaway hit like, say, Foursquare, Gowalla or Twitter. It is still something that’s pretty fun to play with, and with a few tweaks could turn out to be fairly useful. I’ll be keeping an eye on them.
- Caroline McCarthy, I think, completely avoided the bloggers lounge and the press room, as well as most of the hallways in those areas. She tried to make the case that no one at SxSW had a laptop, and even quoted some joker named Andrew Mager, who said “It’s almost rude to have a computer here.” Looking in on any place where content producers congregate, and it’s a sea of machines with keyboards attached.
- Francine Hardaway didn’t bring her laptop, because she says she’s learned how to blog on her iPad, when I talked to her on Sunday. I believe her – but she readily admitted that blogging isn’t her bread and butter. Serious work requires serious tools – or at least really cool tools. Louis Gray came to town with a Samsung Android phone, Galaxy Tab and Google CR-48. He told me that the battery life on the CR-48 was what made it an easy choice (although he does feel weird sans Apple products).
- Louis Gray also said that he enjoys typing on a Windows 7 Phone more than any mobile phone. That really doesn’t have much to do with SxSW, but it makes me chuckle, so I thought I’d include it.
- Even though it didn’t get a lot of press, the health technology track at SxSW got a lot of accolades from folks I talked to. Perhaps in three or five years, we can look forward to less draconian circumstances around our health system that’ll allow technology to make our lives easier in that world. That could be just the contact high talking (Keep Austin Weird).
- This is important: A lot of the luxurious niceties modern technology affords and SxSW proudly trumpets are made possible by plentiful broadband, both wired and unwired. As Steven Hodson will tell you (as will anyone who tried to get mobile data service in Austin from Saturday to Monday morning), the future isn’t evenly distributed in that respect. As a country, we need to get serious about our horrible broadband situation. There are some good companies making big strides in improving it, and I like to highlight them in our coverage at SiliconANGLE as much as I can, but there are just as many companies with higher profiles screwing it up: AT&T, I’m looking at you.
- I’m used to walking into small regional conferences and being a “known name,” and occasionally attracting a crowd (or at least being able to hold court). It boggles my mind that I can do that at a conference the size of SxSW. It’s sort of humbling. Also, it inflates my dangerously large ego (I’m sure my coworkers will thank you for that over the next few weeks).
- Speaking of holding court, I think SxSW’s crossover to the dark side of corporate sponsorship may be nearing completion. Perhaps it was because I spent more time in the convention center this year than I did last year, but it almost seemed as if the corporate presence was overwhelming at times. Granted, in years past, there was a lot of sponsorship going on, but rapid development tools and a proliferation of general media and tech savvy have allowed the most clueless organizations to co-opt everything I used to believe to be out of reach of the mainstream. I don’t need food and beverage companies attempting to convince me they’re an early adopter. Just sell me your sugar water when I get thirsty and let me get back to writing code and mediocre blog posts.
- On ditching SxSW: I don’t think it’s happening in the big numbers that some bloggers are trying to imply. The impression I got early on when I realized a lot of my friends weren’t at the con this year was that SxSW may be going out of vogue (which I voiced, quietly mind you, to a couple friends). After seeing the crowds, it’s obvious that there’s a changing of the guard, but there’s also a lot of the familiar faces as well. Basically, there’s a little churn, only the ones cycling out of the SxSW machine now are much more vocal than the quitters of yore.
All I have for now, folks. I’m headed off for bed.