SXSWi11: the (only partially) crowdsourced wrap

I made a lame, vain effort to get some of my Twitter followers to share their key SXSW Interactive insights, but got only one response. So, I’ll share that, along with a couple of links to SXSWi wrap-ups culled from my tweet stream:
Thanks, Kate. You hear over and over again that what happens in the hallways at SXSWi is more important than what happens in the conference rooms. I definitely had some great conversations after a few of the panels I attended.

Oh, and what’s Beluga? Read this take from Eric Swayne, senior Social/Digital Strategist for Rockfish, to find out. Eric seems like a smart guy who has his eyes open and his bullshit detector on. (And, yes, I know he’s another senior strategist, but judging from his photo, dude’s gotta be at least 35-years-old. That alone could qualify him as a sage in this biz.)

Christine Perkett, of Perkett PR, and one of her colleagues share their mixed experiences from their first SXSWi. Some of their criticisms would be addressed by the suggestions I offered a couple of days ago. (I’m not linking to it—it’s right down there below the latest Yeti).

For me, SXSWi was again a mixed but overall positive experience. The size and scale of the thing still blows me away. Here the word “awesome” is wholly appropriate. It’s both cool and scary at the same time that there are so many people doing kinda what I do.

My favorite panel, like last year, was the very first one I attended (hmmm, what does that tell me?). It was on bio-mimicry—looking to nature to solve human problems. Super interesting topic to me that has parallels to my worn path principle, though instead of looking to the innate animal responses of humans to identify opportunities for innovation, biomimicry starts with the opportunity and looks to the animal responses of, well, animals to find solutions. Maybe you have to be me to see the parallels. Check out the Biomimicry Institute, as well as their new beta site, www.asknature.org, which seeks to be a clearinghouse for biomimicry solutions.

If there was a Twitter- or Foursquare-type killer app coming out of SXSWi11, I didn’t catch on to it, although maybe the aforementioned Beluga and it’s group chat cousins fit the bill. But I’m hardly the best barometer of the bleeding edge.  

Would I go again? I honestly can’t say. I feel compelled to participate. I want to learn, grow, meet people, network, etc. But I’ve never felt so alone in a crowd as at this event. Ultimately, I may not be—wait for it—wired for it. (Sooo sorry for that.) But who knows? Come next year, I may not be able to resist the allure of those happening hallways.