I’m writing this post about 2.5 hours before the first panel/session kicks off for SXSW 2010. For those who are not familiar with SXSW, it’s a conference split into three areas: Interactive, Film, and Music. I’m only down for the first few days of Interactive but in previous years, I’ve participated in the music portion as both the youngest speaker ever (at the time, 2002) for SXSW and was an exhibitor.
The energy was high even before leaving Newark Airport. @sparkle201 (wife) and I were on a direct flight down to Austin and I’d say of the 144 people on the plane, 50% were heading to the conference. I ran into Foursquare’s @naveen in the airport who is celebrating their First Birthday at the conference- Foursquare was born a year ago and is now over 500k strong loyal fans. Happy Birthday guys.
Four hours later, I ran into friend and colleague @jstylman while checking in to the conference and picking up my credentials. For the first time in a LONG time, I’m not speaking on a panel or keynoting, so I’m flying totally under the radar screen as a listener. I’ve been longing for this day to just sit back, relax, and soak everything in.
After getting back to the hotel, I digested all that was in the schwag bag and there was a consistent theme: stickers, QR codes, and most important and utilitarian to me: cellphone/computer/ipad/kindle screen fiber wipes. Genius- thank you AOL and Newegg.
The SXSWi bible is thick. It lists all the panels/sessions and speakers as well as everything else that is going on. What stands out immediately is the use of QR codes on every single page. The company providing the codes is QMCodes and they are exhibiting – I’ll stop by their booth to further my education around them. I’ve used QR codes in previous ad campaigns but the adoption in the US was rather weak a few years ago. Can the use of QR codes in the US break out this year? My immediate thought is that print publishers need to push these hard and how many print publishers are down here at SXSW?
There is even a twitter account setup to help people with QR codes here at SXSW: @sxswqr
An instant favorite of mine are the products of stickybits. For those unfamiliar (I was previously) with stickybits, it’s a simple barcode sticker that you can append any type of information to (pics, text, video, etc). You stick them wherever you want and if people find them, they use their iPod or Android stickybits app to see what’s been virtually appended to it. A nice way to augment reality. Downside: you need the stickybits app – and this may be a serious downside for the company. I’d love to see a Verizon or AT&T snap up this company and instantly build this reader into the phone’s capabilities.
Looking forward to what starts unfolding over the next week or so – come and follow me on the adventure @dherman76