I recently returned from Austin, TX where I was fortunate enough to attend the SXSW Interactive conference to learn about new social trends and listen to some great panel speakers on social parties to attend put on by various up and comers and leaders in the tech and interactive industries that I couldn’t keep up even if I had been cloned. And I could have tried, because I’m pretty sure I saw that company with a booth in the trade show exhibit hall.
Here’s my top takeaways from the sessions I attended on day 1. You can follow the conversations from the sessions with the hashtags listed by each.
1. Social engagement and TV ratings – this session had panelists from Bravo, MTV Digital and the Food Network talking about how they use social media to drive TV ratings. The biggest points to mention were to involve the talent with the community and drive an engaging, ongoing conversation. The other biggest think mentioned was that everyone on the panel agreed, but none of them could tell me how exactly they could measure the social results. Which sounds like a typical problem in social media campaigns across the board. #SWTVengage.
2. “Fireside Chat” with Google engineer Vic Gundotra and Guy Kawasaki sparring over the relevance of Google+. Guy played devil’s advocate while Vic tried to convince everyone in the audience that Google+ is actually “Google 2.0.” When Guy pressed Gundotra for an explanation for why people call Google+ a failure Gundotra challenged that most people who think that are using the tool incorrectly. Gundotra went on to say that most of G+ content is shared privately to circles, not publicly.
Guy: “When are you going to open up the Google+ API? That sounds like an oxymoron to me.”
Gundotra: “All that 3rd party content can pollute and I don’t want to piss off developers by doing it and then changing everything.”
Wonder who he’s talking about…
Guy = 1, Google+ = 0
3. What’s the Next Big Thing in Social Media? This one was really awful. The guy spent the first 30 minutes pushing his companies Grindr and Blendr. Then coincidentally, I heard a man on the shuttle bus the next day talking about how he had met someone on “this sleazy dating site Grindr.” Which is funny because he wasn’t in the session with me. But that’s kinda what I thought of this guy. Seemed a little slick and wasn’t really there for any other purpose than to push his products. I left early. #SXblendr
I’ll be back with more insights from SXSW Interactive tomorrow.