SxSW: The Week in Review

It’s been a remarkable week and my head is still spinning. Probably as much from the endless stream of free drinks as from the stimulating input from SxSW. The panels were great, the presentations were great, the people were great and the parties were great. I got to meet legends and heroes , some rising stars, and make some great new friends.

Some of the highlights for me personally were the WaSP panel and the subsequent open annual meeting that followed. To be in a room with that many people who share your passion for Web standards was both amazing and emotional. It’s a rare thing to occasionaly share the company of even one person who can relate to your obsessions, so to all of a sudden be thrown together with hundreds of them at the same time is a bit overwhelming. I feel like I found my tribe.

The panel on “How to Convince Your Company to Embrace Standards” inspired me to write more about my experiences with the same. Since I’ve been there with both medium and large businesses, one of my goals this year is to publish some guidelines to help indivduals who are passionate about Web standards turn that passion into policy at their organizations. All-in-all, I think my biggest take-away from SxSW was that I have knowledge and experience to share and the challenge will be to find the time to organize and publish this information so that others may benefit.

I know some of you noticed that I abruptly stopped my daily updates from Austin. There are a couple of reasons for this. But it was primarily due to the same reason I don’t carry around a camera with me and I don’t take notes in meetings. I want to fully experience what is going on at the time. If I have my nose buried in my laptop, I am going to miss a lot of what is going on around me. I’d rather have the full frontal experience in the moment than to have refer to my notes later on to remember what happened. That….and A.D.D.

I can’t go without mentioning Bruce Sterling’s closing address. Instead of attempting to describe it, I am just going to tag it: reflective, foward-looking, relevent, important, from-the-heart, frightening, hilarious, depressing, inspiring, emotional, exhausting, worth-the-price-of-admission-alone.

Okay, now it’s time to do my taxes. A big, unordered shout out to all some the peeps I had the pleasure to make the acquaintance of at SxSW:

See you next year!

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