I'm down here in Austin at SxSW Interactive, a great conference and confluence of people in the Internet industry. My big takeaway from the conference is to be reminded of what a wide open and unknown frontier the Internet still is. That statement sounds obvious, but it is easy to get focused on the minutiae and forget the bigger picture. It has been great to talk with people, hear the discussions and be looking at a larger picture of the social and business phenomena of the Internet as opposed to the technical underpinnings. For example I was just at a session by Henry Jenkins which was amazing. His analysis and readings of phenomena from remixing, Second Life, Wikipedia, fan culture and more were astute, enlightened, informed and peppered with historical context. There was also the folks from Make and LadaAda on DIY technology that was great. I've also been attending some more "traditional" technical sessions, perhaps most interesting was one on Flash and AJAX by Jonathon Boutelle. It was interesting to hear him reiterate the importance of UX and also talk about some frustrations with Flash as far as indexability by search engines and difficulties talking to the DOM.
Chris Bernard organized a lounge where we talked about Expression and chatted with folks. The event was packed and the beer ran out: the sign of a good event. Many folks are very interested in Expression and interested to see what kind of tools Microsoft is making available.
Also cool to see Microsoft was nominated for a SxSW web award for Arrested Development. There's a bunch of Microsoft folks on panels here as well, so it is nice to see Microsoft have a presence at the event.
It also is a great chance to get hip to some of the latest things happening in Web 2.0 land. Twitter is all the rage down here, which I signed up for, and have found useful, especially at a conference. Walking the exhibit hall was great. I ran into Scoble and the PodTech crew, who are documenting realtime as usual, just like CES. The best part of this photo is how the guy on the left is taking a picture as his picture is being taken, very Web 2.0
And then there are the parties. After going bowling at this swanky bowling alley called 300, I went to a party at a club called Mohawk sponsored by CHOW, Consumating and Webshots -- I am using Webshots to host the photos for this blog post -- where I saw a great band called What Made Milwaukee Famous. More as the conference continues...