Visit to South by Southwest Interactive 2010

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I hit the streets looking for something quick to eat.

No. I was not going to eat the liver.

Not far from the convention center I found this AT&T mobile cell-tower truck, obviously called in to help handle sxsw's phone and data bandwidth. It must have worked, because I had a solid two bars while I was standing here in front of it.


Still on the streets, looking for food, I ran into Rob and Kris from Cyanide and Happiness! They were looking for a bar and I tagged along, pretty sure I'd be able to find something to eat on the way. I was right! I got a $5 cheesesteak sandwich from a street vendor.

 

Rob and Kris are hilarious. Besides being on the same web panel earlier in the day, we didn't know much about one another, so we hung out at Darwin's pub for a couple of beers and exchanged web-famous stories.

Being successful cartoonists, they have put in a lot of time at comic cons around the country. They sometimes get in trouble at conventions because their "free drawings" policy attracts a big crowd (also, fame).

It wasn't long until we got word of an internet party with free drinks, so we were on our way. Their friend Scott from systemcomic clued them into a little party put on by Kelly and the URLesque team at AOL.

It was great! Free drinks and a cozy party atmosphere. They had a couch set up in front of a television showing a never-ending loop of viral videos.

I kept firing questions at Rob and Kris, drinking out of a boot.

My first conversation with Chris Lesinski (hackcollege.com) followed a typical conversation trajectory, where I keep talking about myself until I stumble upon a project they have heard of.

CL: What brings you to SX Interactive?

RC: I run Cockeyed.com

CL: What is that?

RC: Its a pretty broadly themed site. I build stuff, and do pranks and "how much is inside". Pretty much I just document everything that's halfway interesting in my life.

CL: Hm, I don't know it, but it sounds cool.

RC: What are you drinking?

CL: Jager bomb

RC: I recently discovered that the Jager Bomb is one of the costliest cocktails to assemble, with ingredients costing almost $2. I was doing research for my "Cocktail calculator" application...

CL: Waitaminute, that sounds familiar, did you also do the "Sandwich Calculator"?

RC: YES!

CL: Oh! Terrific! I blogged that! That was great!

RC: YES! Thanks!


(10 more minutes of talk about web content links, advertising and traffic)

 

Oh! And I got to meet David Devore, the father of "David after Dentist"!


The AOL / URLesque party had the right number of people, and some great swag. I got a silly bluejeans-pattern iphone case, and passed on what I will award the prize for "best swag of SXSW2010": AOL umbrellas!

The AOL party ended before midnight, so our little group headed out to the Interactive wrap party at the Mohawk. There was a huge line out the door, so we opted instead for beers at Bull McCabes Pub.




 

Bull McCabes had an odd vibe, with wiry Irish bartenders contrasting the bar-hugging Kindle-reading spinsters.

There I met Nathan Oyler, a super nice freelance developer (and webmaster for Toothpaste for Dinner) out of Ohio/San Francisco. He was the first person at I'd met at SXSW who loved to program. I think he was trying, but he had a hard time concealing his genius. I think I'd summarize his talent as "automating the automatic".

It was enlightening.

 

After a few hours, the gang was ready for drunker pastures and I was ready for bed. I said my farewells and biked home. Here is a snippet of my farewell to the group:

Ok! Great hanging out with you!
You too! See you at ROFLcon?
Yes! You going to ROFLcon?
Yeah! You?
Yes! See you there!
See you at ROFLcon!
Yes!


What a great trip! A little work and a lot of play packed into two days in Austin. I didn't have a lot of plans going in, but I met a lot of fun people and carved as much action as possible out of my visit.

Thanks for the invite John! See you at ROFLcon!

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