SXSW 2012: A Social Media Agency Playground and Geek Heaven
The annual South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) festival kicked off on Friday in Austin and is scheduled to last throughout the week, concluding on Sunday, March 18. This event, which refuses to be labeled a “trade show,” has been called both “Spring Break for Geeks” and “Woodstock for Geeks,” so you know it will be brimming with techie attractions, making news in the social media sphere (as it did in 2007, where it essentially unveiled Twitter to the world and propelled it to social media superstardom, although Twitter had launched prior to the event), and once the music and movie events begin later in the week, brimming with creativity.
As for websites and social media breakthroughs, the big stars of SXSW in Austin this year are Rock Health, an incubator focused on health-care startups, and WePay, an online payments provider. Edmodo Inc., an educational social network, is part of a new event focused on learning.
Mobile web development stands to make its mark this week too, with apps like Highlight, an iOS-only app that hooks into users’ Facebook accounts to let them find others who are near them (if those users have the app). According to Highlight’s developer, Math Camp, the app is meant to give users a “sixth sense” about the world around them. In fact, the battle for the “king” of SXSW has been called “Highlight’s to lose.” Glancee, another social media app and mobile web development newbie, is a fun and safe way to meet new people nearby who share friends and interests with you – and it makes its debut at this year’s .
Over 20,000 people are expected to be attending the interactive portion of the show, with perhaps more attending for the music (Jay-Z and Third Eye Blind are among the performers) and movie portion. This “fun melting pot of entrepreneurs, journalists and investors” at the Austin Convention Center is a place where traditional advertising is practically non-existent, and social media is king. Of course, the interactivity is what really makes the event something special – and who understands interactivity better than a social media agency?