Table of contents for SXSW Themes
- Interconnectedness and Cooperation Overlaid Onto Real Life – SXSW Themes
- Do you make happiness, dreams, or just kick ass? – SXSW Themes
- There is more to gain by giving it all away – SXSW Themes
- Embrace randomness – SXSW Themes
After transcribing my 15 pages of handwritten notes and starting to think through some of it, I’ll be posting a few big takeaways and themes I pulled from South By Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) this year. Here’s the first:
THEME 1: Interconnectedness and Cooperation Overlaid Onto Real Life
A feeling that I came away with after sxsw was that I had just experienced the super-connected world we envision the future to be. Everyone had macs and iphones, icons of great user centered design, and was completely interconnected in a wireless digital sea. But this high tech interconnectedness did not draw people away from face to face interaction (which we often blame new technology for doing). Instead, it actually enhanced it and sped it up. Twitter allowed people to move in groups and figure out what others were doing, yelp helped people sort out what places to go to, social networks like facebook instantly made long term connections for followup and learning more about the person you just met.
On a more global scale, web 2.0 tools are helping with the spreading of ideas and knowledge and helping people take cooperative action with that knowledge.
The Africa 2.0 session showed how Africa’s rising entertainment center, known as Nollywood, is currently relying on the internet to get content out and get Africa’s message out to the world (rather than Hollywood’s interpretation of it). Zuckerberg talked about how students from the Middle East that go to western universities are staying in better contact with friends from home and creating idea bridges between the two worlds.
On top of the spreading of ideas was the idea of cooperative action on those ideas. People have worked together to create an index of knowledge known as Wikipedia that is far larger than the Encyclopedia Britannica. Henry Jenkins spoke about how Harry Potter social networks in the UK are starting to make political actions as the members grow together. Facebook groups allow people to channel joint interests or movements together
Overlaying real life
In the last few years I think the new web 2.0 technology and jargon have been the focus. But it seems like the discussion is starting to revolve a lot more on how those technologies are creating real world changes and disruptions. A last example of this was Jane McGonigal’s talk on how games can be used to better design real life. Mashups on the internet between two technologies has become a daily occurance, but this talk sheds light on the new ultimate mashup, the mashing up of technology and the world. Online gaming and social networks have drawn users from the real world to the virtual world, but new ways and ideas are emerging to push some of that back into real life.