Flip the Media’s day 2 wrap-up of South by Southwest Interactive . A big day here at SXSW Interactive as the stars came out to educate and and enlighten us.
It was a fabulous morning for anyone who cares about design. Two sessions not apparently related espoused very similar themes: function and aesthetics, stop fighting right now! Aesthetics become one with function to make life better for us all – think of a prosthetic leg that really looks like the user’s original leg. Why settle for less? The future is here.
3-D printing is about to be ubiquitous – we may see people packing them around like old fashioned hurdy gurdy organs.
But Al Gore – unplugged – stole the show for me. I’ll never forget hearing him call the war in Iraq a “dumbass decision”.
SX seemed to really kick it into gear today. The lines were longer, the panels fuller, the sidewalks busier, and the restaurants booked to bursting. Finding a nice quiet restaurant close to the convention center where we could grab a bite and do some writing quickly turned out to be a pipe dream. Seriously, you’d think that by 2 pm the lunch rush would be about over, but no. Still, got to see some amazing panels on the future of product production, specifically 3D printing, which is turning into an actual thing!
Two car-sharing services are competing for buzz among SXSW attendees in Austin this week, UberX and SideCar. Both aim to connect people who want a ride with private car owners who are willing to take them. The only catch? Austin made it illegal for private operators to take money from customers for rides.
So both services have decided to simply hire a fleet of drivers who are giving free rides around Austin. For conference goers, this means not having to wait for a taxi, shuttle or try to find a Car2Go to get home. So far, I haven’t had to wait more than five minutes for a car, even at peak times downtown or at our homebase a few miles from the main SXSW venues. We’ll see if response times keep up with the crowds throughout the event, but either way the move has been a win for UberX and SideCar.
Today I managed to up my session quotient from one to five. I still managed to be turned away from 3 – but you can’t be bitter! The day started with an overview of the impact and potential of mobile technology in Africa – huge – The numbers are staggering and I’m hoping to get to go to Africa’s version of SXSW- Tech4Africa – next year – I’m sure the lines will be shorter.
Next was a look at vertical social networks – basically professional or skill based networks. An interesting idea that is gaining some traction. Wave which is for small businesses – is signing up 1300 new users a day.
Then I took off to space with Elon Musk, the founder of Paypal who now spends his time spending his fortune on space rockets, solar cities and Tesla cars. So he’s busy.
I’ll leave you to read my post on the sharing economy. Suffice to say its a growing trend to watch
Finally was a look at equity based crowd funding and a new term… Crowdfunomics – we’ll see if it takes off.