SxSW top take aways from Albert Jame

The following is a guest post from zu’s Director of Business Development, @AlbertJame

We’re back from a wild week in Austin, TX. Here are some of the more memorable take-aways from the week that was South By SouthWest.

Top take aways from SxSW 2012

1) Reconsider going down with a marketing strategy
With 20,000+ attendees, imagine the entire downtown as an exhibitor hall. The amount of stimuli has me trying to separate my days from each other. My memory is foggy at best with all the branded parking lot food/drink/games we attended. Since I can barely recall any of them, I’m skeptical if any of them were worth it. And don’t get me started on whether or not you should get an exhibitor booth.

@AlbertJame stylin' at SxSW 2012

2) The digital revolution is done. Now let’s help humanity
From Rainn Wilson’s (Dwight Shrute) guitar smashing keynote to Al Gore’s sold out interview with Sean Parker to an impromptu session with Dane Sanders, one message seemed to resonate over and over; We have what we need, let’s take a step back and put everything to good use”. I concur.

3) Burning man for startups
As an agency, attending was paramount. To be amongst some of the most innovative brands and thinkers in the world made it worth it alone. But if you were a startup, next to the Valley, this is the next best place to learn, make connections and practice your pitch.  Read more of this post

SxSW and the need to socialize

Every year, hundreds of companies converge at SxSW to release their new product or try to get traction for their app. 2012 was no exception.

While most of the attendees continued to use Twitter and Instagram to keep in touch, there were some apps that had a lot of people talking.

FourSquare
While not being new, FourSquare was used in a new way by a lot of people. When checking in, you could see how many people were at a certain venue. This influenced where you would go. You could follow the crowd from venue to venue throughout the night. It was handy to see which bands were packing a bar and which places to avoid. And, in a room with 500 people, you could see if your friends were there as well. I had one friend who was in the same session as me twelve times, but I never did connect with him.

LocalMind 
LocalMind is a geo-location app that allows you to send questions and receive answers about what is going on at venues that you are not at (all in real time). I used it to ask how long the line is at a venue or which band is currently onstage, or how long is that wait for a table at a restaurant. The app had lots of people talking and was actually very useful. It could be one of the breakout apps at SxSW if it gains traction in the real world. Read more of this post

zuluMe in private beta

Even though I am a few days away from becoming a father, I kind of feel like one today as zuluMe has moved into a private beta.

I was involved in this project early in the development, but it has really been my good friend Lynda Brown who has spearheaded this thing for the past year or so. It is great to see her hard work pay off.

zuluMe has evolved into a personal private network where friends can share chats, location, photos and more. The graphics are superb and there is huge potential for the ideas that we came up with three years ago at meetings in Ottawa, Whistler, Vancouver and Saskatoon. While we originally thought that our concept would be a hit for kids, we now realize that adults are interested in this basic concept too. There are a few catchy ideas that we hope take off within the app. And, there is a revenue model!

So, a big shoutout to Lynda for seeing this through. It’s going to rock.

I’ll post more info when Lynda is ready to get more people in the testing phase.

 

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My name is Ryan. This is my life. Have fun.

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