This is my first time at SXSW and it takes a while to figure it out. I went to an interesting session my first night here. It was 20x2 “a SXSW Interactive tradition!” There were “amazing, poignant, moving, and funny 2-minute presentations by 20 of new media's most creative minds” at Skinny's Ballroom 115 San Jacinto Blvd. Some were veterans and others were new ones as they told their stories to a packed audience. There were very funny ones like the people you see on the bus and others more serious like a memorial to the speaker’s grandfather. Several sang. You can see images of many of them below. The last guy in a uniform was a ringer. I really got me in the mood for SXSW and I was very glad I went after my experiences as described below.
The question they all addressed was, “How did I get here?” Well here is how I got here. I woke at 5 to catch a flight form Boston to St. Louis to Dallas to Austin. It was my first time back to Austin since I spent my first four years here long, long ago. My flight arrived on time but I had to wait an hour to get a taxi. Then there was another hour and half to get to my hotel and to the convention center. Then there was a two and a half hour line to get registered so I missed the two sessions I was planning to report on. I got my shuttle bus ticket and headed to the blogger’s lounge only to discovered it was closing time at 6PM.
So I sat in the hall and found wifi. I did email and then went out in the rain looking for a party. There was a register’s party tent across the street but when I go there it was just closing at 7PM. Since the 20x2 started at 8 I decided to get there right away. I did manage to get in around 7:15 and had a good spot by the stage as you can see from the pictures below. I was lucky as I heard there were long lines later. So the lesson learned is to pick a single place at night and get there early. You can click on a picture to make it larger. I look forward to going to a number of sessions tomorrow and will be reporting on them.