Last year I attended South By Southwest for the first time. It's a tech/music/film conference in Austin, Tx, and it's the highlight of my year.
If you are attending, or even if you aren't, here are the top 25 panels that jumped out at me for this year's conference:
Long Distance UX - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/580
Collaboration is key to the UX process, but it becomes increasingly difficult across locations. Two designers from Google sit down and discuss long distance collaboration
Beyond BBQs: The Future Of Corporate Culture - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/5282
Mallory Messina, a Culture Activities Representative from Southwest Airlines, will begin with the most obvious question: what exactly is a "CAR" and what kind of company would create this job? Beyond trust falls and cheesy team activities, how can a company build upon their culture and engage their employees online?
Critical Tits: Rights, Cameras and the Immediacy Age - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/7311
The EFF recently argued that Burning Man's not as open or nurturing as people think, and uses the DMCA to control photographers' rights. This caused a firestorm of controversy, forcing Burning Man to say its interests are protecting its trademark and attendees from being exploited by unscrupulous photographers. This panel will explore the tensions and the legal/community issues this controversy raised.
Securing Web Behemoths - Web Applications That Are Large - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/4995
As the trend of 'webifying' continues, the smallness and simplicity of web applications will become a thing of the past. This raises the challenge of securing these web behemoths. Panelist includes Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft.
Time + Social + Location. What's Next In Mobile Experiences? - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/5285
One topic I am most interested in is location and how developers use geo-spatial data. Naveen Selvadurai from Foursquare and Josh Babetski from Mapquest will duke it out in this talk.
ActivityStrea.ms: Is It Getting Streamy In Here? - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/400
The father of modern social web communication Chris Messina (now at Google), will be talking about ActivityStrea.ms. If you are building a social web app, don't miss this one.
Web Fonts: The Time Has Come - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/5001
The web grows up so much every day, yet designers and developers are scared to try new fonts. Bert Bos from the W3C and Jeff Veen from Typekit are two featured guests in this panel. I'm really excited to hear them chat about this topic.
Can the Real-Time Web Be Realized? - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/435
The emergence of the real-time web enables an unprecedented level of user engagement and dynamic content online. However, the rapidly growing audience puts new, complex demands on the architecture of the web as we know it. This panel will discuss what is needed to make the real-time web achievable. Panelists from Gowalla, Google, Microsoft, RWW, and Collectica.
View Source Has a Posse - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/5005
"View source" is a feature of all modern browsers that few people use, and that more probably wouldn't miss if it disappeared. Still, viewing other people's source code has played an undeniable role in the Web's development, spurring a culture of creativity and sharing, and cementing values of openness and transparency in developer practices.
However, as the Web becomes increasingly dedicated to social interaction and applications rather than static documents, the value of viewing machine-generated source code raises a critical question: will view source be relevant to the next generation of Web apps? And what might be lost if new Web applications refuse to include its functionality?
Panelists from Mozilla, Microsoft, and Google.
Moon 2.0: The Outer Limits of Lunar Exploration - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/600
Space sector representatives will discuss how the use of web and mobile technologies create opportunities for participation in future exploration of the Moon. The panel focuses on how X PRIZE, NASA, commercial space companies, and others generate greater interaction and interest in Moon missions using collaborative platforms and social media.
Media Armageddon: What Happens When the New York Times Dies - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/591
We've entered The Last Days of Media. Traditional publishers' economics can't stand up against the overwhelming volume of new content and ad inventory being manufactured by the likes of blogs, Facebook, Myspace, Craigslist et al. What will New York City and the nation look like without the New York Times?
Data is Money: How Geeks are Changing Finance - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/464
Clearly the financial world needs some innovation, and fast. This panel will bring together experts in finance and technology to talk about how the future of finance will be influenced by data geeks and technologists. Aaron Patzer from Mint.com will be on this panel.
Doing it Wrong: Recently Possible Technology - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/481
Like ninjas battling on stage, Bre Pettis and Tal Chalzin will volley projects demonstrations back and forth. From guitar player robots to machines that vomit plastic skulls, the presentation will include a mix of projects they've worked on and that have been worked on at the GarageGeeks, NYCResistor and beyond.
This presentation will both thrill and repulse you with the possibilities that have recently emerged in the diy hacker technology space.
Process Journalism: Getting it First, While Getting it Right - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/633
Journalism and blogging will be on the same stage here. Panelists from Wikipedia, Seattle PI, NY Times, TMZ, and Gizmodo.
What If Your Phone Had Five Senses? - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/717
The phone in your pocket has the sense of sight (camera), sound (microphone), touch and location (still working on taste and smell). Through live demos we'll show off some new mobile hardware (could your phone really be replaced by AR glasses?) and what developers and marketers will be able to create with these new tools (speech recognition, computer vision, etc.)
Two Googlers will be talking here, as well as the founder of Dopplr.
Experimental Design: Your User Interface Is Your Laboratory - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/497
We all know that great designs can only come from the genius of great designers. Except that is complete crap. Great designs come from extensive user testing and making tons of iterations. Learn how the best-designed web apps extensively iterate and test their user interfaces to find what truly works.
Extreme Makeover: Profile Edition - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/499
Is your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc Avatar a picture of you from 2002? If so, come get a Profile Makeover! Leora Israel from Vaynermedia will be on this panel.
Funemployed - Success Stories From the Laid Off Community - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/511
This panel will explain how to deal with being laid off / unemployed, and showcase some unique ways that people have spent their time while unemployed. It will feature not only successful startups, but also touch on the various unique and exciting ways one can spend their newly found "free time"
GMail: Behind the scenes - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/5072
A conversation with Gmail team members. Hear from engineers, user experience, and product managers about how they work together, what they've learned over the years, and how they see online communication evolving. A ton of Googlers are on this panel.
Improving Social Media With Live Streaming Video - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/7979
In an age where everyone from Cash Money Records to Pepsi to the U.S. Army is touting the value of social media, where do streaming video services fit in? The answer lies in the power of live. Learn about some of the incredible results that have been achieved by employing live streaming video as the core of a social media platform.
How To Be Black - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/7252
In this talk, Baratunde Thurston will touch on the black online experience (if there is such a thing) included memes, statistics on usage patterns, popular destinations and issues of representation.
For example, are black people as represented among the creators, developers and builders of our future or are we more consumer oriented than average?
Email: The Next Frontier - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/855
Email is at the center of everything we do online. Even the most popular new social communications ride the back that is email. It is in fact the killer app of the Internet, and has been for some 40 years. It is however, a love-hate relationship. But there's good news. Invocation is finally coming to email in the form of mashups, plugins and other tools, to help carve out value propositions for everyday email civilians.
13th Annual SXSW Web Awards Ceremony - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/7
The Web Awards Ceremony is the centerpiece of evening activities at the SXSW Interactive Festival and an event not to be missed.
Hosted by Doug Benson with special surprises in store for the big "lucky 13"!
This was one of my favorite events from last year.
Buzz Out Loud Live - http://bol.cnet.com
Sunday and Monday at 12:30 p.m., Tom Merritt, Molly Wood, and Jason Howell will host CNET's podcast of indeterminate length live in Austin.
Last year, I was on the show!
Keynotes you can't miss
Gary Vaynerchuk Presentation - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/859
Last year Gary Vaynerchuk had the best session at SxSW. It was so good that all I could do was capture all of the quotes from it.
This year it will be even better.
Ev Williams from Twitter and Daniel Ek from Spotify will also be keynoting, but theirs haven't been announced yet.
I am writing another post about the 10 SxSW 2010 parties you can't miss. I'll post the link when it's ready.
If you are going to SxSW in Austin this year, please let me know if there are any sessions I am missing out on. Sched.org has the best list of panels.