SXSW 2016: Day 3

14 Mar

The Sunday Slump. It happens. It occurs when the clocks get set back after you’re already sleep deprived and you have hit it hard for 2 conference days and it’s a little bit harder to focus and you need all the coffee. But it was a pretty good Sunday, full of panels from 9:30 – 6. Let’s go.

The New Web Typography

This was fascinating. It was a panel about fonts and design, but the implications behind them were beyond anything I had considered before. The main point I got was that good typography online and in print empowers the reader to better understanding. Good typography should not necessarily encourage FASTER reading, because comprehension goes down. Subtle design elements like a lower color contrast between text and page can slow a reader down. Friction increases understanding. Whoa.


Olivia Pope…I Mean…Kerry Washington!
The New Rules of Social Media Stardom

Kerry Washington is turning out to be one of my favorite panelists of the whole (unfinished) conference. She was eloquent, smart, compassionate, knowledgeable, and um…she’s stunning in person just like on TV.

Kerry talked about her (very well done) social media presence and how she manages it as a celebrity. She keeps her personal life private, but doesn’t shy away from posting about political issues and things she cares about. She live tweets Scandal (and claims social media kept the show afloat after the first season…now it’s in season 5). Everything on her social accounts comes from her or her social media manager, who will sign posts…so people know when Kerry isn’t posting. This seems to be a very atypical hands on approach in Hollywood in these times of publicists tweeting for celebrities. She did mention, “I decide whether to read the comments or not based on how close I am to a therapy appointment.” And she did acknowledge the hate she receives is more about the person commenting than her. She’s got a really healthy, engaged attitude about social media which was good to see from someone who could let it affect her self-image or her work or her family.

Also one more photo of Olivia Pope, I mean…Kerry, because I didn’t take many photos yesterday and also OLIVIA POOOOOOOOOPE.


Cracking The Human Code

We have printed the human genome IN A BOOK. It is 176 volumes and here is an article about it. Knowing the genome and the abberations that lie within will help us create customized courses of treatment with drugs specific to the patient and identify markers for potential diseases way before they manifest. This panel tried to avoid the moral implications of all this science but it’s hard not to ponder it. Will we self-select poor genetic traits out of our population? Hm.

Niche to Movement to Mainstream

This panel used food trucks and hip hop as examples of things that started niche, became movements, and are now really mainstream. I can speak to the food truck evolution – they are everywhere. I’m ok with that. Some things move from their tight niche subculture into the mainstream “norm,” and some never do. Marketers of course want to crack to code to perform this leap. This panel had no answers (I guess that makes sense) and moreso described the process of things that have made the leap. So really, your guess is as good as any.


Skip the Sale – Driving Subscribers with Content

This was a panel share between Facebook and The New York Times. Straight up, I really wanted it to be more interesting. It was probably the Sunday Slump setting it. I did glean a few things…Gen Z checks their phone on average 157 times a day. A DAY. So your content had better be mobile ready and engaging. Companies like the times are moving to create a very personal and personalized (different things) experience for users. Things will continue to be more tailored to your interests based on data collection from your app use. I guess that’s cool. I fear sometimes maybe our personal news funnels will get so narrow we’ll get dumber but what do I know.

Stay True To Your Craft and Online Brand

We all have online brands. If you are absent from the internet that also tells us something about your brand. Of course this is coming from tech panelists but the advice here is that you should have SOME sort or curated online brand because we’re all watching. Interesting stat: 40% of the workforce will be freelancers by 2020. This doesn’t surprise me, though many online brands have been built on this rogue freelancer lifestyle. Since that will be the norm in 5 years, we have to differentiate…differently. A good equation:

Brand = your voice + your vision + your visuals
Your network is your net worth, they kept repeating. Make content. Make it authentic. Just make it. Or move to a commune in Oregon, you can always do that.

Then Chad and I jetted to dinner in quiet, peaceful Wimberley with Susan where we have her Virtual Reality in a Box and the world will never be the same. The end of Day 3.

Comment Form