SXSW Recap: Day 2

10 Mar

Day two was good. I will admit there are so many people here and missing my first panel because it was full has made me gun shy about moving too much about the cabin. There are panels at many satellite locations downtown outside the convention center, but the thought of walking there only to be turned away and then out of luck getting back to a second choice panel has made me stick around the convention center thus far. Luckily, this made for an inspirational day.

First up was DIY Publishing with the CEO of Bakespace, an online cookbook publisher…but the panel of course applied to everyone. Since I am going to drop the Social Thinkery eBook here in a bit, I was psyched. I learned a lot of books are going multimedia and just publishing within an app instead of an eBook. This sounds a leeeeeetle too “on trend” for me…I’m not sure how long this idea will stick. Perhaps people will embrace enhanced eBooks, perhaps people just want a book in their Kindle app. I don’t know. I got some good advice on pricing as well because…I don’t know what to charge. Notes taken.

Ben Huh, CEO of, spoke about how the messages we try to broadcast and consume each day are helped or hindered by the format they are delivered in. Long ago we made TV screens in a 16:9 ratio so everyone’s picture would look right, but now we have devices that film vertically and we all yell when our phone videos are filmed vertically instead of horizontally in that 16:9 ratio. But…since our devices can PLAY something in another aspect ratio, what would opening that up do for creativity? What would a vertically filmed movie look like?

Alternatively, an example of restraint breeding creativity is the advent of Vine. Before, trying to tell a story in 6 seconds on video was seemingly impossible. Twitter put 6 seconds as a limit on video and BOOM…we have a plethora of amazing 6 second stories now.

I wandered into a film panel interviewing Tilda Swinton, who I have seen in movies and who always kind of creeps me out but she was intelligent and charming and thoughtful. My favorite quote from that panel was her sharing something her son said when he was 8…”What were dreams like before cinema was created?” Film is a shockingly new artistic medium compared to painting and writing and such.

After I sauntered out of that panel bent on seeing something a bit more practical, I encountered the newly forming line for Inside Late Night With Seth Meyers and um…I jumped in it. Clearly this was going to be a full panel, and as an SNL junkie I wanted to see Mr. Weekend Update himself. Olivia Munn did a great job interviewing Seth about writing, transitioning from SNL to a daily late-night show, handling guests, and other random things. I left happy.

There’s always a dud at a conference and I found it after that. I don’t even want to name names because this internet celebrity probably has a Google alert on her name and I’d be found and yelled at but…it was a panel on Women and Humor and um…I did not find any of the women on the panel to be funny. I think sometimes you set people up for that…”Hey be funny on this panel about women being funny!” and it’s just asking for it. Meh. Can’t win them all.

And then we got pancakes and my friend Chad let me try his Google Glass and now I am a cyborg!

Comment Form