As soon as SmartBrief Publisher Merritt Colaizzi and I hopped on Southwest flight 282 — which quickly took on “The Nerd Bird” hashtag — we knew we weren’t in Kansas (or D.C.) anymore. Excited SXSW attendees dominated the flight and chit-chatted up a storm, and there was mingling in the aisle. In the unconventional manner characteristic of SXSW, the Social Media Guru of Razoo commandeered the in-flight mic to announce three job openings at his nonprofit. A guy from CNN documented the journey, interviewing one of our guest correspondents-to-be Steve Easley who has been to the conference 24 times and Network Solutions Social Media Swami Shashi Bellamkonda, who has a bunch of Twitter followers and “no one knows why.” I’m glad I had Merritt, a SXSW veteran, to assure me this was not extraordinary for SXSW.
Upon arrival, we took the $1 (love Austin already!) airport bus to 6th St and promptly scarfed down some of Texas’s finest at Stubb’s BBQ before zipping over to the Austin Convention Center to get our ambitious agenda under way. My first stop: “Crime Scene: Digital Identity Theft” with Bill Morrow and Aaron Strout. Their primary message for social media mavens: Change your passwords every week — yikes!
“Cooking for Geeks” with Jeff Potter — briefly interrupted by a false fire alarm — featured geeky toys for sous vide and how you cannot vacuum-package lemon meringue pie. This was a perfect opportunity for me to connect with some other foodies and tweet. (Most of the SmartBriefs I edit are about food.)
Outside the convention center, Merritt spotted the CEO of Foursquare challenging happy festival attendees to a game of foursquare the old-fashioned way.
More “only at SXSW” updates to come. Stay tuned.
Image credit: Merritt Colaizzi, SmartBrief