Monday, March 12, 2012

SXSW Quick Hits: Day 3

Day two of the festival was fast and furious again, but I was also able to take in a couple of side trips I've been wanting to.

Storytelling Beyond Words: New Forms of Journalism

  • Journo panel with a favorite, Aron Pilhofer of the New York Times. Also Bill Adair of Politifact and Jim Brady of Digital First Media.
  • Pilhofer says you have to develop in the newsroom, and you need at least three people. Look for the guy with stickers all over his laptop.
  • If management or corporate doesn't support what you are doing, go rogue. You have to SHOW them what you can do. Create a proof of concept.
  • Pilhofer asks: What does the story want to be?
  • Brady says in early days, spend five to ten minutes thinking about different ways to tell a story.
  • If you have 15 tools in your storytelling toolbox, it's OK to use only three.
  • Example stories:

Cookbook 2.0: The Future of Recipe Content

  • Publishers used to be only a platform to sell the book. Now they are looking beyond that.Publishers need to thing about them being the conduit between authors and readers
  • Electronic price point is contentious. Consumers are looking for the $2.99 price point created by App Store mentality, but publishers can't survive off of that.
  • They need to blend print and online worlds. Include enhanced content. Embrace cross media.
  • Future includes: Backlist of recipes. Authors acts as content curator. Content with share ability. Selling the cookbook, but go beyond.
  • Examples:
    • Food 52: Former New York Times critic Amanda Hesser
    • Cooks Illustrated: Kept pay model online.
    • Blog Eats.
    • Chef going own route with crows-sourced funding and community involvement. I think it's John Sundstrom of Lark.

Go Forth & Make Awesomeness: Core Values & Action

  • This was actually my third choice panel, but it was really good. My first choice was a Big Data core conversation at the Hilton that was full before I even got there. Then I went for the Google are design panel, but it was full, too, though I was not surprised.
  • So, I landed at a panel with Leslie Jensen-Inman and Jeffrey Zeldman on being Awesome. And it was, you guessed it, awesome! (Say that with a funny voice.)
  • Jensen-Inman talked about her Map4 Awesomeness: Passion, Purpose Promise and Pursuit.
  • Zeldman, the guy behind A List Apart, has different motivations for building great things, some altruistic, and some not so much. One of his first sites in 1995 was Pardon my Icon, which was about crappy icon work.
  • One of the side benefits of this session was watching @Rohdesign sketch in his little book the main points of the talk. Most awesome!


Google Village

A couple of cool things to learn at the a Google Village on Rainey Street, hosted in Lustre Pearl and other bars in this neighborhood.

  • Schemer is is a place to find stuff to do with your friends. Invites at
  • Google Map Maker helps crowd source the accuracy of Google maps.
  • Google has tips for business getting on mobile platforms at GoMo.
  • Google Play puts much of their entertainment platforms, like games and books, on the same platform.

This is so much better than last year. I'm not a huge gamer, but the proof came in the votes from my sons, 14- and 15-years-old. It was big, loud, with lots of screens, animation, more booths and more game companies. They gave it two thumbs up. Each.


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