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In this presentation, you will see the same set of 15 slides -- three times. Three different writers will walk through the same set of slides and explain their approaches to getting started, editing ideas, figuring out how to get unstuck, and understanding when they're done. Part improv and part preparation, this presentation will give you three totally different and unexpected perspectives regarding the art of writing.
Africa's 1 billion people are the world's fastest growing market for mobile phones.
Sales of mobile phones on the continent grew 22% year-on-year in 2009, and are projected to add another 280-million users by 2015. But Africans are not just users: they’re also pioneering ground-breaking new mobile services, leading the world in everything from mobile money to mobile health.
The speed of growth has, however, created so much sensational hype that it is difficult to tell the real opportunities from misleading exaggeration.
This panel will cut through the hype, to explore the real opportunities in Africa for mobile app developers: is it all low-tech, or are there markets for cutting edge apps? Where are the most sustainable markets, what kinds of apps / services are most likely to succeed, and which mobile platforms offer best scope for success?
The panel will also examine the successes and failures of developers who have already taken the plunge, and will evaluate which African mobile developers are best placed for partnerships or other collaborations.
And, because Africa is pioneering its own world-class mobile services in everything from augmented reality to geo-social and other location-based services, we will explore which of those mobile innovations are poised for global expansion.
Can "tweeting" release Oxytocin? Does looking through your friends' Facebook photos or reading the newsfeed impact your mood? This panel will look at how the internet and social networking actually impacts how we feel and will explore opportunities for using technology to help people feel better. We'll discuss the current research as well as innovative sites, applications and other virtual interventions designed to improve our mental health with an emphasis on young people (16-24).
by Sarah Nelson
A search on Amazon shows 62,000+ books on leadership but almost nothing to help creative team leaders build and sustain a creative environment. Creativity and innovation can be delicate and emotionally fraught processes. Leadership theories are helpful, but what do you do when your star designer suddenly starts mailing it in? Or a project team is frozen in infighting? Or one of your designers just can't find their footing in a new project? When you got your big promotion for being an amazing designer, no one told you that you needed an entirely new skill set. Sink or swim, baby.
For this session, Sarah B. Nelson gets practical on the topic of creative leadership. From vision development to team alignment, from bottom-up empowerment to top-down intervention, Sarah will inspire you with practical ideas to motivate your team and rouse them to greatness. She will draw on her extensive experience leading creative teams at Adaptive Path and Hot Studio -- and inform the discussion with research and interviews from organizational psychologists, experienced managers, and successful creative leaders.
Local deals, once relegated to the weekly circular, now drive the fastest growing sector in internet history. Groupon, LivingSocial, BuyWithMe and others created a billion dollar industry almost overnight. Local publishers have influenced our spending for years, but they are finding a powerful new monetization vehicle as offline commerce comes online. Hundreds of publishers have launched Daily Deal products in the last six months, and this is just the beginning.
The founders of LivingSocial, DailyCandy Deals, Group Commerce and Yipit will discuss the future of the Daily Deal space and how local media companies, apps and directories are adapting to it.
Over the past several years, there have been many discussions regarding how interactive technology can drive change in our nation’s politics – but of perhaps greater importance is how technology can improve the daily functioning of our nation’s government.
The discussion should not be a partisan one – this panel will bring together leading innovators from both parties to engage in a post-partisan discussion about how technology can improve the public’s interactions with their government.
This discussion should be about specifics – we can all agree on the broad principles that technology drives change – but we have all heard that conversation before. This panel will focus on the specific progress that has been made, the specific opportunities that exist in the near future, and the specific challenges that need to be addressed.
As citizens increasingly become on-demand consumers in their daily lives, it is clear that government needs to better utilize interactive technology or it will only be more radically disconnected from the public.
This is not a political conference, which is precisely why it should be where this conversation takes place – how can the innovations from the creative, marketing and interactive communities be applied to improving our nation?
Our government needs to modernize. We need to move forward and debate new ideas, focusing on how we can collectively make our government work smarter, faster and better for all citizens.
People have begun to realize the enormous gap between the relational database abstraction and the way people actually think about information. To be clear, I am not suggesting that relational databases will stop being used or that they are going to go away, but that developers are going to stop thinking of their data in relational database terms.
Everyone from regular users to sophisticated developers thinks about information in a pretty simple way. There are objects, and there are connections or relationships between objects. For example if you have two objects, a cup and a table, the relationship between them might be “sitting on”, indicating that the cup is sitting on the table.
What makes this model so sturdy is that we can continuously add new objects: tables, cups, chairs, floors, table cloths, etc. And we can add infinite relationships, such as sitting on, sitting under, covering, etc. Computer scientists, and now, thanks to Facebook, everybody else, refers to this structure as a graph. New data models such as the graph provide new ways to think about persisting data.
The death of the relational database means the death of the relational database *abstraction* as a way that programmers think about data. What programmers need is to model data in the most natural way possible, and we are starting to see storage abstractions that are closer to how humans think instead of how computers need to.
YouTube's annotations tool opened up a whole new way telling stories, with the rise of interactive videos that let viewers "choose-their-own-adventure" as they navigate through the story. This panel bring together the best and most creative of YouTube's new breed of interactive storytellers to share their secrets of how they pull off these complex creations—including a walkthrough of actual viewer decision trees from their projects.
We drive cars to the gym to run miles on a treadmill. Inclement weather notwithstanding, why don’t we just run down the street? The activities are disconnected. We sit in close physical proximity with each other and text others far away. The activities are disconnected. Technological mediation creates a disconnection between physical goals and technology’s "help" in easing our workload.
There are at least two types of disconnection enveloping our days: one between ourselves and our environment (e.g., pumping water vs. pumping iron) and one between ourselves and each other (e.g., individual distraction vs. global connection) with technology wedged in between in both cases. If our culture is essentially technology-driven, then what kind of culture emerges from such disconnections between our physical goals and our technologically enabled activities?
by John Ellett
Whether it is a cool iPad app, a Facebook promo or an engaging blog concept, great new interactive ideas must get green-lighted before they see the light of day. In many companies this can be a frustrating experience. This panel will provide advice on how to get to “yes” from marketing executives who have approved (and killed) ideas like yours. A discussion of examples from the panelists’ respective companies will be followed by an “open mic” session where the members of the audience get to make one-minute quick pitches for advice from the panelists. The attendee with the best pitch will get a $100 gift card to celebrate his/her creative idea by exploring Austin’s exceptional eateries (or drinkeries) during the conference.
by Ben Rattray
Online advocacy groups traditionally focus on demanding change from Congress, which is largely unresponsive to these efforts. Find out how citizen activists are changing the face of civic participation by using social media to mobilize people in their neighborhoods, schools and cities to successfully fight for local change every day.
WordPress is free! It does astounding things out of the box. But it doesn't do everything. Therein lies the opportunity. Tons of people are making serious money with WordPress, why aren't you? In this session, each panelist will cover a core business opportunity with WordPress: Customization Services, Design Products & Premium Themes, Premium Plugins, Hosting Services and Content Properties. I'll share how Peter & I grossed close to a million in revenue last year from WordPress related design and development services with the help of a small team of talented freelancers. We'll explore the approach that Brandon, the #1 premium theme seller in North America, used to gross $250k in the last year (not bad for one dude). There are no shortages of opportunity. Get insight into how you can be successful from someone in each of these categories who is killing it and making real money (without working for Automattic).
1. How do I make my WordPress theme or plugin product stand out in an app marketplace?
2. How do I land 100k+ WordPress design + development projects?
3. How do I make money from WordPress support without hating everyone I talk to?
4. Where does the real revenue in blogs actually come from?
5. What makes someone pay for something thats free?
If you’re in charge of social media for your company, you’re likely struggling to show the executives what exactly all that hard work does for the business. You know it’s worthwhile, and you know there’s ROI, but you don’t have the tools or the resources to scientifically measure exactly what it all means. In fact – it’s probably getting to the point where you’re fed up.
This panel will gather experts from the social media monitoring and analytics world to share insights into the best ways to measure your social media campaigns without having to go to the ends of the earth to do it. What should you be paying attention to? What doesn’t really matter? How can you make measurement less of a burden and more of a strategic advantage?
Panelists will share real-world examples of how you can start measuring with accuracy and ease without losing any more sleep.
80% of the world population has access to mobile vs. only 23% with access to the Internet! Social interaction has revolutionized (online) digital media as it has opened new demographics and provides for a more compelling and relevant experience for users in addition to opening new tangents for search, recommendations, etc.
The transformative power of social context was especially pronounced in gaming (cf. Zynga ["Farmville"] et al. who have grown into large businesses very quickly).
The mobile landscape is significantly more complex than the Internet (dozens of platforms, hundreds of distribution channels, hundreds of jurisdictions), and the medium has indeed very different underlying dynamics (screen size and general form factor, input methods, mobility, use cases, etc). It is therefore vital to gain deep understanding about the underlying dynamics of both the medium as well as the users' approach in using that medium.
It is essential to avoid a "Galapagos effect" where certain models only work on limited platforms (e.g. iPhone) or in specific territories (e.g. Japan). Only a fraction of the world's 5bn (!) mobile subscriptions are on iPhones or are in Japan, and one needs to look to tackle the fragmentation dilemma in order to unlock the enormous potential the largest medium in the world has to offer.
This session will show the rationales that need to be applied to understand the medium and will outline paths to successfully address it.
by Rich Devine
By 2012, 20 percent of all search queries will come from a mobile device. While there is growing focus on creating mobile site experiences and applications, not enough businesses focus on their mobile search experience. Just because you’ve optimized search for the desktop doesn’t mean it works on a mobile device. Mobile search is different than desktop search—and for many businesses, it’s a critical step toward customer success. Our discussion focuses on three core actions: how to identify unique business opportunities for mobile search, how to optimize for mobile search, and how to measure the performance and value of mobile search.
The business plan, as a tool to lure potential investors, secure early customers, and guide the direction of your business, is a dying construct. Smart entrepreneurs realize that a prototype is worth a thousand business plans. This panel will focus on prototypes as a tool to accelerate the success of your business, and will have a particular emphasis on the role of prototyping in business modeling, fund raising, product development, and sales. We'll talk specifically about how prototyping can allow you to more efficiently allocate resources (both talent, time and money), discover customers’ unmet needs, outsmart the competition, and move potential investors from interested to infatuated.
by Joe McCann
HTML5 is no question the "buzzword du jour" in tech nowadays, but looking past the vernacular cruft one will discover that the HTML5 technology STACK is actually an incredibly powerful & useful framework for apps well beyond the traditional web browser. Massive companies like Google and Hewlett Packard are placing huge bets on the future of "HTML5 App development". From HP/Palm's WebOS to be used in their mobility products to Google's Chrome OS, HTML5 is not simply another buzzword that can be treated as a mere passing trend, but should actually be taken seriously for app development.
But what makes up the HTML5 stack and how will it truly be the future of software? What are the benefits & risks associated with using the HTML5 stack? Prove to me it works. All of these questions & demands will be answered & showcased in the presentation including important issues such as:
Social media platforms create new challenges for healthcare practitioners and other professionals who actively participate in online communities that have emerged on Facebook, Twitter and similar applications. While it's not unusual for those with chronic health issues and long term medical problems to build close relationships with care providers "in real life" - legal, ethical and practical issues emerge when patients/clients seek to add care providers to online networks.
How, for example, should a pediatric nurse respond when a cancer patient's mom wants to become a Facebook "friend"? What parameters must be established now that these public conversations could become of an official medical record? What else is preventing medical staff and healthcare organizations from adopting social media?
Engage with panelists - patients and healthcare workers - who actively use social media and are articulate advocates for its benefits in the complex world of healthcare delivery. Panelists for this session have developed ways to establish appropriate boundaries without creating barriers to health education and empowerment.
Attendees will develop a more sophisticated awareness of privacy and engagement within online communities. They'll learn how those in the healthcare community have dealt with significant concerns and developed effective ways to resolve ethical conflicts, and will leave the session with a framework for addressing similar concerns within their own networks.
by June Cohen
What do science fiction stories tell us about how social networking and user-generated content will evolve? How it will affect us as a civilization? Futurists and SF writers will explore real possibilities for the next fifty years of social media - and debunk bad futurism that predicts either total abundance or complete apocalypse.
by Neal Pollack
If too much stress at SXSW has you a little uptight, then the solution is simple -- relax and let it go. Start your day mindfully with an hour of light, meditative stretching. Yoga was developed thousands of years ago as a way to prepare the body and mind to be more receptive to enlightenment. What better way to prepare for all the new people and ideas you will encounter every day at SXSW Interactive?
The Texas Game Incubator is a non-profit organization focused on creating jobs and wealth in Texas through the promotion of game-focused entrepreneurship. Learn how TGI can help you connect with development professionals or provide support to your brand-new start-up company in the interactive digital media space. Our intention is to make Texas a global leader in the video game & applied games industries.
While both music and design have theoretical underpinnings, they also share a certain ineffability. A musical masterpiece and an exceptionally crafted experience demand more than the simple application of theory. They also demand virtuosity. Designers must skilfully bring together clicks and gestures — the building blocks of interaction design — to form a meaningful experience. Although it's simple to describe these components, we often resort to vague shorthands like 'look & feel' to explain what happens at the experiential layer. Similarly, composers rely on formalised technique to write music; yet ask what makes a piece remarkable and the answer will be similarly nebulous. In this session, we will examine parallels between music and interaction design, including harmony, genre, rhythm, fashion and emotion. Along the way, we will learn how that which defies easy definition can elevate digital and musical works from good to miraculous.
1. Why do some interactions and some pieces of music—even when they seemingly 'obey' all the rules—still feel wrong?
2. What is it about music that provokes such a profound emotional response and how can designers learn from it?
3. Why, despite all expectations, the overflow of information can actually be a rather lovely experience.
4. Why does innovation actually feel bad?
5. And finally, just what is 'The Brown Noise'?
In 2009 the Iranian government expelled most foreign media organisations and jammed international broadcasts. For the BBC's Persian TV emails, video, Twitter and facebook postings from Iran became the main source of news. Groundbreaking stories were complied using material from viewers and listeners - often sent in with great personal risk to themselves.
The current protests in Egypt, seem to have begun on Facebook. In the Xingjian province of China government censors were defeated by a tweet - news of a popular uprising amongst the regions Uighurs in this remote province leaked out to the world's media. A military clampdown ensued, but not before foreign media got to the region and heard the Uighurs grievances. Conversely the oppressors use the same social media tools, partly to spread disinformation about their activities, but also in the cases of groups such as the Taliban, to push their beliefs.
The panel will discuss how censorship and suppression is made more and more difficult to hide by the social media revolution, and the impact of this for traditional media organisations.
Julian Siddle the inventor of the BBC's technology programme Digital Planet leads the panel with journalists from the BBC Chinese and Persian services who were actively involved in these stories. Examples of UGC - user generated content; videos produced by the public in places with repressive regimes, will be shown during the panel.
What happens when Wikipedia isn't big enough? This is a key question for those developing closed community spaces. Wikipedia came onto the scene promising to offer a repository for all knowledge, but it turned into the world’s best encyclopaedia—absolutely nothing more, nothing less. A remarkable achievement it is, but one that never managed to store local knowledge with the same reverence as general, global knowledge. This panel will explore how developers are trying to address these limitations by building a different kind of collaborative environment. From local wikis that only allow those who live in the community to contribute to government-sponsored social networks meant to enhance a specific organization, the panel examines the viability of closed and semi-open networks. The panel will specifically look at how you get local communities involved in mass collaboration: 1) What topics generate traffic for local communities? 2) Which current collaborative tools work best for community engagement? 3) What kind of collaborative tools are needed for the future? 4) How do local collaborative environments reach out to community members who lack digital literacy? To answer these questions on local collaboration the panel will involve experts involved with DavisWiki.org and the Department of State, as well as those involved in digital inclusion efforts in underprivileged communities.
A few times each year, the press buzzes about the latest scientific advance that will someday cure any one of the diseases we fear the most. Nearly every one of these will turn out to be nothing more than a news story and far from a pill that can help improve our health. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars every day on research, as we struggle to find the "magic bullet" that will rid the world of conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. We almost never find the magic.
While the big, historic scientific advances may be what dominate the headlines, in the end, it's the small improvements and better utilization of the technology we have already have that will ultimately lengthen our lives and improve its quality. These technologies don't come from labs filled with test tubes or cell cultures, but rather from labs filled with computers and the programs that run them. In the future, it will be digital technologies that prevent, treat, and finally cure diseases and not the latest "blockbuster" drug that has yet to be discovered (and might never be).
Digital technologies can already help us understand which treatments are best for us, what diseases pose the greatest risk, and how diseases spread among us. They can improve our interactions with doctors and improve access to care for everyone.
Instead of waiting for the next miracle drug to be developed, you might find the miracle was there all along right inside the computer you use every day.
by Khoi Vinh
Khoi Vinh, former design director at the NY Times, will be stopping by the SX Bookstore to greet registrants and sign copies of his book, Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design
by Mark Briggs
The Internet has forever changed the way that news is produced and consumed. It has crippled the traditional business model for print publishers by exploding the distribution monopolies they once enjoyed. It has also been a boon to the audience, allowing accessibility, interactivity and accountability for journalism like never before, and allowing new business models to emerge. Much has been written about using digital tools for the practice of journalism (including what I've contributed with Journalism 2.0 and Journalism Next) so this book will focus primarily on using digital tools (in a new digital ecosystem) to launch and successfully run a new media news business.
New digital models have a proven, sustainable economic model supporting quality journalism. A closer look at the new forms of news and journalism that are succeeding will reveal how journalists/entrepreneurs can use those lessons to launch their own start-ups.
by Mark Briggs
Mark Briggs will be stopping by the SX Bookstore to greet registrants and sign copies of his book, Newstopia: The New Business Models for News
11th–15th March 2011