Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Process

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Do Agencies Need to Think Like Software Companies?

    by Matt Galligan, Allison Mooney, Robert Rasmussen, Amanda Kelso and Rick Webb

    Now that digital and mobile is a component of any innovative ad campaign, the question arises: How much do marketers need to know about technology? The truth is, advertisers and brand marketers are entering a brave new world -- one where code is on par with content. The 21st-century ad isn't something to be looked at, it's something to be used. Our reliance on mobile tools, such as apps, position them as the perfect vehicles for brands. "Consumers" are now "users." So are "marketers" now "developers"?

    Enter the hybrid marketer. More and more agencies are finding they need to educate and cultivate a new breed of people who understand tech from a marketing and brand perspective, and who have a consumer mindset. These creative technologists also lend a software company vibe around an agency.

    But should agencies really try this stuff at home? Should they be worrying about, say, the video capability of the latest iPhone? Or just stick to their core competencies and work with real software companies and development shops to realize their ideas? This panel will look at this new staffing paradigm and debate what the agency of the future should look like.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Ballroom F, Austin Convention Center

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Creative and Effective Leadership in Design Environments

    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.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Sunday 13th March

    In Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center

  • Social Free Agents

    by Jake Brewer

    Traditional organizations are like giant boulders in a river of ideas and information, disrupting flow and causing drag. By and large, organizations are static, inefficient, and structurally resist change, resulting in an inability to adapt. Perverse incentives arise, where solving the big problems organizations were created for contradicts the survival instinct of the organization, lest they become obsolete. Over time, organizations become invested in their structures for structures' sake - and even hold their commitment to obsolesence in high regard by touting their "sustainability" as a paramount priority. While this may be the best humanity has come up with so far to achieve the necessary scale required for global problems, they are far from an ideal structure to harness the best of what humanity can do together.

    With today's technology, people can come together and self-organize around specific goals, and dissipate those associations when the project is over - a project-based system, with more room for change and innovation, and more efficient composition of ideas and skill sets. Put simply, it's a world where everyone is a free agent citizen - capable of devoting primary, secondary, or even passive energy to a problem.

    What does this world look like? How does it scale? How does it affect productivity, the economy, and individual lifestyles? Where does this model break down, and what could be done to address those issues?

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:45pm to 1:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

Monday 14th March 2011

  • Your Web Developer Thinks You're an Idiot

    by Babette Pepaj

    "What we have here is a failure to communicate." This famous line (spoken to Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke) aptly describes the relationship that can develop between a Web site publisher and the site's developer. We'll examine real-world examples (some hilarious, others downright frightening) and discuss strategies to help non-techie entrepreneurs communicate effectively with their tech/development team.

    This panel will help your bootstrapped startup avoid being taken for a ride.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Rio Grande A, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • The Last of the Launch-and-Leave-'Ems

    by Peter Parkes, Anjali Ramachandran, Mel Exon and Conrad Lisco

    Negotiating the new handover. Agencies are building fewer static campaign-oriented sites and more platforms, communities and services. Cutting the apron strings between agency and digital product immediately after launch doesn't make practical sense, but maintaining the relationship indefinitely is costly for the client and creatively stifling for the agency. This panel will explore solutions that are most likely to be beneficial to both parties as well as the members of the service they are trying to build: a new plan for launch, propagation and perpetuation.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom F, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck