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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 on Monday 14th March in Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

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  • How To Hire And Manage A Developer

    by Steve Zehngut

    This presentation focuses on breaking down the communication barriers that can make working with a developer more difficult than it needs to be. The presentation will cover Interviewing Your Potential Developer, Planning & Project Managment, Using A Version Control System, and Bug Reporting. The session will give the audience a reality check on how to go about working with a developer to get a custom Wordpress site (or any digital project) built on time and on budget.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 14th March

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

  • Scratching Your Personal Projects Itch

    by Richard Crowley and Cap Watkins

    Have you ever had an idea for a great product, but thought any of the following:

    "I don't have enough time to work on this and keep my full-time job."
    "I don't have the dev/design/business skills to make this on my own."

    Come hear from three people who have each figured out their own unique ways around these (and other) challenges. From the designer with zero development skill, to the developer who freelances to fund their own project, to the developer who focuses full-time on scratching his own itch, this panel runs the gamut for dreamers of all shapes and sizes. Hear what's worked for us and what could work for you!

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Brazos 2/3, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Stop Working Nights / Weekends and Get a Life!

    by Wesley Hodgson and Ryan McMinn

    The myth of the tech world is that working 80+ hrs week is required to keep up and innovate. While you worked 80+ hrs this week I have been riding a bike down the US coast and am more successful than you. The time you spend away from your office and in the real world is the source of real inspiration and innovation. Come learn tips, trick and lessons on how to get a life while still having an awesome career.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 14th March

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

  • Getting ‘Em Online & Off-Their-Ass

    by Jody Rones and John Wiseman

    Building a Brand by Activating Your Audience from the Inbox to the Real World: what does it take to motivate your audience to better engage with your content and your advertising partners? Learn successful ways to add real-life magic to online campaigns with unforgettable events and buzz-building promotions that will add value and new consumer touch points for your brand. From branded takeovers of $25 million mansions to weekend-long pool parties, we’ll share best practices – along with tantalizing party photos – showcasing how you can bring your sponsors and readers together to drive both results and revenue through: a) IRL (“In Real Life”) activation of digital campaigns (e.g. Hotel Thrillist’s takeover of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach). b) Holistic social media and mobile tie-ins to broaden the reach of your cross-platform campaign. c) Effective sweepstakes for building interest and additional audience for your content.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

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

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

  • You Are The Gig Economy

    by Julie Ruvolo and ingrid sanders

    “No one I know has a full-time job anymore. They’ve got Gigs.” - Tina Brown, The Gig Economy (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blo...)

    Depending on when you last watched Office Space, Lumbergh might be your idea of the quintessential boss from hell or evoke nostalgia for “when people had bosses.”
    Welcome to the jobless, boss-less Gig Economy.
    Where independent workers now make up 30% of the American workforce - freelancers, contractors, part-timers, self-employed, dabblers in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
    Where 75% of small businesses in the US are sole proprietorships – that’s 20 million businesses with no Lumbergh and no employees.
    And where 75% of 2010’s college grads don’t have a job waiting for them on the other side of their Commencement Address.
    Maybe we’re better off working for ourselves.
    In his latest book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink argues that “extrinsic motivators” like bosses and bonuses are less effective than things that motivate us from the inside out: autonomy, mastery and purpose.
    So what makes us tick when we don’t have a boss, an office, a time to show up at work, or even a paycheck?
    Through the lenses of autonomy, mastery and purpose, we’ll talk with a panel of the nation’s leading thinkers on the freelance lifestyle and work productivity and argue whether we’re looking at a crippling, jobless future or the emergence of a better way to work.

    LEVEL: Beginner

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

    In Brazos 2/3, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • 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

  • Company Culture: It's All Your Fault

    by Greg Hoy

    Business owners and managers are responsible for a lot of stuff that requires a lot of antacid to orchestrate. Getting work in the door, paying people, developing products and services, keeping clients happy, and, oh yeah - keeping everyone at work happy.

    The happy part is always the hard part.

    How do you go about fostering an environment that's fun, rewarding and fulfilling? Does company culture just 'happen', or is it something you have to consciously work at?

    • What happens when your company starts growing, and that small group you were so tight with becomes bigger and less 'connected?'
    • What does it mean when everyone starts going for drinks without you?
    • What do you do when personalities or work styles start clashing, and the Utopian work ship you set to build starts listing?
    • What can you do to keep things fun without making it seem 'fake?'
    • If someone doesn't say 'good morning', could they be mad at you?
    • What office policies are fair? Which ones are bogus?
    • How can you ensure people don't dread Monday mornings?
    • What are the top 10 things to watch out for that turn into corporate culture cancer?

    We'll look at these and other aspects of maintaining a positive and rewarding work environment, with a laser focus on sharing candid real-world stories and solutions that can help make your work environment the best it can be.

    LEVEL: Beginner

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

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

  • My Title Is Web Designer, Now What?

    by Val Head and Chris Cashdollar

    As agencies and professionals become more entrenched in their processes for creating sites, the role of the web designer has become more nuanced. The skillsets of people who call themselves web designers can vary greatly from one to the next. One may never touch code; one may have their hands in every step of building out their designs; others may be somewhere in between.

    These days it's hard to know what kind of things you should be expected to do as a web designer. Should we continue to add skills outside of the traditional realm of design to our toolbox? Do we focus on becoming design experts? The way we answer questions will affect our careers and how we work.

    In this panel we will discuss what we, as web designers, need to do to adapt to the new trends and ever-changing demands of our craft. We'll talk about what skills a web designer should have in their design toolbox and tackle questions like: should designers know how to code? Where do the skills of a graphic designer and a web designer overlap and where do they differ? And how does the differentiation of role expectations effect design processes?

    LEVEL: Intermediate

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

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

    Coverage transcript

  • Switch: from Freelancer to Entrepreneur

    So you’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole into the world of freelancing and you’re ready to make it a legit career so your friends stop thinking you’re unemployed. But how does it actually happen? Should you take the red pill... or the blue one? Do you have to grow a big agency or outsource work to India? Maybe neither. Designing a successful business takes vision, organization and communication mixed with grit and determination. And our panel guests are in the thick of it—building a business together and ready to share their successes and failures with you.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

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

    In Brazos 2/3, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Communication and Innovation: Does Culture Still Matter?

    by Max Niederhofer

    An in-depth exploration from panellists on how innovation and communication differs from country to country. Panellists will discuss and provide insight into the barriers currently affecting innovation and communication in countries across the world and how we can learn from one another as we continue to move forward and evolve in these capacities at the global level.
    The panel will also discuss how the rise of the internet and related technologies have facilitated the ease of bridging any barriers affecting multicultural innovation and communication and how they have ultimately created a new set of rules for doing business.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

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

  • Freelancers Are Slutty, But So Are You

    by Shane Pearlman and Peter Chester

    Freelancing is a lifestyle.

    In this session we'll present an overview of the pros and cons of working with freelancers. We'll walk you through our systematic approach to finding, retaining, and coordinating freelance teams. We'll answer some of the basic questions about working with freelancers such as:

    • When does it make sense to work with independent contractors?
    • How do you maintain an enduring relationship with a freelancer?
    • What are the traits of a successful freelancer?

    And we'll cover some basic topics including:

    • Lifestyle: Why people choose to be freelancers
    • Freelancers are slutty, but so are you: How to approach independence.
    • Match made in heaven: Pros and cons of working with Freelancers
    • Long distance relationships: How to approach communication
    • Take a trip to Hawaii: Keeping freelancers on your team

    We run a team of highly skilled and inspired independent contractors doing UI, web design, development, and multimedia. We've been working freelance on large corporate projects for over 10 years. We founded Freelance Camp in 2008, leading to a global movement. We've won numerous Webby awards, work with the likes of SAP, MTV, AOL and dozens of other 3 letter acronyms.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Brazos 2/3, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Understanding Humans: New Psychology and the Social Web

    by Gavin Bell and Jyri Engestrom

    The internet is now social, but the tools and theories we use to understand it are rooted in a pre-social past. Much of the psychology inspired interaction design draws on information processing models from desktop application design. Perfect for shopping carts, not so good for understanding the social web. Newer psychological theories like Activity Theory or Actor Network theory can help us understand our need for tools like Twitter and Facebook. This world of post-cognitive theories understand social relationship and move beyond the simple world of goal directed tasks with neat closure. The social object is a great framing device for current applications, but Activity Theory has more to offer us. Every act is social in nature. Using this as a starting point this talk will explore how relationships form and how our interactions with each other on the internet form part of our wider experience. Learn how to pick the key objects and actions for your application. Understand the important social aspects of the interactions you support and how privacy affects these exchanges. The coming distributed social web are based on social objects, activity streams plus much protocol glue to connect them. These post cognitive theories are the framework from which they were derived, but there is much more to them that you can apply to your own projects.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

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