Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 in Rio Grande B

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • The Life of the Startup Parent

    by Joshua Porter and Charlie Park

    You’re starting a startup, running a blog professionally, investing in other startups, or otherwise doing "the geek thing," and yet ... you know that your identity is rooted even more in the little one at home who’s toddling around in a playpen, learning teamwork on a soccer field, working on a science fair experiment, or otherwise doing "the kid thing."

    How do you balance your role as a parent with your role as a co-founder? How do you reconcile these two worlds, each of which would happily consume you completely? How much do you rely on your (life) partner? Your (business) partners? How do you reconcile the tension between these two worlds?

    A panel of rockstar parents/startup cofounders will share their secrets of success, their awkward failures, and their startup / parenting war stories.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 11th March

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

  • Hold on Loosely: How Loose Organizations Work

    by Clay Spinuzzi

    Companies always try to grow so they can do more things, add more capabilities, and make more money - right? Not anymore: Not in Austin, or in many other places. People are finding that digital and mobile technologies can help them to organize more loosely and rapidly, and that means they can keep small and flexible, scale up when necessary, and link up with other loose organizations to swarm big projects, even if they are freelancers working out of their own houses, coffee shops, or coworking spaces.

    How do these loose organizations work? In this core conversation, I'll briefly share stories from my research into some of Austin's loose organizations: freelancers, coworking spaces, and an internet startup. I'll discuss how the organizations in my research hold together, function, and build links with each other.

    With these cases in mind, I'll moderate a discussion about attendees' own experiences with loose organizations and brainstorm ways to make them run more effectively. Afterwards, I'll post conversation notes on my blog so we can keep the ball rolling after SXSW.

    LEVEL: Beginner

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

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

  • Shine Light On Others To Build Your Brand

    by Robyn Cobb

    The real-time web is quickly becoming a reality that allows your developing online social graph to be recorded into a stream of social activity. These increasingly popular lifestreams show the shifts around the social connections, the ways in which they’re made and the content discovered within each interaction, a unique indicator of the changing ways that consumers are also interacting with brands. Inside this stream of activities is a movement that is starting to take hold beyond just a re-tweet. More and more people are leveraging their social and corporate networks to create change whether in their community or across the globe. Social media and our blogs allow us to help rally our networks around a cause. Shining a light on others - without expecting anything in return - is the surest way to grow, strengthen, and promote your very own brand.

    This panel will address why it is important for brands and individuals to join the pay it forward movement. We’ll give you real examples and ideas on how you can leverage your social capital to rise above the noise, affect change, and get more enjoyment from your social networks.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 11th March

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

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Agile Self Development

    by Marcy Swenson and Dinah Sanders

    Know how to use an iterative, incremental framework to create improvements in software? You can use those mad skillz to make your life more awesome too! Come learn and share how agile techniques can be used to achieve personal goals and lower your stress – and even to get the most out of SXSW. Walk away with immediate, practical, positive actions you can take. Ideas to discuss:

    • What day-to-day or minute-to-minute techniques will allow me to satisfy shorter-term goals while building up to bigger progress?
    • How can I exploit my little monkey brain to get it to actually do stuff that will make my life better?
    • How can I stay aligned to the big picture while working on today's challenges?

    Tags: productivity, agile, lifehacks, happiness, self-development

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

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

  • Technical vs. Creative? Ridiculous! Quality Requires Both

    by John Davis

    All the left v right brain talk is going nowhere. Everything you see that is of high quality contains elements of both technical and creative mastery. We do what's easy and avoid what's hard...and even geeks get data wrong. Artistic measurement is as rare as scientific creativity, but we cannot change the world until we stop avoiding what's hard.

    Data-centric evaluation - today centering on ad evaluation - requires a collaboration among psychologists, economists, artists, and craftspeople from many disciplines if we want to rise above the everyday crap we hear in ads. This interdisciplinary approach to evidence-based decisions has been used successfully over 25+ years by Mr. Davis to position messages for Camel Joe, L'eggs hosiery, Coca Cola, politicians, cities and others who need to think critically, using research to learn the trutth, and not just support an idea that is already in motion.

    This session will give specific examples of scientific creativity that will leave you embarrased to ever use the technical v. creative mindset again. Evidence based decisions, your mind does it, why can't you?

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

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

  • Being Creative Takes Practice... A Good Management Practice

    Whether working freelance, on a project team, or just being a corporate puppet, “creatives” need a good management practice more than ever. It is really not enough to be creative or talented in the world of digital media. Good time management, communication management and project management are necessary elements for career success.

    This solo presentation will demonstrate a high level view of good management techniques for creative people that want to push their careers forward. Two-thirds of the session will be a prepared presentation in order to establish a fruitful dialogue with the attendees for the back third of the session.

    Management topics can include:

    • Defining scope of work to ensure a successful completion
    • Effective communications with stakeholders (team leads, customers, company execs)
    • Agile vs. waterfall project management (why care?)
    • Building a good base for future work (creating a work library)
    • Managing personal workflow to preserve quality of life and lessen project crunch time.

    A good source of references will be provided at the end of the session for further interest in the topic.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

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

  • Business Management for the Creative Mind

    by Debra Russell

    The Interactive Media world is a multi-billion dollar industry. And it is filled with what Michael Gerber refers to in "The E-Myth Revisited" as technicians who have had an Entrepreneurial Seizure and have made the mistake of thinking that if you understand the technical work of your business, you can be successful as a business owner. How many great ideas where scuttled because the business failed? Don't let your lack of business savvy undercut the brilliance of your ideas! Business Management for the Creative Mind will help you to understand that you don't need an MBA to be good at business. In this Core Conversation, We'll discuss the myths of incompatibility between business and creativity; what it takes to create a successful business; how to further your career and how to get the next level in your industry. You cannot create long-term success without first understanding the basics of being a small business owner and how to apply those fundamentals to your business. Together, we'll discover: * The 5 Hats of the Business Owner * How to overcome the 5 Biggest Challenges most business owners face * 3 Keys to Your Success. Even if you are an employee, acting as if you are a small business owner is the key to a long and successful career. This conversation will enable you to see yourself at home in the world of business and use your innate creative skills to conquer the challenges that may now seem overwhelming to you.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 12th March

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

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Technomadism - Becoming a Technology Enabled Nomad

    by Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy

    Why wait until retirement to explore the world? Technology is making it ever easier to work remotely, so why limit yourself to roving between local coffee shops when you can embrace a life of full time travel and a location independent career? Many are now exploring a technomadic lifestyle, and many more are looking for inspiration and advice to help them take the leap, cut the cord, and leave the conventional definitions of fixed-place home and work behind. Core conversation hosts Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard of Technomadia.com have been living and working technomadically without a permanent home base for nearly five years now, and they will share their stories, practical advice, and insights about this lifestyle. Topics covered may include selecting the right arsenal of technology to work successfully on the road, creating a mobile friendly career, selecting your ideal travel modality (wheels, sails, backpacks, or...), and logistical issues such as domicile, voting, vehicle registration, and more. Come learn how to make the leap to a life embracing wanderlust, or if you are already nomadic come and share your story and connect with other nomads. This session will be followed later in the day by an informal Nomadic Meetup.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

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

  • How to Make Money Traveling Around the World

    by Jason Boehle and Tynan .

    On Jan 3rd 2010 I left the country and spent time exploring Africa and Europe returning exactly 7 months later on Aug 3rd 2010.

    During that time I was able to visit 25 countries and make on average 3k a month working about 1 - 2 hrs a day remotely.

    I am 26 years old, live in the Austin area, and have spent the last 6 years in the internet marketing industry, mostly dabbling in affiliate marketing.

    The purpose of the trip was to backpack around Europe and Africa on the lowest budget possible, mostly staying in hostels and traveling around via bus, train, and hitch hiking. I was supposed be gone only 3 months but ended up staying 7.

    My presentation will have 2 sections. One catered to business the other catered to traveling.

    Section 1: How to Make Money While Traveling (Tips to automate your business)
    Section 2: How to Save Money On Traveling (Tips on finding the best travel deals)

    If accepted to speak at SXSW my presentation will be catered to 20, 30, and 40 somethings who enjoy traveling on a budget and making a bit of money to extend their stays.

    I will give this exact speech at the local SEO meetup (http://www.meetup.com/seo-austin/) on Oct 27th. I expect a turn out of about 100+ attendees. I believe this will be a good tuneup if accepted to present at SXSW. You can find my blog at www.goldenbooktraveler.com

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 13th March

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

  • How Social Media Fu@k'd up my Marriage

    I won't lie and say that until twitter & facebook came onto the scene our lives were perfect - but after 11 years - all through high school, college & most of our 20's - we were still together.

    Then Social Media entered the picture and the world turned upside down.

    Hear and learn the unseen impact these new relationships can have and the new extremes that controlling boyfriends/girlfriends/etc are using to keep tabs.

    Learn how NOT to have your relationship ruined by the online world we are all so heavily a part of and how I turned the bad into a successful blog & twitter persona - leveraging the same online community to help walk me through the divorce process and learning how to date for the first time since I was 14!!!

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 13th March

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

Monday 14th March 2011

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Tuesday 15th March 2011

  • How Technology is Revolutionizing the Way We Eat

    by Chitra Agrawal and Jaspal Riyait

    We are in the midst of a food revolution and technology is the catalyst. This is the age where chefs have Facebook fan pages, food bloggers are landing book deals, grandmas are uploading their cooking videos and single Twitter updates hold entire recipes.

    We’re more adventurous in the kitchen from reading cooking blogs that make lesser known cuisines and ingredients accessible. We no longer shy away from cooking techniques that seem over our heads thanks to cooking shows on YouTube. We’re now more resourceful with iPhone apps that help us make meals out of random and leftover ingredients.

    Food bloggers have become the newest trendspotters and online food communities are thriving on sites like Epicurious and Serious Eats. Restaurants live and die by reviews on Yelp while others are discovered on Foursquare. And we love to chase food trucks via Twitter!

    What does this mean for the restaurant and food industry, cookbook publishers and food critics, for traditional chefs and food bloggers and the new breed of home cooks and foodies whose appetites are wetted by what’s new and unknown?

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

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

  • GeekFit: How to Embrace Technology and Healthy Lifestyles

    by Robert Jolly and Derek Featherstone

    As interactive designers and developers, are we working ourselves to early graves? To put it mildly, our work is largely sedentary. This panel will explore some of the long-term health risks associated with our obsession with all things digital and too little time maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle.

    Learn from your industry peers about the health problems they've experienced and how they've embraced a more active lifestyle—with and without the use of technology—to reap truly amazing personal and professional benefits.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Tuesday 15th March

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

  • Employee Wellness: Farce or Untapped Potential?

    by Fran Melmed and Aaron Sklar

    Wellness programs are popping up everywhere in Corporate America. To stem the ever-rising cost of health care, more and more companies are throwing points-based systems, incentives, and discounted weight, tobacco cessation, and fitness programs at their employees. Meanwhile, dubious employees aren’t snapping up these benefits. And employers are miffed.

    Should they be? Or is the problem housed in the current piecemeal approach to wellness? Explore and debate a more expansive approach to employee wellness, one where the workplace becomes a driver of health for the emotional, physical, and financial benefit of both the organization and the individual.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Tuesday 15th March

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

  • Taming the Monkey Mind: Yoga and Creative Focus

    by Christa Avampato and Jennilyn Carson

    The perfect way to wrap-up your SXSW experience: a lively and carefree conversation about how yoga can help you easily access your creativity and imagination at will.

    We all know this feeling of being under the gun with a deadline, needing to access our most creative ideas at a moment's notice. When we really need our creative muse to show up, she somehow has the uncanny ability to hide like a needle in a haystack and then show up at 3:00am as we bolt upright out of bed, making our way in the dark to scribble down the ideas she's handed to us. For too long we've accepted that's just the way creativity and imagination work - unpredictably.

    Yoga - physical postures, breathing techniques, and visualization - helps us tap into our imaginations at will and with ease, exactly when we need them. A regular yoga practice keeps our minds sharp, helps us make connections between seemingly disparate bits of information that may otherwise go unnoticed, and imagine solutions to complex challenges. It gives us a way forward.

    This session is helpful for everyone who needs to tap into their own creativity on a regular basis - from performers to programmers, in all mediums.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

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