"The test results are positive."
"We're out of beer." Change happens - how you handle it is up to you. Improv can help. In past SXSW workshops, we've explored how the lessons of improv comedy apply to everyday life and business. This year, we'll focus on how improv can increase your adaptability - a critical skill in today's workforce, not to mention, key to maintaining your sanity in our unpredictable, fast-changing world. Learn how the skills actors and musicians use to invent on the fly can help reduce stress and make you a positive, unflappable leader, no matter what your career path, station in life, or zodiac sign. Come join us for a session filled with games, laughs, and interactive discussion grounded in real-world examples. You'll leave armed with skills you can use the next time the world throws you a curve ball (i.e. immediately). Marcus Aurelius said, "The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." We couldn't agree more.
Dinner parties are the ultimate social experience that no digital technology will ever replicate. You sit face-to-face with others, sharing an experience that uses all five of your senses. It's the original social network.
For many though, hosting your own dinner party -- or even cooking dinner for yourself -- feels like too much work. There’s too much planning, too many options, too many picky eaters.
In this session, we’ll demonstrate some emerging technologies that make cooking easy and more accessible for both novice and expert home cooks. Things like smart recipes that adjust to your guests’ preferences, multiple recipes that combine themselves into one step-by-step process, dinner party planning tools connected to social networks, cooking classes done via chat rooms, appliances that can’t overcook food, kitchen scales that measure ingredients for you and a few tips and techniques to let you do more in the kitchen.
by John Boyer and Katie Pritchard
A standard, supposedly self-evident fact: small class size is pedagogically superior for all student learning. Poppycock! This presentation will outline our successful strategies for expanding the conventional college classroom to 3000 students...and beyond. Combining a dynamic speaker with innovative technologies, social networking tools, and non-conventional sources of knowledge can produce an environment which fosters student engagement, content retention, deep comprehension, and lifelong curiosity...even in ultra-large classes. Integrating video podcasts, graphic novels, film, Facebook, Twitter, Poll Everywhere, and Ustream into course structure can increase choices and flexibility in student-centered activities/assignments, and facilitate increased teacher-student and student-to-student interaction. This course model challenges conventional class-size wisdom, conquers the confines of physical classrooms, and defies the old-school, teacher-centered pedagogy of centuries past.
by Jeremy Sanchez and Robert John Davis
“Viral.” No word in the interactive marketing lexicon derails strategic thinking quite as effectively. Everyone wants their video to go viral, but the fantasy of millions of people discovering a video for free (without media, PR and search strategies) leads to disappointment and disillusion. Few videos ever go viral, and fewer actually need to. Good interactive video strategies don’t just rely upon massive numbers of views. From VSEO (video search engine optimization) to interactive engagement, video offers opportunities that go far beyond the limitations of viral TV2.0 strategies. Engagement and meaningful KPI’s increase the value of video to global companies as well as neighborhood cake shops – regardless of any viral impact. Learn how to optimize your video strategy to pull the levers that matter most.
Social media has gone mainstream! But it's not everywhere yet. In this session, we'll focus on the five emerging trends on how enterprises are leveraging social media. Patterns have emerged among social businesses and we'll review how organizations are leveraging these new capabilities to deliver bottom-line results. Specifically, in this session we will look into the technologies that enable organizations to generate new ideas, accelerate innovation, increase customer satisfaction, increase productivity, and gain a competitive edge. This session is sponsored by IBM.
This session is about the role and form that brain interfaces might take on in coming years. It draws from the science, the facts, the fictions and products currently on the market.
As interfaces have evolved they’ve followed a predictable path of increasing directness, from keyboards to mice, touch, voice and gestures. As we peel away the layers between us, our bodies, our tools, and the objects we want to control, interactions become faster, less exerted, and more natural. If we follow the possible trajectories of user interfaces, where might we end up? Is the brain the evolution of the user interface? Are our thoughts the logical next step in natural interaction?
The brain user interface has played a role in design fiction and science fiction, and there are valuable insights in that world. And, the technologies that enable brain UI have become real and almost practical. But - in everyday interactions, what will brain interfaces actually be useful for? What will we and the world around us look, behave and interact like? How, where, and when will we use them? What are the opportunities, and what are the challenges in creating experiences for brain interaction?
This session will set out to answer questions about the evolution of user interfaces by exploring the speculative and real product applications that are ahead for brain interaction, and the design patterns that will emerge around them.
by Andrew Coulton and Kath M Mainland
Arts festivals are all about bringing people together, creating shared experiences and introducing them to cultural gems that they might not otherwise have found. How can festivals make best use of new technology to develop their audiences, enhance the impact of their content and remain relevant in the Information Age? What role can festival data play in the semantic web, and does it have more to offer than just what's on where? How might social platforms, ticketing innovations and mobile applications help audiences to navigate and explore the content available at a major arts festivals? In 2011 we opened our data to the developer community through www.culturehackscotland.com . Culture Hack Scotland was an outstanding event and was one of the strongest ever demonstrations of the value of open data in the arts. Hear how Edinburgh's Festivals Innovation Lab is beginning to answer some of these questions and explore what value the Edinburgh Festivals, a significant test bed environment, can add to the SXSW community.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world, and works with the other 11 major festivals in the city through Festivals Edinburgh.
Citizens interact with their governments (local or national) every day, and they increasingly do this via websites, phone apps, or other types of technology. Many of these interfaces are uninformed by the design and experience practices that have become a standard part of commercial product and service development. In fact, few government agencies have the budget in these times to hire a staff of web and experience practitioners. Over the last several years, a vibrant culture of hackathons has grown up, with developers spending weekends building apps based on government data. Designers and researchers, however, haven't yet begun to participate in numbers.
This talk will discuss the challenges of public/citizen experiences and the great potential to improve Americans' lives through informal design and prototyping collaborations. We'll explain how designers and developers can build communities of public service around our talents and industries. We'll inspire the audience to use their powers for good and contribute to the growing movement known as Government 2.0
Bad personas can make your skin crawl. The ones that offer no real insight into an audience and play make-believe with random facts are not useful in any context. Good personas theoretically inspire and guide innovation, but like any good story, it's difficult to create relatable characters. This session outlines a project where we developed five nameless personas for lynda.com.Our method uses no names, psychology, or broad habits. The philosopher Harry Frankfurt explained, "it is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction." We removed the things that didn't matter even if they were true from our personas. We communicated the major distinctions across the personas so lynda.com could immediately understand the lifetime value of their site to customers. In this session, we go over how we identified and eliminated the B.S. that creeps into personas, and how we made a video instead of the traditional paper approach.
Using a variety of original source material, Chris Grayson will give an overview of the global network, as envisioned by thinkers at ARPA before the creation of the ARPAnet. Examples include J.C.R. Licklider's "Man-Computer Symbiosis," 1960; Douglas Engelbart's "Augmenting Human Intellect," 1962; and Ivan Sutherland's "The Ultimate Display," 1965. Some focus will also be given to the people and personalities involved. Heidi Hysell will provide the technical explanation for many milestones in the evolution of the Internet, making the case that the human interface to the network has historically been limited by the available technology, and with Augmented Reality, we are now entering an era that truly begins to deliver on the original vision.
by Brandon Berry Edwards and Kaj Vatsa
China is considered home to the world's factories, manufacturing everything from zippers to photovoltaic cells and with its population of over 1.3 billion and booming economy, consumerism is on the rise, too. But lets peak into the hidden layer of China's unique blend of creativity and tech innovation. There's the Shanzhai phenomenon - unique to China but even more interesting is looking at how Chinese consumers use technology differently, creating and combining platforms to suit the demands of a generation bred on instant gratification and constant connectivity.
by Jason Baldridge and Lillian Lee
Language is the holy grail of artificial intelligence. When we imagine sharing a world with smart machines, we don't think about logic, or problem solving, or winning at chess. We hear HAL-9000 declining to open the pod bay doors, and the Terminator saying he'll be baaack. Researchers have been working on building computers we can talk to for 60 years; in the 1990s, Bill Gates predicted that speech would soon be “a primary way of interacting with the machine”. So why aren't we talking to our computers yet ....Or are we? Thanks to new developments in human language technology (also known as "natural language processing") and text analytics, computers are analyzing everything from e-mail and tweets to clinical records and and speed-date conversations. How does the technology work, when does it work well (and when not), what's it doing for us, and where is it headed?
Today’s customer is complex, but tomorrow’s will be even more difficult to understand, communicate with, support and please. Tomorrow’s customer will be used to an always-available ecosystem of online, mobile, and social media feedback channels, and will expect and demand fast responses. They will have a seeming “A.D.D.” mentality and businesses need to be ready. Listening to customer will change; surveys will become a hidden dialogue, communication channels will change and what customers expect from a company will change dramatically. Adam Edmunds and Al Nevarez will share best practices from leading edge companies today, and those who will pioneer this important area tomorrow. This session is sponsored by Allegiance.
It seems like everyone is trying to build an online community these days. Unfortunately, designing a community space is much trickier to nail than your typical web app. The smallest changes can have butterfly-like effects that greatly impact, sometimes irreversibly, community behavior as the community grows. Designing for a community is like running a small island nation with every design decision a matter of public policy. You’ll often find that the needs of your community are at odds with those of individual users.
In this talk, Richard White, co-founder of UserVoice.com, and Steve Huffman, co-founder of Reddit.com and Hipmunk.com, will cover some of the key concepts behind community-driven design and how you can incorporate them into your design thinking. We’ll also cover some of common pitfalls that drive participants away from online communities or create insular bedroom communities. Most importantly we’ll share our experiences with building online communities and walk you through real data we have collected that illustrate how small design changes can have a big impact.
Enterprise and consumer experiences are blurring more everyday as applications move to the cloud and companies build a vertical stack of offerings. Today's Facebook and Twitter generation expect their applications to be as easy and enjoyable to use as consumer applications. As the cloud evolves, our design process must evolve with it. What does the enterprise user experience design process look like today and where is it going? Guided by examples from Salesforce and Do, learn about the unique challenges and solutions of designing usable applications for enterprise users.
Ryan King (System Engineer at Twitter) and Tom Wilkie (co-founder and VP engineering at Acunu) delve into the bowels of Apache Cassandra, the highly scalable second-generation distributed database in use at Twitter, Netflix and more others.
In this talk, they'll look at how Cassandra works and show you how to make it growl!
This dual session will share the journey the Cassandra team at Twitter has taken to make Cassandra deliver on its promises while Acunu will talk about the dramatic performance improvements that take place when you move some of the heavy-lifting into the Linux kernel, by using the open source storage engine for Big Data, codename Castle.
J-Lab counts more than 1,200 entrepreneurial news start-ups around the country. Placeblogger counts 4,000-plus placeblogs. These sites often get bad raps from traditional media for being the equivalent of unlicensed drivers behind the wheels of quasi-journalistic enterprises, trafficking in rumors and opinion. Yet many are trying to do the right things, tip-toeing through pay-to-play pressures from advertisers, navigating the reporting of locals' minor infractions, sunsetting search-engine tidbits, and fielding partisan accusations from political candidates. A corps of entrepreneurs is developing new codes of rights and wrongs.
9th–13th March 2012