We're excited to announce the Lanyrd unofficial guide to SXSW Interactive 2011. Discover sessions from your Twitter contacts, track slides, video and notes and follow the conversation with a hash tag for every session.
SXSW Interactive in Austin TX, colloquially referred to as "spring break for geeks", is a vast and extraordinary event. What started 15 years ago as the "multimedia" component of the Film festival has now grown to eclipse even SXSW Music, and has spread out to take over most of the city's conference hotels.
We've been hard at work here at Lanyrd HQ figuring out the best way to help people make the most of those five intense days. We think we can do that by focusing on speakers, sessions and coverage. The infamous party scene is already well addressed by an abundance of other startups.
First up, we're releasing a session discovery tool that also helps you keep track of the slides, video and notes from the sessions you are interested in.
Sign in to sxsw.lanyrd.com with Twitter and we'll instantly show you which sessions your contacts are presenting, attending or tracking. We have over 1200 speaker profiles, so there's a high chance that someone you follow is giving a session you might want to go to.
Give us your email address, track some sessions and we'll send you an email when slides, notes and videos from those presentations are added to Lanyrd. If you like, we can also send you a daily email during the conference reminding you of the sessions you planned to attend.
(And if you spend all day drinking margaritas and eating guacamole, you can still catch up on the sessions your boss told you to go to)
Search through 750 sessions, or take advantage of our splendid filtering interface powered by topic metadata meticulously crowdsourced by a team of helpful volunteers (thanks, volunteers!) who also helped us gather 1263 Twitter names of speakers at the conference.
With so many sessions, and at one point 49(!) happening at the same time, following the resulting conversations on Twitter will be a major challenge. Some sessions have picked an official hash tag, and we'll be collecting those on Lanyrd (please add any you know about). For everything else, we've assigned a unique hash tag based on the Lanyrd short URL for the session page. We'll have a bot tweeting out hash tags at the beginning of each session so people can use them to tie the conversation together.
Since we have collected the most complete list of SXSW speakers on Twitter anywhere, we thought it would be nice to share it with you. Follow these lists to see what the SXSW speakers are tweeting about right now:
We're also maintaining a list of useful SXSW related Twitter accounts that talk about what's hot and happening at SXSW this year.
Click on a speaker's profile to see their SXSW plans, alongside extra info from Lanyrd about other events where you can meet them, books they have written and coverage of previous talks they have given.
Great British Booze-Up, Shakespeare's Pub, 314 East 6th Street on Monday March 14th from 6 to 9pm.
We're definitely not done yet — we'll be adding a bunch of improvements between now and the conference, including venue information, export to your calendar and other tools designed to be useful on the ground. So keep checking back, or follow @lanyrdsxsw on Twitter for updates.
It's not all about SXSW. Almost all of the features we've built for the festival will be rolled back in to the rest of the site over the next few weeks, including the ability to track and attend sessions at any conference.