SXSWi: Making sense of all the noise

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Why does SXSW matter? Because it’s SXSW! It gets people excited, fills teams and startups full of hope and focus for a few weeks, or months, and they all then bring this energy to Austin. This naive “I will be the change maker of the year” will suddenly meet the more cynical old players, who feel at home at the festival, who know which streets you should take between two parties to meet the “right people” before hitting the “right places” to be identified as the “right projects”. You start in this endless chase, or at least I did at the beginning.

For our first SXSW experience: the team partnered up with the Social Media Club, and was prepared and ready to make sense of the festival and applying curation to this big machine.

But still, you are tempted when you arrive to run, after… something without knowing what it is. After 24 hours, I just stopped trying to be SXSW, and went for being myself at SXSW, meaning finding insights, having a chance to meet do-ers and great people during my daily recap, reflect on the day with Guillaume and Marc.
Reflecting, that is probably the hardest thing to do in this environment. But you can definitely try. You can find panels and discussions that resonate and provoke ideas.

One of these notions that we were there to discuss was curation. We do not believe it is just a buzzword. We think it’s a necessity in order to bring the web to its full potential. The web is dead, long live to the contextual one.

I think my life is complete and full, I never differentiate between my “offline life” and “online one”. By consequence, I apply instinctively this principle in my human interactions. SXSW is a great context. It has to be careful not to loose this force and become the caricature of itself, meaning that it would become more important to be here, than being here for a good reason. I found my way, I made sense of the festival, I even met new friends and inspiration, sometimes it surprises you, like life, on a corner of the street or a nice introduction. I loved SXSW but not for the urban legend I have heard: parties, craziness, sponsoring are a nice decorum. The key stays the stimulation you bring to the place: people. The content is the key, but it has to be optimized to be heard.
No, I am not talking about I swear. But the internet is not fictional, just like social media. Social is not just a concept, it is a human condition. The different social media are not far from reality: they are my reality.  There is no boundaries anymore between “online life” and offline one.

I love to see connection and fluidity between my activities, be they on or off screen. That’s why what I envision here for and our users is still true for face to face interaction.

Someone called Steve Jobs once said to Nike : “Get rid of the crappy stuff.”

I can’t agree more. This doesn’t mean that SXSW has to become a “normal” conference. The parties, spontaneous meet ups and talks have all become essential to defining this event. Just like for content on the internet more isn’t always better. Great curation and focussing on the quality of the content and events is what will ensure that we all can continue to enjoy SXSW fever for years to come.

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About the Author

Benoit Lamy
Former consultant and entrepreneur, sport and tech addict, Benoit is in charge of team and product, after having managed Business team in Europe for 5 years.
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