On Monday I managed to get to another session, before going off to the booth to do some more schmoozin'.
Social networking and your brand
Norm, Jina Bolton, Steve Smith, Steve Ganz, Paul Boag
This talk was great fun, although it was another one of these talks that entertained but didn't have much in the way of content - not necessarily a bad thing. Norm rather brilliantly played devil's advocate, asking questions such as "who the hell are you, and why should we care", and "Isn't social networking and branding pointless"? I think he's even more cynical than me about social networking!
Paul Boag then called Norm our by saying his brand is "drunkard" (try searching for king of the britons on flickr.) Paul showed a load of images of Norm looking drunk, and said "would you want to employ this man?" ;-)
Around this time, I also had a really nice conversation with Leslie Jensen about education at universities, and saw Shaun Inman too, and Craig and few others.
When I got back to the booth, I saw Cheryl Wise and Ross Harmes, two of my authors while I was at Apress - nice meeting you both! I went to lunch for some nice Texas BarBQ with Cheryl and Tristan from Opera, then tried to race back to see the browser wars panel that Chaals was speaking on...it was so packed that I couldn't get in!
On getting back to the exhibition hall, I talked to a load more great people, like my ex-colleagues from Apress/foED - Pete, Ben and Julie - and Dylan Schiemann from Dojo, who has some great ideas about Dojo support in Opera, and how to make browsers run JS toolkits more efficiently by introducing some kind of silent toolkit versioning control system.
Monday night was the night of our Rock Opera party, and I was really looking forward to seeing how it would go down! The bands played were great, Ben and Erin modelled the clothes for the fashion show really well, and a few light ales were consumed....ok, a lot! I think that if we keep putting on great rock and roll parties like this, we can eventually give Media Temple a run for their money! Well, maybe, maybe not ;-)
Tuesday was, shall we say, another fairly challenging day. I didn't get up to anything amazing in the day time, except for talking to a couple of guys about Microformats and browser integration, doing some more developer outreach, and getting a couple of choice bits of schwag.
We had a nice chilled out Opera team dinner at a lovely steakhouse, and then sidled on down to the Media Temple closing party, where I talked to so many different people that it's pretty much a blur. I only had about 2 drinks, because I was mindful about getting my flight the morning after, but it was a pleasant, if rather subdued, affair (surprising for Media temple!)
It was fabulous to talk to people like Lena, Stephany Sullivan and Greg Rewis, the Opera possee, Jon Hicks, Norm and a lot of the other Britpack guys, Paul Duncan...Denise, loads of Yahoo folk...the list goes on and on!
After getting less sleep than I'd hoped for, because of the international house of pancakes expedition team invading my room for a moment at about 3am, and someone trying to call me at about 4.30am, I got up, enjoyed a quiet breakfast, and got a taxi to the airport.
What a great SXSWi - the best one get, imo! I made lots of new friends and useful contacts, rocked out, and escaped with my dignity intact...well, pretty much!