SXSW 2014 Ends with a Very Late Night

magnolia cafeI had a great time, met great people, and learned a ton at this year’s SXSW in Austin. I’m glad I didn’t go to bed early as planned Sunday night, my last at the conference, and instead went the distance – a tour that ended at my old college haunt, the Magnolia Cafe.

This year I covered the event for my client LiveWorld – the post with my three days of recaps is here.

A couple excerpts, with my overall take:

My take on the theme of SXSW 2014:The blurring of digital and IRL in culture and commerce. Last year I left consumed with thoughts about 3-D printing and the Maker Movement. Also, Big Data. This year it’s been all about wearables and digital as a daily companion, not an alternative to IRL. It’s one giant leap beyond the mobile revolution, and no one’s quite sure yet what to make of it. How will brands use it to talk to customers and what those customers want from it? All we seem to know for sure is that it’s coming. Our Bluetooths are on and they’re broadcasting.

And how I became a Twitter addict:

Panels aside, IRL and digital blurred for me personally more at this SXSW than ever before. I stepped up my tweeting during sessions and used it to converse with people in the room, moving fluidly between digital and physical. In short: It was awesome! It was a great feeling to learn, connect, and discuss, all at the same time. I left feeling more convinced that social media and digital touchpoints IRL can enhance the experience of the real, rather than just distract from it. I’m not ready to be a Glasshole yet, but I’m definitely ready to be friends.

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