Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Make No Decision Out Of Fear

Quote from Bruce Sterling's closing keynote. I'm an unabashed Sterling fan, since I first read Distraction fifteen or so years ago. I have read most all of his stuff. Got a signed book. As I was about to run my patter on Bruce, John Perry Barlow showed up and Bruce went into "signing only, not chatting" mode. Fair enough; it's gotta suck signing books for an hour. JPB barely recognized me from our Kyoto night out, also fair enough...he meets a lotta folks.

SXSW is a very, very cool conference. Got in late yesterday, al pastor tacos and shiner bock with my friend Jess. We geek out, talk about scifi and the future, it's fun. The CC party is at the elks lodge and is nerd heaven. There is a pattern to these events: drinks at 8, speech at 9, first appearance of furtive cigarettes smoked by non smokers around 10, spastic nerd dancing at 11. The party follows this pattern precisely. There is amazing spastic nerd dancing. Cab home around 11:15, too much shiner bock...

A nice business hotel is a welcome thing after the last week. Big, comfy bed and nice towels. Privacy. Wifi. Good stuff.

Up early to convene the panel at the hotel starbucks. Starbucks is the leitmotif of my life over the last year. But it's a great thing. Antoun. Sri, a grad student of drew's at MIT. Susy who runs corporate standards at Sun and is a very, very good friend. Barbara, editor of PLoS Medicine. All fun, rowdy, smart, funny people. All but Antoun made the party last night; we're all a little in need of both caffeine and hydration.

Panel went better than I could have hoped. It's the first time I really feel like I knew how to moderate, to move conversations through a panel towards a goal, when to interrupt and when to let the panel find its own way. the hour flies by and we get barraged with great feedback. it will apparently be podcast and i'm going to download it to see if sounds as good on tape as it did on stage.

it's cool to see my picture in the main program. i feel a little weird about feeling that it's cool, but so be it.

lunch with a group of web 2.0 folks and some of my panelists at ironworks bbq. good bbq, not kreuz market, but still very good. i couldn't get a good shot of the "general and rectal surgery" sign hanging...bad light...the doctor's name was "sharpe"?

coming back here for sure next year. it's my kind of place. there is nowhere else you can network with this group of people in such a relaxed setting. it doesn't matter who you are or what you wear, as long as you're here. everyone is energized, techie, and cares about the issues. there are classic geeks, guys with pink hair, girls with cowboy hats and boots and skirts who are starting technology voter organizations, documentary filmmakers, hipsters, wannabe musicians, net celebrities, marketroids, college students, old school texans, everything. it's really a shot in the arm.

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