Belated SXSW Notes

This is incredibly late, but it seems I went from the airport right back to work after SXSW. Lots of stuff happening all at once. More on this later.

I did want to quickly note that SXSW this year was fantastic. The quality (and number) of panels seemed to double from last year to this year, making it more difficult to choose who to see. It was certainly weblog-centric, but that’s fine by me.

My one complaint about the conference in general: audio. It was often difficult to hear the speakers (myself included). This is certainly minor and easy to fix. But I felt bad that people had trouble hearing me. I will shout next time.

Highlights included:

  • Hearing Joe Clark ask why Jason Santa Maria wasn’t captioned during an impromtu Virtual Stan viewing at the “Does Design Matter?” panel.
  • Getting decent BBQ at the Iron Works (conveniently located right behind the convention center. I have no idea how I missed this last year).
  • Meeting lots of cool people for the first time.
  • Seeing those I met last year again (a whole year is too long).
  • Jeremy Keith and Andy Budd‘s hilarious “How to Bluff Your Way in CSS” panel. (I had been in Austin all of a half hour when I sat in on this — the perfect way to kick off the conference.)
  • The Design Eye Guys. Another entertaining panel — humorous, yet really informative to hear about each process involved.
  • Microformats. Tantek gave a great presentation, rounding up all the microformats out there. There are a lot them. I love the independent spirit that is attached to the development of these.
  • The Flash vs. HTML Game Show” panel for reasons already well noted.
  • The dog wandering around Club DeVille.

I could go on… So that said, if you’re kicking yourself for not going this year — start planning for 2006. It’s become the largest gathering of like-minded web geeks around.


  1. A year is too long. Hey, maybe I can come up to visit… we can burn some witches!

  2. Tony says:

    Does anybody know if any of info from “The Flash vs. HTML Game Show” is available on the web? Whether as a write-up or just a cache of the presentation materials?

  3. Matt says:

    I just want to know if “How to Bluff Your Way in CSS” is available. Maybe in Cliff Notes?

  4. Ryan Irelan says:

    I very much enjoyed the Equinox at B-Side.

  5. Jason – come on up! Not only can we burn witches, but we can also visit horribly tacky wax museums.

  6. Josh says:

    (it is mirrored on Andy’s site as well, but I couldn’t turn it up quickly via google)

  7. Jeremy Flint says:

    Hey Tony, Joe Clark liveblogged the panel.
    Here are his notes:

  8. Tom Werner says:

    My shins still sting from kicking myself for not showing up this year.
    What would be really interesting for me is to understand how SXSW selects panelists. Do they simply invite specific designers to present, or is it a more open proposal/acceptance mechanism?

  9. Chip D. says:

    The dog at Club DeVille was something else – almost a small polar bear roaming the grounds. The best part was watching him help himself to some nachos and other finger foods from the tables, then casually lay back down to enjoy the snack.
    Panel-wise, I really wanted to see Dan or Meyer’s reaction to the panelist in the “Semantic Web” (mind the caps) session that said that CSS is bull$#!%. I think Tantek walked in and right back out when he also claimed that HTML will be better when we are required to close all of the attributes individually when we close the tags.

  10. Dan: Damn straight. Someone else’s trash will be our treasure. Score!

  11. Oliver says:

    This event is like heaven, except there are no stairs.

  12. Dante says:

    Going to Suxswuh is on the list of “Things I wanna do before I die”. Right up there next to meeting Sir Elton John… :)

  13. Andy Budd says:

    Hey Dan, Really glad you enjoyed our talk. It was great to meet you and all the other cool people at SXSW. Can’t wait till next year.

  14. kev says:

    re: Those looking for Flash vs HTML Game Show materials: We’re working on getting a site up with the examples, I’ll post on (server’s down currently) when that’s available.
    Needless to say, I was amazed at the amount of props we’ve gotten for a panel I thought was going to be kind of overshadowed by Al Franken’s interview. Thanks for coming!

  15. That dog was great. He didn’t seem to mind wearing a Blogger cap either.

  16. Matt says:

    Josh: Thanks for the link. I’m sorry I missed the live version.

  17. Oh YAY!!!! Great dog!