Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The rumors we have heard are true...

...SXSW is absolutely amazing.

If TED is about the ideas, then SXSW is about the people. Sure there were amazing panels, but there were so many amazing people at South by Southwest. It was like a homecoming, I lost count on how many hugs I collected in my 2 days there. And you have to understand, I had never actually met ANY of these people prior to 3 days ago. Not a ONE of them.

But it didn't matter, because everyone was family. I purposely waited till now to post this because I feared sounding like a gushing idiot if I had posted last night while still in a high from SXSW. It simply blew me away how people came together at this festival.

Ben and Jackie, who everyone knows are two of my heroes, were kind enough to spend a ton of time with me on Mon and Tues. They are amazing and you've gotta love those (swomi) turbans! Check out their newest project, the Society for Word of Mouth.

Chris Brogan and Laura (@Pistachio) Fitton have somehow found a way to make themselves and their kindness scale. They had EVERYONE pulling at them, but they found a way to make time for everyone. You guys inspire me and I really appreciate both of you taking the time to talk to me.

Deborah Schultz is brilliant. No no no, I'm not talking about she has some cool marketing ideas, I'm saying she has a razor-sharp intellect. She flawlessly brought clarity and relevance to ideas with ease. If you have seen her speak, you know what I mean. Subscribe to her blog now!

And I finally got to meet Jordan Behan, who was about the 3rd or 4th blogger that I ever talked to waaaay back in 2005. I'm really excited about his new position with Strutta, which has some serious potential.

I'd better stop now because I met so many people and if I try to list them all I will no doubt unintentionally leave someone out. But I appreciated everyone that I met and my only regret was that I didn't have more time here.

Stephanie Agresta had the best tee-shirt eva, it said i heart my internet friends That says it all.

We had great panels, we had panels celebrating fictional porn stars (don't ask). We had @Pistachio stage-diving, we had Customer Evangelists in turbans. We had panelists running through the crowd throwing candy as 'The Final Countdown' boomed in the background. We had chaos, we had controversy, we had Geeks Gone Wild. And every damned second of it kicked total ass and I wouldn't have missed any of it and these wonderful people for anything in the world.

Pic of Jason Falls (yes you guessed it, he kicks ass) and myself via Flickr

Tags:, ,

Does your blog need a checkup? Click Here to get yours!


Anonymous said...

OMG, who are the dorks in the hats??!?!?!?

All kidding aside, meeting you in person, Mack, was definitely a highlight of the conference : )

shelisrael said...

A great review of a great event. Thx.

Unknown said...

I so wish I hadn't read this... I kept telling myself I didn't miss that much...
And believed it until I read this. Now I'm green with envy!!

Next year.

I *will* find a way!! :)

Mack Collier said...

@jhuba notice how your feather is almost putting Ben's eye out, but he doesn't flinch an inch ;)

Shel the Conversation Starters @ the Iron Cactus almost deserves its own post, amazing that so many wonderful people were in that one building.

@geekmommy You HAVE to go next year. I think I need to go for 3 days next year, seems like Sat-Mon would have been best, I think a lot of people spent Tuesday on planes going back home.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness I'm typing this- my voice is almost gone completely.

Mack, it was great to finally meet you in person, and thanks for introducing me to Jackie- very true what you say about her being incredibly nice in person.

Next year you'll have to stay for more days (5 nights for me...) and work on your "party stamina" too ;).

I spoke to Ryan this morning, and his first question was about whether I had a chance to meet you, and it felt great to be able to say that I had.

Do we really have to wait until next year to do this all again??

Unknown said...

Mack - I am humbled and honored. Especially since you get that what I am trying to do is create ideas and conversation about innovation and the cultural and business impact of web tools. Great getting to give ya a hug!

Mack Collier said...

@jordanbehan I think a lot of it was nervousness over first time flying, and first time doing a panel (and of course I start out at SXSW), but I was exhausted yesterday. I have been tired since Sun and really didn't go out other than to the Iron Cactus on Mon night. I'll be in much better shape for next year's SXSW, thinking it would be better to do maybe Sat-Mon then.

@debs Exactly! It's not about the tools, but what the tools enable you to do! Ben and Jackie and I had this exact conversation! Can't wait to see you soon, I have another reason to head out to the West Coast!

Anonymous said...

So glad you had such a great time and love the pic of you and Jason (cannot wait to meet him soon--and cannot wait to see you again...soon!)

Jason Falls said...

It is you, sir, who kickus glutteous maximus. But a photo of a handsome couple, nonetheless. Great to finally meet you. I'm sure we'll have more adventures soon enough.