The hump day of the SXSW conference is now complete; three days down, two to go. As an added bonus to the exhaustive schedule of SXSW, today we lost an hour with daylight savings time.
A few general observations:
- Today’s themes were community and online user experience.
- SXSW is also known as “spring break for geeks.” This means that there is a lot of drinking and a lot of parties. Which also means that the 9:30 AM sessions are generally quiet and the lines at the coffee bars are generally short early in the morning. Being a morning person, I like this.
- I feel a little starstruck when I am in a session with a panel of people that I follow on Twitter but have never met in person. They are like mini celebrities in geek world.
- I am getting old. Carrying around a heavy bag all day yesterday meant that I was so sore I could barely get out of bed this morning. This is not the reason that other people could barely get out of bed this morning (see first bullet).
- My iPad battery and iPhone battery lasted all day with power to spare. Tomorrow my bag will be even lighter minus the power cord. Hopefully each day my load will get lighter.
- I need photography lessons.
Today, I covered the following sessions:
- Decision Trees: YouTube’s New Breed of Interactive Storytellers
- Designing iPad Interfaces
- Better Crowdsourcing: Lessons Learned from the 3six5 Project
- Christopher Poole of 4chan, Sunday Keynote
- Haters Gonna Hate: Lessons for Advertisers from 4chan
- Jeffery Zeldman’s Awesome Internet Design Panel
I posted my raw notes from each session to this blog, but here are my key takeaways and summaries from each.
Decision Trees: YouTube’s New Breed of Interactive Storytellers
Key takeaway: You can do some really cool things with video, using tools that YouTube provides like “annotations” and create an interactive experience from what used to be the passive experience of just watching a video.
Here are some examples produced by the panelists:
Green Eyed World (Sprite Sponsorship)
Gaming invaded a session that I had no idea was going to be about gaming. Gameification is part of everything this year.
Designing iPad Interfaces
Key takeaway: iPad navigation should give the users cues as to its use: (1) relatable –hint at real world physical experiences (website-like navigation, physical spaces), (2) discoverable — suggest the desired interaction (grids, carousels) or (3) learnable — providing instructions/guides for use.
Better Crowdsourcing: Lessons Learned from the 3six5 Project
Key takeaway: Crowdsourcing gives a voice to those who might not have had the opportunities to be heard before, which can be very rewarding for those that manage the project. Crowdsourcing requires the management of large groups of people which can be time intensive and challenging for those that manage the project.
The 3six5 Project was a crowdsourced lifestreaming project with the idea that each day a journal entry was contributed by a different person. The panelists talked about the challenges and rewards of an online crowdsourced project such as the 3six5, Six Items or Less and Victors & Spoils.
Christopher Poole of 4chan, Sunday Keynote
Key takeaway: People need community and can do creative, good, fun things when they come together, even anonymously.
4chan is a very simple image board where people can post images they create for others to pick up and use as they want. There is no archive, there is no search and there is no registration. If the community doesn’t like the image, the image falls off the stream. If the community likes the image, it stays in the stream longer. Most internet memes have originated on 4chan.
Haters Gonna Hate: Lesson for Advertisers from 4chan
Key takeaway: People are remixing, playing with and editing our brands on their own, whether we want or allow or not; using 4chan as a metaphor for community dynamics in general can teach us what happens when the community takes over.
We can learn community behaviors from the 4chan community to prepare for the things that happen when our brands become “owned” by the communities. This includes shows of support, expressions of dislike, disruptions, establishment of rules and how much we can ask our communities to do.
Quote of the session: “If you are not getting the views that you want, then consumers are telling you that you are not culturally relevant.”
Jeffery Zeldman’s Awesome Internet Design Panel
Key takeaway: Design with the end user/use in mind.
Designers/developers are guilty of developing for themselves rather than the end user.
Day three is complete. I am exhausted already. More coverage to come tomorrow.