Looking forward to SXSW 2008

It’s that time of the year again, when I’m firming up my travel plans for SXSW. This time, I’m not leaving right after the Interactive conference is over – I’m staying a few more days to enjoy the music!
It’s with a tinge of sadness that I’ve decided this will be my last SXSW in a while. My priorities are changing and I won’t be able to afford the time to travel next year for leisure. Also, some veterans have felt that it’s no longer the SXSW it used to be. It’s become larger and more ‘dumbed down’ to suit beginners. However it’s still different from most of the conferences we get in Singapore, where we talk more about IT (notice how that word’s seldom used at SXSW) and corporatise a lot of things, endeavouring to meet our KPIs (key performance indicators).
Frankly put, if you want to learn more about technology or web standards there are better specialist conferences to attend, such as eTech, Future of Web Apps and An Event Apart. However if you want the big picture, I’d still say this would be a suitable place to start. At least folks like The Digital Movement is playing a big part in sowing the seeds for a more Web 2.0/entrepreneural mindset in Singapore. And hopefully we’ll have another PodCamp and more BarCamps for geeks.
I am quite sure of the following this March, though:
There will be more Singaporeans at SXSW08. Me and Sarah, Jamie and Divya and Ming Yeow. I doubt we will only hang out in our group and hanker for local food. We will rock this place.
. In 2006 I took the company Fujitsu laptop, as none of us had portable computers at the time. In 2007 I brought the Dell laptop. This year, I will hopefully be wielding a new MacBook Pro, assuming that the rumours are true and there will be processor and touchpad upgrades in the next few weeks.
I will meet familiar faces and renew friendships. It will be exciting to see old SXSW mates like Ralph, Pat, Elaine, David, Aaron and others. I also hope to catch up with Jeremiah Owyang and Zeldman and will probably catch a glimpse of Robert Scoble, who’s responsible for getting many of us hooked on Twitter last year. I will definitely catch the panel on Teens this year, cos Danah Boyd and company rock. I am happy to see Kathy Sierra blogging and giving talks again, after receiving death threats soon after SXSW07. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg will be a keynote speaker this year. We’ll see if he gets asked about Beacon, among other things.
Coming to think of it, I’m at SXSW not just for the knowledge but to renew the friendships I’ve made over the past couple of years and to meet more like-minded people.
Last but definitely not least, I am really looking forward to seeing little Alexander (since he eluded me last year by being born right after I left the US) and catch up with Mark and Kristen. Austin is a really lovely city, definitely one of the nicer places to live in. I hope my last trip here will be a memorable one.
Technorati tags: SXSW, SXSW08, Austin, geek
Update: This post was linked on Jeremiah’s blog. Yay!


  1. kristen

    yay! we’re looking forward to seeing you again in austin.
    fyi – i’ll be in sing from feb 20-29. think you’ll have any free time to meet up over that weekend? would love to see you!

  2. ralph

    I hope I can see you this year, but I’m not sure I’ll be going. I just started a new job last month, and I’ve been sick so much since then that I feel a little funny asking for the time off. I’ll need to make a decision in the next couple of weeks though; I’ve got hotel reservations, but haven’t booked an airline ticket yet, and I’ll need to do that soon.

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