As I sit in what must be one of the most soul-crushing bars to work at ever* watching the KU/KS game I’m compelled yet again to chronicle my decidedly non specific impressions of SXSW interactive. Overall I’ve been disappointed with the almost insanely remedial level of discussion in the panels I’ve hit so far (serves me right for going for work related stuff and not the flat out css/html nerding I’d enjoy personally). Okay, so I’m a jaded bastard when it comes to social media, but does anyone really need to be told to not be an idiot online? Sadly, the answer to that question is a resounding YES.
Then there’s the attendees. People watching in Austin right now is a bit like looking through someone else’s yearbook. You keep seeing people and thinking “Oh hey, our school has one of those metalhead hipsters, but his name is Jake, not Tom”. So far my favorite game is ‘which industry stereotype are you?. Oh look, there’s the brand manager! There’s the interactive guy! There’s the self important creative who is very, very sad that 6 other people are wearing the exact same shirt/sunglasses/ironic hat! There’s the sysadmin! (hint, he looks like a giant middle-earth Dwarf) If you made a drinking game out of it you’d be catatonic in about 30 minutes.
I decided to go non-nerd in my wardrobe, and apparently I’ve broken some unspoken social norm because the film attendees keep coming up to me trying to figure out if I’m important or not. (Hint: I’m not) The look of dejection and or affront is actually dispiriting. How dare I trick them in their ladder climbing efforts!? I’m sorry, Mr. Aspiring Production Assistant. Really I am.
*So the only eatery within walking distance of my hotel is the rather literally named “Bikini’s”, wherein servers are dressed in cutoffs and padded bikini tops, because apparently the Hooters model is just too conservative. As a father of little girls, it’s exceptionally depressing. Hey girls, you can do anything boys can do, but you have to do it with your boobs hanging out. How empowering.