Photos from SXSW 2010

What most of these photos tell me is that I need a camera with better low-light performance and a steadier hand. Oddly, my two iPhone pictures are showing up first, even though they were taken pretty late in the week. (Excuse me while I check the date/time settings on my camera.)


Notes for “From Hulu to Yahoo Widgets – Will the Internet Transform TV?”

Speaker: Richard Bullwinkle

  • Why is is hard for this to happen?
    • As speeds get really fast, we do things like play with our phones and such more often.
    • On the television, we have a 50″ device that is difficult to upgrade or change
    • You can move from social app to social app (or anything else) by deleting and installing a new app – TV is not as agile
  • It’s hard to drag content around the home
    • Wireless networking
    • Home networking
    • Things like DVRs being able to pause a program in one room and pick it up in another
  • Although the speeds are very much in place (most of us can stream SDTV whenever wanted), very few people can stream real-time HD video to our home because our broadband in the US sucks
  • First generation devices
    • Devices that helped you put stolen video back on your television
    • Media servers; Windows Media Extenders
    • You wanted your content back on the television
  • Second generation boxes
    • Last year
    • Devices that had content in the cloud – this changes things very dramatically
    • Vudu, AppleTV, Roku – Netflix and now Amazon content, etc.
    • Some of these devices now have no hard drives
  • All of these things have to do with content – professionally-developed content; very little is “social” in nature – the television is the most unsocial of all media devices
    • We don’t want necessarily to be interrupted in the middle of our entertainment experiences
    • Do you really want the social stuff you talk about back on the television?
    • Do I want to track this stuff on our TVs, or on our iPads, laptops, or iPhones
    • Whatever device you have is probably already better than your TV
  • This situation is compounded by the fact that the content is normally in the control of the cable/satellite companies, who are not interested in your social media because it gets in the way of content
  • Third generation
    • Services in the cloud that transmit to any device
    • You need nothing other than a fast Internet connection and an enabled TV
    • TVs don’t even handle guide data well yet
    • Connected TVs hook you up with services that you are already using and you already know – recognized names
  • Convergence on the TV is about making sense of what is already there, not adding additional crap to what you have
  • What’s next?
    • No one watches TV in real-time
    • Must See TV doesn’t exist anymore – it’s all on-demand
    • Stuff is even online-only now – and people are watching these things on their TVs
    • The ways we will find TV moving forward
      • Great metadata – write about it
        • Tell people everything you can about it so people can search
      • Create  social networks around this stuff
        • “All the people who like this movie”
    • The only way to find more entertainment and better entertainment is if we all work together to find it

Notes for “Future 15 — Convergence – Ten Things”

This is a series of 15-minute talks. Three talks, then a 30 minute break, then three more talks. Separate notes for each talk. Lots of people in here; people sitting in the aisles and standing in the back.

Ten Cool Things That Can Happen in Convergence This Year – Or Not

  • Social becomes the thread
    • The place where we get everything delivered and filtered (what most people think of when they think of Facebook)
    • Facebook is just the beginning (100MM people using the Facebook mobile, now on Xbox, DSi, Internet-enabled TVs, etc.)
  • Location matters
    • Gowalla/Foursquare
    • Our current location becomes part of our interactions – where we are and what we are doing
  • Entertain me now
    • Cloud-based entertainment repositories
    • Any platform, any time
    • Streaming, satellite radio, Slingbox, etc.
  • Birth of the frontchannel
    • Interaction while watching something – social interaction
    • MLB application for iPad
    • More rich experiences around live events
  • Commerce atomizing
    • Commerce experiences no matter where or what we are doing
    • Raves and reviews about products everywhere
    • Clothing modeled on a picture of you in real-time
    • Socially-enabled coupons that are trackable amongst friends and give rewards to the hand-out-er
    • Commerce apps in Facebook and iPhone apps – things like image recognition for book titles in the B&N application – every store becomes a B&N store
  • Life is a game
    • Game theory and mechanics are now integrated into more and more of our physical activities
    • Facebook friends and competition on numbers – Twitter followers
    • Miles run on Nike+
    • Badges/mayorships on Foursquare and pins on Gowalla
    • Loyalty programs
  • Interactive products
    • Increasing conditioning on having interactive interaction with physical things
    • Augmented reality
    • Barcode scanning things
    • QR codes
  • Your reality will be augmented
    • Not quite the holodeck, but more immersion into heads-up display things
    • From jet fighter HUDs to the first-down marker when watching TV
    • Fashionista
    • Lego – hold out box to kiosk and watch it be built on TV right there in-store
    • Project Natal
    • Bing AR maps – TED talk
  • Digital is the new paper
    • Tablet computers will usher in a new era of publishing
    • More interactivity and web-enabling
    • Digital publications changing how we interact with content – print-level design to things that are interactive and have things like video and social interactions
    • Connected advertising – buy things right from the ads
  • Rise of the connected things
    • Have we converged? When my bathroom scale will tweet my weight, we’re converged (this actually does exist).
    • Nike+, Sync, Poken

Notes for “New Publishing and Web Content”

Moderator: Jeffrey Zeldman, founder of Happy Cog

Panel: Paul Ford, editor @ Harper’s; Lisa Holton, 4th Story Media; Mandy Brown, Creative Director @ Etsy; Erin Kissane, independent editor of web content (A List Apart, Happy Cog)

Abstract: In this panel we’ll explore the creative, strategic, and marketing challenges of traditional and new (internet hybrid) book publishing and online magazine publishing, and how these fields intersect with content strategy and client services.


  • Which will die first, newspapers or Flash?
    • Ford – the same a lot of ways, complicated to get started and all normally funded by advertising – says Flash
    • Brown – Flash; the industry is changing in many ways; one corner is changing quickly and the other is changing very slowly; NYT still makes money off print and will keep doing it for a while
    • Kissane – there are other ways to make things move around than Flash – the content is important and Flash is ephemeral
    • Zeldman – trick question as neither one will go away, but Flash is going to become less important as a platform
  • Given that newspapers and books seem to be in trouble, is this a good time to start a publishing company?
    • Brown – an industry transition is a good time to jump in, so yes – people will be trying new things and that’s exciting
    • Holton – started a new company a while back to marry books with digital media, but a good time because (1) small companies can react to the market, (2) people don’t provide just services anymore, now they teach as well
    • Ford – terrible time to try and shoehorn existing content models into the web (that day is over); really interesting time to leverage the extraordinary ecosystem of what’s out there
  • What’s the web good for as a platform?
    • Ford – not so much a publishing platform, but as a customer service platform – talking to people, giving them what they need, helping them understand what they need, and reaching them in that way – how do I serve and interact with people and give them value for their money?
    • Brown – this is like a return to the independent bookstore – a human connection, conversation, and personal recommendations
  • Zeldman – when publishing traditional books, you’re also providing a unique experience and interaction through the web
    • Holton – “The Amanda Project” as an example – users make a game out of it and create a story as a collaborative experience – weekly publishing of a really good idea to extend the narrative; give the users props for the ideas that you use; two forms of the craft of publishing: editing for print and writing/editing on the web; more specific prompts give you better results
    • Kissane – some of the web participant ideas and such make it into print books – print book schedule is so long, but publishing online happens once per week – provides better engagement for the reader; a sequel takes 1.5 years to bring out, and the readers are 1.5 years older!
  • Zeldman – people who are Tweeting *as* characters from shows (Mad Men) as a social zeitgeist – these are unrelated people who create these things and enhance the experience for those who are watching; we know our users are going to do these things anyway, so why not bring those people in to help the project succeed?
  • Who owns the book in new publishing?
    • Brown – example of Amazon and the 1984 issue – when you buy an ebook, it is likely not going to last as long as a paper book because you really don’t own it, you instead pay for access for a time, but you are gaining the ability to access things you might not normally be able to access
    • Zeldman – it’s also DRM that messes up this relationship
    • Kissane – one of the great things about right now is that you can have both; search and discovery is easier with electronic forms of publishing (Google Books)
    • Zeldman – libraries have been doing this for a while, especially because older documents and manuscripts are damaged every time they are handled and with electronic media you remove that limitation (and limitations of space/geography)
    • Ford – How would this device work after the apocalypse? – there were no Kindles in “The Road” – there is a sense with permanence with paper; so many problems with licensing and ownership now
    • Brown – eBooks are currently by-products of print publishing
    • Holton – different kinds of publishing will be prevalent in different publishing methods
  • Zeldman – does the format affect what we buy?
    • Ford – publishers have an opportunity to play around and figure stuff out – don’t outsource this stuff
    • Brown – a lack of curiosity on the part of a lot of publishers – don’t want to engage, don’t want to learn new things
    • Holton – sympathetic towards big publishers
    • Brown – in a model of expensive distribution, it makes sense to have broad product range and try to reach broad customers
  • Zeldman – the problem for traditional publishing is the loss of control, but we still need editors
    • Kissane – in web content, we have much to learn from traditional publishing, especially long-term planning and content plans
    • Ford – this is a good time to broader the editorial tent
  • Audience questions – I have no notes because I asked one :)