In case you missed it here in Austin this weekend, you may have caught SS+K’s unveiling of its new Vine search tool, dubbed “SX6S,” which lets you plug into all #sxsw tagged Vines from Twitter during the festivities and for specific #sxsw related vines via hashtag. Yes, barbecque lovers need not waste time with other silly apps when this one will fill you in. If you have a minute, watch the teaser above and look for the New York-based SS+K’s full highlight reel after the event closes.
Yeah, the time change didn’t work in our favor, but yes kids, we are here and broadcasting as well as we can. After flight delays and getting our badge just in the nick of time last night before the Austin Convention Center shut down, we hit up the JWT party at Lustre Pearl. Following a brief encounter down the street with a very cordial Alex Jones, who was doing his usual ranting and raving fresh off a protest downtown, we ventured down Driskill and encountered the homely spot, Lustre Pearl, where JWT played host to the band, Walk Off the Earth (below). Gotye cover aside, we were not so enthused with the multi-instrumental act, which sounded like a jam-band version of Arcade Fire, if that’s possible.
Nevertheless, talking shit with industry heads and all the JWT top brass including Jeff Benjamin, Mauro Cavelletti and Perry Fair, the last of whom is promoting the agency’s pop-up shop, Walter, was fine enough. Besides, don’t tell me you wouldn’t dance like an idiot in a sea of fog to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” if you didn’t just retain a major client. We will be hitting up Draftfcb, Crowdtap and Barbarian events tonight and will promptly be in bed my midnight. But we’ll talk to you beforehand with some panel thoughts.
Whether you needed it or not, we present you with this SXSW Interactive 2012 infographic that comes to us courtesy of Dallas-based digital shop Agency Entourage, which culled info from the likes of our sibling site Social Times as well as other destinations such as Mashable, People Browsr and Business Insider. As anyone could have predicted, attendance numbers skyrocketed this year and yes, we’ll let this year’s fest go, once and for all, with this. Check out the full-size infographic, which gives a little year-to-year perspective, after the jump.
Just when we thought we were out, SXSW pulls us back in. This should probably be one of the last remnants, at least on this site, of what was at SXSWi 2012. If you haven’t heard about this, well here goes. From what we’ve been told, a team from RAPP New York decided to activate four first-generation camera phones and go-a-photoblogging in Austin.
The end result is a Tumblr destination called “one.mega.pixel,” which shows you just how far our little handhelds have come in 10 years. According to the tipster who sent us the link (and who we assume is from said RAPP team), “In an era of apps that recreate nostalgic film quality like instagram, we use old digital technology to create an ‘old filter. Though the 2012 Interactive portion is now in the books, it’s perhaps worth taking a quick peek at some of the grainy goings on this year.
To sum up our literally 52-hour experience at SXSWi this year, we decided to just break down a couple of things that came to mind in terms of notes, what stood out and what was learned. Well, first of all, yours truly literally flew in Saturday afternoon, dropped stuff off at the Embassy Suites on South Congress, got the press badge, and then met up with a certain partner-in-crime of mine here named Bob Marshall.
SXSW Interactive 2012 went out with a bang this year, as Tumblr and the Barbarian Group took over one of Austin’s most famous indoor/outdoor venue, Mohawk.
Aside from holding claim to maybe the best venue in Austin, the Barbarians were able to bring SXSW Interactive’s most-impressive musical lineup to the show, with the bill including the likes of Japandroids, Kool Keith, Bear in Heaven, Matthew Dear, and Wavves (pictured above). While advertising industry concertgoers schmoozed in the upstairs VIP era, the standing area near the stage was at a constant level of intensity, featuring relentless moshing and body-passing, especially during Wavves’ set.
Outside, the waiting line snaked around the block. But, a lucky few had access to the R/GA Shuttle, a double-decker bus that carted around R/GA employees and their clients throughout the course of the conference. Why wait in an hour-long line when you can peer over the fence from the comfort of a party bus?
The “Robotrip” party (I don’t know what’s up with the name, either) served as the perfect transition from SXSW Interactive to the Music portion of the festival. Sure, you could’ve celebrated across town at GSD&M’s “Industry Party,” or you could’ve rocked out with some Barbarians and a ton of non-industry, non-badge-holding music fans dancing feverishly to their favorite bands. To be frank, I’m happy I picked the latter. Now, on to Music!
In case you missed the rumor mill today, Austin is buzzing with the news of CNN’s acquisition of social media and tech journal, Mashable. Of course, just because everyone from Reuters to The New York Times is predicting the sale doesn’t mean that anything’s changed at the SXSW CNN Grill, where the show went on for the fourth consecutive day.
Brooke Baldwin, anchor of CNN Newsroom, sat down with two young Internet celebrities to discuss the world of viral Internet comedy. Kevin Wu, best known online as “KevJumba,” spoke of his move from MMORPG’s to online video. After his parents shut down his World of Warcraft account, Wu moved to the online stage to, as he put it, “make friends.” “Friends” of his have included the likes of NBA star Jeremy Lin as well as Chicago-based singer-songwriter, Richard Marx. Kevin’s online popularity has led him to become a YouTube partner, profiting off of the site’s revenue-sharing system it has in place with viral sensations.
Also featured on the panel was Issa Rae, best known for her web series, “Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl.” Rae began her rise to online comedy stardom as a student at Stanford University with a series called “Dorm Diaries,” focusing on what’s it’s like to be a black student at Stanford. Now Rae is setting her sights higher, saying, “I want to make a difference in the world.” With her Kickstarter campaign to raise capital for season two of “Misadventures of an Awkward Girl,” Rae raised over $56,000 in just 30 days, well exceeding her initial $30,000 goal. Recently, her videos have included cameos from the likes of Emmy-winning writer, rapper and star of NBC’s Community, Donald Glover.
Despite web popularity, Rae and Wu are finding it hard to break into mainstream media, predominantly because their racially charged humor isn’t all that appealing to traditional broadcast channels who find comfortability in “safe” content. Despite that hurdle, both are dedicated to using their popularity and celebrity contacts to continue their comedy. So, advertisers, if you’re looking for “hip” online sensations with a rabid fanbase to endorse one of your products or star in some viral content, look no further.
Stepping in front of that Austin audience may not sound hard at first, but public speaking pros warn that being an engaging and helpful panelist takes planning.
“Many people think they can just wing it — I’ve seen it a hundred times — but it’s important to do your homework,” said frequent panelist Nicole Williams, founder and CEO of the career website WORKS by Nicole Williams.
South By Southwest organizer Christine Auten advised, “Look [the panelists] up on LinkedIn and see what groups and organizations they’re part of.” By reading up on interviews they’ve given in the past, you can glean clues as to what they’ll say again and how you can add to that perspective or counter it.
For more tips on wowing the South By crowd, read How to Be a Great Panelist at SXSW (or Any Other Conference). [sub req'd]
“Celebrities are use to going through a gut-wrenching, soul-crushing process,” said Andrew Steele, a 12-year alumnus of Saturday Night Live and current creative director of Funny or Die. “We don’t get in the way of that creative process, and it’s allowed us to thrive.”
SXSW attendees like the walls of the fourth floor of the Austin Convention Center, all yearning to get an glimpse inside what makes comedic minds behind Funny or Die tick. The highly successful media company’s famous founders, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, weren’t on-hand for the hour-long panel, “Funny or Die: Fure of Comedy & Everything Else.” But Steele, CEO Dick Glover, president of production Mike Farah, VP of Marketing Patrick Starzan, and writer/actors Seth Morris and Billy Eichner were happy to regale attendees with tales of how the company was founded, their creative processes, as well future projects. The panel was broken up with trailers for Eichner’s “man-on-the-street” gameshow “Billy on the Street,” Morris’ new Yahoo web series “First Dates,” and Ferrell’s new spanish-language telenovela-based film,”Casa de mi Padre.”
The group emphasized the speed with which their production schedule works, saying their recent bizarre marketing campaign for Kia featuring NBA-star Blake Griffin went from concept to broadcast in just eight days. Though Funny or Die counts an office in Hollywood among its three (the others being in SF and NYC), Glover asserted, “The model is not the studio model… We’re looking to find projects that we love with people that we love.” Indulge in the viral hilarity at Funny or Die’s website here.