Here's my skimpy-ass schedule for SxSW Interactive so far.
When I attended two years ago, SxSW Interactive was already beginning to focus heavily on social networking, but there was plenty of content relating to other types of web development. There wasn't a lot of back end stuff, but it wasn't completely absent.
This year the majority of the panels concern gaming. Almost no technical panels were accepted on any topic. Few of those that were accepted relate to web development, especially not back-end stuff (and yes, the parts you can't see do matter, as anyone who has bought a car can tell you).
Something has definitely changed here. From my perspective, very much for the worse.
Full disclosure: I did submit a technical, web-related panel, and it was not accepted. Had they accepted dozens of technical panels by people smarter than me, I would have no complaint (or at least the sense not to utter it). But the all-but-complete disappearance of web tech from SxSW Interactive is bad news.
Don't get me wrong here, it looks like a pretty great conference for game project managers. But if that's not you... ouch.
Anyway, this year the tickets are booked and I'm on board. Austin is a cool town and a lot of other smart people are apparently going to be bored and looking for trouble. Who's up for counterprogramming an unconference? I'm told there is often a barcamp in Austin at the same time but I see no hint of its existence since two years ago. I'm aware of the coworking unconference, which is cool but not something I do very much. (Ironically this is because I have a great job working for the cofounder of a coworking space. You could say I cowork with my coworkers. You could also say that a tautology is a tautology.)
If nothing else evolves I'll get a metric shit-ton of work done by the pool with that awesome "SOUL" sign next to it. I'll be like James Joyce in "The Moderns," writing furiously in the corner, building the app that next year's conference is furiously redesigned to chase fruitlessly after (*). I'm down with it.
(*) Hey, I'm going to be among fucking awesome social media gurus
. If I don't puff out my chest and blow my ego up to size I'll go entirely unnoticedP.S.
Hey, much more important, I plan to go salsa dancing while I'm in Austin. I'm sure I'm far from the only social dancer planning to attend. I did some research and got solid leads from a friendly Austinite (thank you Santos). Here they are:
Dallas Night Club on Burnet Road
Copa Bar and grill on Congress b/w 2nd and 3rd
Copa Bar and grill
On Occasion UPTown Dance Studio has a salsa social
Gloria' at the Domain
Austin Sports Tavern
Copa Bar and Grill
On Occasion Ruta Maya, every other Sunday
On Occasion Go Dance Studio has a salsa social
(TODO: closer to the event, find out whether these "on occasion" things are happening and update this post for y'all)