In an effort to diversify and partly because I am writing this from a plane while in route to Austin, I have decided to expand my social media column. In less than 48 hours the SXSW festival will kickoff in Austin.

In many ways SXSW is positioned well within the festival season. It is held between Sundance and Tribeca. But what really sets SXSW apart is its collision of film, music and interactivity. It is three festivals that happen within a span of two weeks.

The interactive side has expanded over the years. A lot has changed since I first spoke there in 1998. Not only has it grown, but the interactive side has become more relevant. This is partly due to the fact that the tech has caught up to the concept of having an interactive fest and partly due to the vision of the festival programmers.



ScreenBurn – One of the new faces within the interactive fest is ScreenBurn, which is a gaming related event. ScreenBurn consists of series of events celebrating and debating the past, present and future of gaming.

ScreenBurn Arcade – A tournament space for consumers and pro gamers to demo and compete on the latest games.

Keynotes by Phil Torrone (MAKE), Will Wright (SIMS and MAXIS) and Dan Rather.

The Interactive Playpen – A place to test the latest and greatest in tech

The SXSW Web Awards – To see this year’s finalists visit

For a full schedule visit

I will be splitting my time between the film and interactive side of the fest. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the music festival this year. The music festival is one of the largest. On average a few hundred different acts play each night. There is literately music everywhere and Austin becomes one big party.


Apollo Sunshine
Badly Drawn Boy
The Buzzcocks
Bishop Allen
Peter, Bjorn and John
Lee “Scratch” Perry


For a full schedule visit

The film festival features over 100 feature films from all over the world. In addition to the screenings there are a collection of panels, workshops and conversations. This year I was invited to speak on two panels. The first is a discussion about building audiences and community online. The second is a panel on blogging about film.


A Conversation with Bill Paxton

Robert Rodriguez hosts a special panel about the Grindhouse genre

New Dogs, New Tricks: New Media Goes to the Movies

Kurt Cobain about a Son – The beautiful story of musician and grunge pioneer, Kurt Cobain, told from his own mouth shortly before his untimely death.

Eagle VS. Shark
– A wry comedy that chronicles the quirky romance of two awkward misfits, Lily, a shy fast-food restaurant cashier, and her crush, Jarrod, an electronic store clerk.

– Three Texas University seniors, on the eve of their graduation, roadtrip to a Mexican border town for a final weekend of drinking and debauchery. Their vacation becomes a nightmare as the trio run afoul of an ancient blood cult looking for human sacrifice. Based on true events.

Silver Jew – An intimate portrait of reclusive poet/musician David Berman, the guiding force behind one of indie rock’s most revered bands, the Silver Jews. In the midst of their first ever world tour

Them – When darkness falls one unsuspecting night, Clementine and Lucas will come face to face with THEM. They are everywhere, even in their home, and they will stop at nothing. Who are they? What do they want?

For a full schedule visit

In true mobile social fashion I will be texting, snapping and shooting my experiences in real time thanks to a variety of web 2.0 services and apps. To catch the action visit the FEST MOB at