Friday March 9th, 2007
After a long “morning” of driving, flying, transfering, cabs, and registration lines, I’m finally here in Austin, sitting in a conference room at the very first panel of SxSW – “The Real Story Behind Snakes on a Plane”. I’m not sure what this panel is all about, but I’m tired of…planes and every 14th word is mother f*ing, so I’m taking advantage of the free wifi to write a quick “Woohoo, I’m at SxSW!” post. I’ve already met some cool people and I look forward to meeting many more. Ok, that’s all for now. I’ll update this post with the lowdown from Austin.
Saturday March 10th, 2007
Yesterday was a ton of fun. Had lunch at the infamous Iron Cactus, found out “How to Rawk SxSW“, and met a ton of people who I’ve known via their website for the first time in real life. Of all the business cards I picked up yesterday, Steve Smith has not one, but two of the coolest cards I’ve seen. As a wannabe print nerd, I’m highly impressed by coated papers, spot varnish & die cuts. One of my coworkers at Cyberwoven designed some rad ones with a really heavy stock and a spot varnish, but they weren’t quite ready by the time I left. Enough about business cards and print nerdery though, it’s time to get to the first panels.
Sunday March 11th, 2007
nGen Works. I ended up having dinner with those guys and chatting about work, school, and life in Florida. After that we all headed to the Frog Design party where I met back up with a bunch of other people I’d met earlier and introduced myself to Cindy Li who happened to know Varick from UF. It seems like everybody knows (or at least knows about) everybody else here, and that’s what makes it so special. Molly Holzschlag really hit the nail on the head when she called it a tribal gathering, because that’s exactly what it feels like.
I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night, but I’m looking forward to another crazy day of people, panels, and parties. My personal goal for today is to slow down a little bit, breathe deeper, take more pictures, and hopefully bowl some strikes!
Monday March 12th, 2007
Just to keep it short and sweet, yesterday was another day of the same Awesomosity, which is actually a term I picked up in James Archer’s “The Business Side of Webdeign” panel. Jonathan, Sally, Dustin and Cameron did great in their “Uniting the Holy Trinity of Web Design” panel and during the talk, they gave away a few signed copies of my book! After that last panel, it was off to bowling, which totally RAWKED. Thanks Bryan! We were supposed to pay about $10 each to bowl, but thanks to a generous contribution from the awesome guys at nclud, the whole event was free! That was a fun night, and as with the last update, I’ve posted the latest photos to the amesnjas sxsw07 gallery.
Tuesday March 13th, 2007
Continuing the trend of meeting cool people, I just got back from lunch with Mark Huot, Dan Mall, and Kevin Cornell. I can’t quite remember the name of the place where we ate, but it had a cigarette machine and the only video game was “Big Game Hunter II”; therefore I can assure you it was an authentic Austin establishment. I had a great time hanging out with those guys and I must say that Kevin is not nearly as eccentric a person as I expected him to be.
It feels a little weird to be updating this post now. Over the last few days, I’ve been updating when I get up in the morning, before going to any panels. That, of course, is only part of the reason I hadn’t made it to a 10am panel since Saturday. Today was intentionally different though. I got back to the hotel at a reasonable time
last night this morning, woke up bright and early, ate a good breakfast and made it to the convention center early enough to get a close seat for Mark Boulton and Richard Rutter’s panel, “Web Typography Sucks“. Although this was one of my favorite panels so far, it quite honestly made me feel like crap. As Kevin said at lunch, “Now I need to go and fix all the type on my website.” My sentiments exactly. While these more technical design panels really challenge me to grow as a designer, it’s admittedly easier to sit through the lighter, fluffier panels that make me smile and nod. I also attended a panel called “Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer” this morning with Nick Bradbury,
John Gruber, Shaun Inman, and Michael Lopp. I didn’t really know exactly what to expect based on the description, but it ended up being a very well moderated view into the working process and experiences of each of the panelists.
Now that I’ve finally started getting used to this absurd schedule of panels and parties, it’s almost time to head back to South Carolina. On one hand, I’m a little bummed that it’s over, but I miss my wife and know that I am going back home as a better designer with many more friends and connections than I would have had if I decided not to go at all.
I must say, I am jealous. I really did want to make it to SXSW but had too many other commitments at this point.