themes that emerged @ sxsw

In trying to coalesce my thinking about the themes that emerged at SXSW, I ran through my extensive notes (hey, sure, I can listen to podcasts again, but I find my notes reflect my interpretations) and thought about the many conversations I had.

None of these are earth-shattering, but instead continue to be themes that have been percolating in the ether for a while. A lot of what I do for work involves thinking about these pieces and how they fit into the grand scheme of things.

  1. Intellectual Property Issues continue to dominate the conversation. Solving these issues will be a critical step in moving forward on the web, allowing creators their rights, while permitting the improvement upon those ideas.
  2. Building community and relationships are the second phase of the promise of the Internet. Forging new relationships, fostering existing ones, and building impactful and effective community is a mantra all companies need to consider.
  3. Opening the doors to users and respecting their contributions to leverage them. Companies and users are a circular cycle, not a linear process.
  4. Mainstream media still has a place. It serves as a lingua franca, crossing borders (real & virtual), while niche-ification allows different types of people to find others like themselves.
    • Further market fragmentation will happen on all fronts. For example, in search, while Google may dominate, it will erode while specialist search providers with much smaller market shares will chip away.
  5. Short vs. long form content – a lot about continuous partial attention and how much people can tolerate and/or be interested in.
  6. Content quality is still the need. Just because there's a lot out there doesn't mean that it's all good.
  7. Video as the richest (current) interactive experience.
    1. Update: Understanding of course that there was much dialog around metaverses and immersive worlds. Still, adoption of these environments is not as widespread as video.
  8. Authenticity is something we all desire. But authenticity doesn't have to be truthful. Sometimes something untrue or unreal can generate an authentic emotional response and that can be as valid as something that is.

I'll continue to update this post as I ruminate. But you know me, all about just putting it out there and thinking later.

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