Thursday, February 25, 2010

The SXSW Interactive Mobile Thriving Guide (iPhone)

The snow today is making me really look forward to SXSW Interactive in Austin. 2010 will be my 3rd time attending so I wanted to write up all of the mobile services that I will be leaning on to schedule, network and keep my battery going all week…and I do mean *all* week.


SXSW is a game. It’s about doing everything you want but not wasting your time planning and confirming, getting everything done, meeting up with everyone you wanted to see. Potentially you won’t remember any of it, but you’ll have lots of new connections and warm feelings for people who are showing up in your stream all year as a result.

Austin is your playground. It’s where all the new mobile services that help us accomplish our SXSW plans.

There are 3 areas which you must master if you are to fully free yourself of your laptop @ SXSWi:

Advance Scheduling: It is imperative to look at the schedules and try to comprehend everything that is going on so you don’t feel the dread of missing out on anything. This plan will fail miserably, but these tools will make the experience better for you and better for those who follow your example.

1) Tungle Tungle lets you schedule with people without a lot of back and forth. It looks at your outlook or ical powered calendar and lets you paint your availability, or even shake to schedule from it’s iPhone app. This is for real meetings with people that you cannot miss.

Here is the tungle demo

SXSW calendar [No], Social Features [Some], Requires Download [Yes], Mobile Website/App [Yes] Mobile Speed [Fast]

2) Plancast I’ve been told I use this too much already, but I’ve been very excited about it’s potential for spreading the word about your particular panel or workshop at SXSW. They've created a SXSW splash page with a suggested follower list and useful SXSW channel profiles to follow like "Badgeless SXSW" which tells you all the events you can attend without a SXSW Badge. BTW @Leahculver please skip the Owen Van Natta party and finish up the iPhone app b4 SXSWi, drinks on me, kthxbai.

SXSW calendar [Yes, via profiles], Social Features [Yes], Requires Download [No] Mobile Website/App [No?] Mobile Speed [Slow]

3) My.SXSW iPhone Application This official app loads all of the event schedules at once (which takes a good amt of time the 1st time) and is integrated with the schedules and your official SXSW profile, which on the iPhone app is easier to set up than on the desktop. You can upload your photo and add social networks. However, this app is not connected for sharing panel links on social networks or even via email.

SXSW calendar [Yes], Social Features [No], Requires Download [No] Mobile Website/App [No?] Mobile Speed [Fast]

4) This was the best mobile web calendar last year with full description of panels and great use of JavaScript overlays to minimize page loads, still a bit heavy for AT&T

SXSW calendar [Yes], Social Features [No], Requires Download [No], Mobile Website/App [Yes] Mobile Speed [Medium]

5) This may replace for me this year. A quick loading mobile website with really easy navigation for the full SXSWi calendar and ability to check-in and share on twitter WHERE YOU ARE SITTING in a particular panel! How’s that for real-time? Really well done.

SXSW calendar [Yes], Social Features [Yes], Mobile Website/App [Yes], Requires Download [No]

Contingency Planning: Planning The panels, movies, drinkups and music in Austin start out like spores and grow based on community distribution of event details and checkins from attendees. The battlefield of SXSW will look nothing like your pretty calendar. So SXSW has already tested Twitter and Foursquare in this capacity, but there is a new entrant to the fray and it is specifically designed to facilitate conversation at an event without junking up the feeds of people who are not attending, and it’s called HotPotato. All panels at SXSWi 2010 should start by pointing their audiences to the associated HotPotato event.

1) Twitter and Twitter Connect Sites/Apps Status updates and hashtags still rule the day, it will be interesting to see if that changes in 2010. Tweetie 2 is my choice of app, and its seamless ability to manage more than one account is quite helpful when on the go. like many other apps lets you Tweet

Reach [High], Immediacy [High], Local relevance [Low], Event features [Hashtags], Noise [High]

2) Facebook and Facebook Connect Sites/Apps Facebook events are underlying a lot of the Plancast links and is currently the glue behind HotPotato

Reach [Medium], Immediacy [Low], Local relevance [Low], Event features [Full Service], Noise [High]

3) Foursquare Foursquare has picked up where Twitter left off, as now people find out which party to go to based on the stream of Foursquare check-ins. Badges specifically designed for SXSW were a hit last year, e.g. the Porky badge for checking in at Stubbs. Too crazy for you?... Check-in off the grid like tiger w. be

Reach [Low], Immediacy [High], Local relevance [High], Event features [People Tab], Noise [Medium]

4) HotPotato HotPotato lets you attend, watch or follow events based on your proximity and makes the chatter in each event relevant by 1) defining the event 2) offering more than just commenting e.g. posting photos and links for making references and analogies to the event 3) giving you a view to whom within your network (currently powered by Facebook Connect) is commenting on what events 4) tuning your feed based on location

Reach [Medium], Immediacy [High], Local relevance [High], Event features [Full Service], Noise [Low]

Battery Life!

What I will bring to stay connected 24/7 from Thurs-Wed.

1) Just Mobile | Gum Pro: this little power grenade from Just Mobile is supposed to carry 2-5x iPhone charges and power up fast, 90% in an hour, and it uses both a 5-pin camera cord power up and and the iPhone cord to charge the iPhone, with a switch to turn off the juice if it is not being used.

How people will make fun of you: “Why do you have an iPhone cord coming out of your pocket? Are you plugged in right now?”

2) Griffin Tune Juice: the un-green little AAA battery pack that takes 4 batteries and charges without requiring a wall socket. Which means you don’t have to stand under the stage at Stubbs or hit on hostesses to have them charge your phone if you forgot to charge your extra battery pack.

How people will make fun of you: “batteries? srsly?”

3) Kensington Mini: This bottom feeder is good for a small charge at the end of the day, light, small, no extra cords while carrying. Charges with a 5-pin camera cord into USB. The fact that it plugs into the bottom could be a problem if you put it in your front pocket and sit down. L

How people will make fun of you: “gee you have a really long phone.”

4) The Mophie Pack: Mophie gets a colbertian wag of the finger. Once my battery pack of choice, until the weird jack that plugs in a weird non 5-pin cord broken into the device and has rendered the Mophie pack useless.

How people will make fun of you: “is that really an iPhone, it looks so big and bulky.”

It will be a showdown for sure, but at least I’ll be prepared.

What I’ll be doing: Moderating UX of Mobile Panel, Friday March 12th @ 11am with Kyle Outlaw (Razorfish), Scott Jenson (Google) and Barbara Ballard (Little Springs Design) Organizing HTML5 vs. Flash Discussion, Monday March 15th @ 11:00am with Richard Ting (R/GA) Organizing the Mobile Advertising Workshop, Tuesday March 16th @ 3:30pm with Dennis Crowley (Foursquare) and Justin Siegel (MocoSpace) Organizing the Mobile Social Workshop, Tuesday March 16th @ 2:00pm with Michael Sharon (Facebook) and Justin Shaffer (HotPotato) Organizing the Mobile Commerce Workshop, Tuesday March 16th @ 5:00pm with Francesco Rovetta (PayPal)

Is anyone writing up a guide for Android?

Ping me @ SXSWi on your service of choice.





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