Mar 09, 2012

SXSWi Day One: games, data, curation, storytelling … and rain.

The view from under Vicky's umbrella

As South by Southwest kicks off, Austin is awash in people, flowing with ideas, drenched in jargon and deluged by Mother Nature.  It’s raining – a lot.  But Texas has suffered mightily from droughts recently, so we’re not complaining.

After meeting for breakfast, our team scattered.  “The Toms” (Tom Hynes, blogger relations, and Tom Miale, multimedia engagement ) headed toward one of the hotels for the journalism track.  Vicky and I dove headlong into the crowds at the convention center.  On tap – sessions about visual storytelling, gamification, video curation, big data and branding.

The key take aways:

Tom Hynes:

The key to telling a good story is first asking yourself Would I Share This? Ideally, the answer would be yes.

Rewrite your stuff. Even Spielberg has an editor.

Google says we have 3 seconds before someone hits the back button. Translation: sell yourself and do it quickly.

Victoria Harres

Brands: users define your brand and user experience designers hold the success of your brand.

Brands: users define your brand ..and user experience designers hold the success of your brand in their hands.

Brands as Patterns : #hashtags are patterns.

Tom Miale:

Big data is scary. By 2013, 667 exabytes of data will be generated…Only 5% of that will be structured.

The interview to end all interviews! Rovio announced the launch of Angry Birds Space today.

Sarah Skerik (me!)

I attended a session featuring Electronics Arts founder Bing Gordon, who also sits on the boards of Amazon and Zynga, and is an enthusiastic gamer. The conversation covered a lot of ground, and Bing offered some interesting perspective on game mechanics, and the nature of gamers themselves.

Gaming is the new MBA.

Every Fortune 500 company should have a gamer in the C-suite.

Gamers believe constant improvement is possible.

We’re moving from an era in which we learned by listening, into an era in which we learn by doing.  Gamers find the edges, and lose quickly.  They don’t read manuals. They see a door, and they open it.

Games are a system for creating meaning.

I also attended a session on video curation, which was the subject of an entire blog post titled Socially active videos and how curation drives visibility .

Related:  The view of SXSW Day One via Storify.

Day one is in the books.  We’ll see you back here tomorrow!

Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media, and is the author of the free ebook Unlocking Social Media for PR.

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