Registration Day

You can spot an SXSWer a mile away. A combination of geek chic: maybe its the clothes, hair, glasses, backpack or obligatory iPhone but you know where they’re heading. I noticed them throughout my journey and was unsurprised to see their faces when I arrived for registration. In fact I was spotted by veteran SXSWer Natacha on the flight to Austin. She’s been going for the last 5 years and raves about the event and weirdness of Austin

After a pretty dreadful first leg of my journey of my journey, it was a relief that the second leg was painless. My hotel Austin is comfortable, located on Town Lake and 20 minutes walk through park land to the convention centre.

I love Skype! I skyped Jane & Katy from my hotel room, we both have webcams. It’s so much cheaper and personal than phone. Katy was a little stunned to start with to see her daddy on a computer screen but she really got in to it and was happy to see me.

The long queue for registration and bag pickup was wiled away talking to another Ben. Ben Kutler, formerly of Kontiki. We worked together on BBC iMP iPlayer. He now works for the recommendation engine / ad network Aggregate Knowledge. Another veteran of SXSW, this is his 6th year. He’s part of the SXSW staff for the week and runs transportation. We must meet for dinner.

Later I bumped into a former BBC collegue of mine Dan Taylor. BBC Radio Player was his baby and BBC iPlayer was mine. Ben, Dan and I went to How to Rawk SXSW: The Basics – SXSW veterans took us through the highlights of the event. Dan has a cool avatar image of himself on Twitter, created it using his site Pop Art Portrait – it’s cool check it out. Dan recommended I read a wired article on Netflix: This Psychologist Might Outsmart the Math Brains Competing for the Netflix Prize. At LOVEFiLM we spend alot of time tuning our recs engine, always interested in the competion.

I met up with Natacha at went to Respect! – How can architects, designers, writers and coders work with clients, journalists and the public to foster understanding and get their best work produced? If you go to the SXSW site and click the ‘SXSW 2008 INTERACTIVE COVERAGE’ link you can watch the whole thing in their popup video player. Jeffrey Zeldman was good speaker; Natacha raved about his book Designing with Web Standards, which I ordered straight straight away. I love WiFi. Other UXD books she recommended are: Making Meaning by Steve Ziller & Nathan Shedroff; and Experience Design by Steve Ziller – both added to wishlist.

When I’m in the States I just have to eat Latin American food, you just can’t find it in England. Natacha took me a fantastic Columbian restaurant, Doña Emilia’s Bar & Grill, I started with Patacones Rellenos (Fried green plantains one stuffed with beef, the other chicken) and a main course of Pabellón Criollo (Seasoned shredded beef with rice, black beans & maduros). Delicious.


1 comment so far

  1. […] Respect! – How to work with clients, editorial teams and users to get the best work produced? […]

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