What did you learn at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW)?
It’s a question I always grapple with as the festival draws to a close.
I learned (yet again) that it’s never too late to say “yes.” It was Tuesday night last week, my last night there, and I had a dinner that went until 10. I still hadn’t started Wednesday morning’s newsletter – not a word of it. Still, my friend and old colleague Amy Tremmel invited me to a comedy show that her firm The Syndicate helped bring to life, so I went and saw a few terrific acts (Erik Griffin, Matt Braunger, Ian Edwards, and Erin Foley). And when she asked if I’d want to check out the green room after, I said yes. I excused myself after a half hour and then returned to the hotel to start working on the newsletter at 12:30am. I don’t regret it. I did try dictating the column on the way back, which I’ve never done before, but it was too windy to capture my voice.
I also learned about the Ukraine, the American Disabilities Act (thanks to C-Hear), and the pain and triumph of getting in a swim in an unheated pool on a 50-degree morning. I went swimming three times this year, which now means in 11 years going to SXSW, I have done any concerted exercise a grand total of three times. It’s never too late to pick up some good habits either.
As for what else you learned during SXSW, here’s what some of you had to say:
Dodging scooters and using LinkedIn tools instead of business cards (find nearby and QR codes) helped a lot this year. Felt like a good and focused SXSW for me without being too over the top / staying out too late at crowded parties.
From FOMO to JOMO: I found people to be more interested in in-depth conversation than in skating off the the next event. There was less over-the-shoulder-looking and constant-phone-glancing, and more late night dinner and discussion. Perhaps this audience still sees tech as an enabler of substantive connections, but less of a substitute for them.
[JOMO is “joy of missing out” – a new acronym for me, and one I love. – Editor]
Julius, Influencer Marketing
In an audio-off social world, content creators should double down on high-quality audio production, and drive consumers to turn-on audio, to create more compelling stories and drive engagement.
The beauty and power of serendipity.
Breaking bread with amazing people can lead to magic!
Thanks Brian, Perry, Danny, Jason, and Weston for your contributions. If you have more to share as you reflect back on it, let me know. I’m enjoying quite a few of the follow-up conversations I’ve had since Austin, and also some of the links below that I’ve been catching up on. That’s a bit of what I’m making of myself lately. What about you? What are you making of yourself?
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LEARN. TRY. SHARE.
FOURSQUARE REMAINS FOURMIDABLE
What has Foursquare been up to the past few years? I wind up in these conversations often enough, as I’m still a Swarm die-hard, and I often use Foursquare’s local recommendations. Foursquare remains one of the most powerful data companies there is, something I was reminded of in Austin when catching up with Gayle Fuguitt, their Chief of Customer Insight and Innovation. Wired discusses what they’ve been up to lately.
IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE
Jared Belsky, 360i’s CEO, just released the book “The Great Client Partner.” I haven’t read it yet, but I will – largely because Jared is one of the greatest client partners I’ve met in this business.
THIS POST WILL MAKE YOUR BLOOD BOIL
I should use much more salacious headlines in this newsletter that are designed to scare and enrage you. Apparently, that’s what works on Facebook. Personally, I’ve hidden anyone (certain family members included) who are outrage engines, though I go on Twitter almost for the purpose of getting outraged. I want Facebook to stay as a haven for photos of kids, requests for travel recommendations, job updates, and the sometimes sad news of maladies and deaths that at least bring others closer together. I am clearly not the norm here. See this research that shows just how bad and mad news travels through Facebook.
SPEAKING OF BAD BLOOD BOILING…
Adweek’s Patrick Coffee takes a look at all the best parts of the Theranos story – if you’re in the ad business. Here’s how Elizabeth Holmes manipulated the ad industry, just as she manipulated test results, investors, customers, and everyone else.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY MOBY
How can you stand out with an album drop these days? Sure, you can see how Spotify will promote it, but what about something really different? Moby went his own path and debuted his latest album on… a meditation app? Brilliant.
STEVE COOK’S GUIDE TO SXSW
My friend Steve Cook has been prolific (as usual) with his SXSW coverage. Here are a few highlights:
-CMO.com: What It’ll Take to Make Immersive Tech a Scalable Reality
-CMO.com: SXSW Panelists Tell the Truth about Innovation
-Upwellbeing: Healthbots are Making Housecalls
-Upwellbeing: Frontiers of Cancer Racing Toward a Cure
-Upwellbeing: The Mental Health Abyss
TALKING THE SXSW TALK
What was buzzing at SXSW? Talkwalker captures the social conversations here. It’s interesting that so many of the top posts were about politics, but the topics were more spread out (“cannabusiness” was a new big one). I’m not surprised to see Amazon pop as the top brand.
Want to include your event below? Just reply with the details.
CATALYST’S SEO HOT TRENDS HAPPY HOUR
March 28, 6:30pm
Catalyst is heating things up with their SEO Hot Trends Happy Hour on 3/28 in NYC. Join them for a free evening dedicated to exploring the latest trends & changes in SEO.
FUTURE OF BLOCKCHAIN FOR ADVERTISING
April 3, 1pm
What are the five main online advertising challenges blockchain solves? The Future of Blockchain Advertising webinar. Register here. You’ll hear from blockchain leaders Brave, Lucidity, and Rebel AI, hosted by NSM Research. Expect fraud prevention to be a hot topic. Register below.
Also the same day as the webinar, New Yorkers should attend this fantastic event series – one of my favorites. It’s free, and they always get excellent presenters at the forefront of cutting edge ad tech.
The Crowdsourcing Week BOLD Awards, showcasing innovative businesses and individuals, will be a rewarding event for amazing projects, individuals and companies. Apply to attend.
ANA MEDIA CONFERENCE
The ANA Media Conference brings together media leaders to galvanize the industry and share actionable insights on the newest ways of connecting with today’s consumers. Attendees will be able to network with more than 600 marketers to gain firsthand knowledge from those facing similar challenges. Speakers will cover the industry’s most critical topics including media agency reviews, e-commerce, voice/audio, GDPR, programmatic, transparency, data, owned media, in-house agencies, digital media, and more. The agenda includes CMOs and Heads of Media from Procter & Gamble, The Hershey Company, JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Wayfair, GlaxoSmithKline, IHOP, Mars, Johnson & Johnson and more! This conference was sold out ast year so register and reserve your seat.