My SXSW Interactive Adventure 2015

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My SXSW InteractiveAdventure 2015Clay Langdon

2Ive always enjoyed traveling to far-away cities to attend conferences and meet new and interesting people and talk shop.

SXSW is especially awesome because the conference comes to you. And brings a whole new city here to Austin.

Thanks to Mark and Bryan for sending folks to the festival, subsidizing badges and tolerating massive disruption to the agency for 10 solid days at the end of Q1.

I cant wait to see the other presentations.

First, thanks Austin, SXSW and McJ

3The only problem with SXSW is that it is totally overwhelming. Im amazed by the volume of content flowing through SXSW

My plan was ingest mainly content related to brands, UX, creative strategy and content development.

Planning my schedule, i found it hard to choose between apples and oranges.

I thought Id reconcile conflicts on the fly.

Quest for inspiration

http://schedule.sxsw.com/

Continuous schedule adjustmentTip for next year: nail down RSVPs sooner.

I mis-under-estimated some lines and couldn't get in to a few sessions i wanted.

Scrambling for alternatives can be stressful. How far away? How big will the line be? Where am i on the RSVP list? Which 2:30 session is going to be best?

In the scramble for alternatives, I stumbled upon a few really great surprises.

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Fortunate discoveriesI know this is probably against PechaKucha rules, but i need just a little bit of narrative structure here.

The following is not a most important trends or top 10 best content or best rated by audiences but a field-reporters journal and collection of insights and observations that have survived in my memory and notebook.

Here are 8 take-aways from the festival and 5 trade-show observations from my SXSW 2015 Interactive experience.

I hope at least one of them jars a new thought loose somewhere out there.

51. THE FUTURE = QUANTUM DESIGNI hope one of the other SXSW reporters will dive deeper into Paola Antonellis keynote.

My first reaction to modern art is usually wha?? I left Paola Antonellis keynote confused and a little disturbed by the idea of a realm between living and not-living.

Later, I found her insights about quantum design to be prophetic as i started noticing spaces between spaces everywhere. She's on to some intergalactic shift that requires designers and creative developers everywhere to build bridges from a past to future state.

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http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP996158

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So much of SXSW this year was about data, API scrapers, and technology-enabled marketplaces.

Decoded Fashion set up camp to show how pop up marketplaces and brands establish connections with target audiences that simply werent possible before.

Continuous market feedback and data science enable continuous innovation and also risk management.

It strikes me that this is basically a design stimulus research engine with broad e-commerce capabilities.

2. STARTUP RETAIL MARKETPLACEShttp://decodedfashion.com/sxsw/8

Ross Atkin is an industrial designer who came to share thoughts about IOT and industrial design process.

He had lots of great examples to highlight the importance of solving meaningful problems and getting close to the user to make decisions (vs imagining but not confirming a user need and developing a solution in search of a problem.)

Here are some seniors who were pissed about speedy and dangerous traffic light and cross walks. They got together and made a rap video to express their frustration.

The video highlighted a real user need and also pointed toward a solution. Atkin was able to use the video to storyboard the use case, share a vision for the solution and get funding to create a new technology to measurably improve a human experience.

3. TARGET AUDIENCE USE CASEhttp://www.rossatkin.com/sxsw15/SXSW15_Prez_online.pdf

9Id never heard of MeerKat. My first reaction was - another fundamental transformation of human communication?

First, Meerkat is smart and friendly branding.

Meerkat and apps like it hanse INSTANTLY transformed the way we conceive of an share content.

It will be interesting to see what happens as the costs of live broadcasts essentially go to zero.

This may be a good example of a space between a space. Are these entertainment platforms or communication devices?

4. CONTINUOUS MEDIA INNOVATION

http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/29/meerkat-and-periscope-arent-sure-what-to-do-with-their-hands/

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This was Al Jazeera Plus presented a vision for the future of news journalism.

By utilizing distributed VJs with souped-up I-phones, AJ+ is able to create and distribute content quickly and from behind the front lines.

Heres an example from Ferguson Missouri: AJ+ was collecting content from multiple VJs embedded in the crowd and editing and streaming video and developing and distributing content - all before the big networks had finished unloading their vans.

Heres maybe another example of a space between a space. Is this a news organization or social network?

5. DISTRIBUTED CONTENT GENERATIONhttp://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP4444611This was Al Jazeera Plus presented a vision for the future of news journalism.

By utilizing distributed VJs with souped-up I-phones, AJ+ is able to create and distribute content quickly and from behind the front lines.

Heres an example from Ferguson Missouri: AJ+ was collecting content from multiple VJs embedded in the crowd and editing and streaming video and developing and distributing content - all before the big networks had finished unloading their vans.

Heres maybe another example of a space between a space. Is this a news organization or social network?

6. CARDS AND STACKS

http://ajplus.net/

7. IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCEThis was from Breaking the 4th Wall - Audience Participation in the Digital Age.

Professional directors, actors, make-up artists, set designers and others get together to serve up horror house experiences to paying audiences.

The experience is captured and then broadcast to a wider audience of voyeurs.

We say we create emotional connections between people and brands. Consider this a challenge to dial up emotional intensity next time youre working on an environmental installation.

Heres another candidate for a space between a space: Are these people entertainment customers or performers?

12http://www.hauntersmovie.com/

8. UX EXISTENTIALISMIm always curious to see how other companies integrate customer insight, strategy, planning and research into their design and development process.

It strikes me that the same battles fought by planners in the break out sessions of late 1990s APG conferences are now being fought by UX practitioners.

What if design isnt following the strategy? How can you get the client to pay for research? Whos responsible for creating a customer-centric innovation culture?

Im glad to know that planners of all kinds remain committed to customer-centric design and innovation process.13

Trade show observationsEnough with the conference. Here are 5 observations from the trade show - 1. CUSTOM CURATION2. API-SCRAPING BRAND AND MEDIA TRACKING3. NEW-GEN MARKETING AUTOMATION4. CREATIVE SERVICES NETWORKS5. HEALTHY FURNITURE14http://sxsw.com/exhibitions/trade-show/exhibitors

151. CUSTOM CURATIONI saw lots personal content curation technology for all kinds of media.

These are bots out there discovering and tagging and cuing up media based upon personal presences, user customization and machine learning.

Technologies like this represent pull media vs push media and are likely to change the engagement model for our brands.

These could also be examples of spaces between spaces. Are they Networks? Platforms? Channels? Magazines? Concierge Services?

http://www.brainspace.com

https://www.worldrelay.tv/2. API-SCRAPING BRAND AND MEDIA TRACKINGI remember thinking about data dashboards back in the old building, wondering where is the integrated dashboard? And why cant Adobe just give me exactly what i want - which is all unified media inclusive of on-line, off-line, digital and physical?

Free data storage and improved ease of API and ETN integration have combined to produce a revolution in brand, platform and campaign tracking technology.

A few of these companies have begun to solve problems that have burdened our data analytics efforts from the start.

In the right hands, tools like this contribute to design thinking by allowing all the world to be viewed as a giant ongoing A|B test.

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www.IQMediaCorp.comwww.Luminoso.com

I dont consider myself an expert in the robot side of marketing and Its been a while since ive studied at Marketo or Eloqua and the like.

But there seems to be a new generation of automation technology for marketers. They work by storing and organizing discreet content and creative assets and then allowing the user to administer on-going, technology-assisted, multi channel campaigns.

At least thats the intoxicating promise

I think you need humans to conceive of content and to develop creative campaigns and respond to social activity. But systems like this can automate and streamline and simplify work that's better left to bots.

17www.Holonis.comwww.Acision.com3. NEW-GEN MARKETING AUTOMATION4. CREATIVE SERVICES NETWORKSI saw a variety of new-marketplace-forming match-making services, collaboration platforms, talent brokers, and other models that try and bridge the gap between buyers and sellers.

These arent examples of spaces between spaces exactly or examples of increasing applicability of design thinking. But I thought they were interesting and deserved mention.

Heres one of your options should you go to GigSalad to search for fire dancers available for performance in Austin.

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www.CreativeTakeover.comwww.GigSalad.com5. HEALTHY FURNITURE

Heres Martin Keen, founder of Keen shoe company. Hes now working on vision for human-body-friendly office furniture.

This is also a great example of design thinking. Martin recognized that the human body is most comfortable resting at a 130-degrees and not sitting at a 90-degree angle.

With that simple insight he began to imagine, prototype and test office furniture designed for a number of meaningful use cases. 19www.FocalUprightFurniture.comWinding DownI found SXSW 2105 to highly rewarding. I left inspired and energized. I was able to catch up with some old friends and enjoy a break from normal agency life.

But I was relieved when it was over.

On the last night, my kids came down to check out SXSW Ecos LED light garden.

This is me looking into my phone camera and watching the image projected on to a giant wooden head.

20http://blog.1000bulbs.com/sxsw-2015-eco-light-garden/#.VRq4pTvF9uo

Inspiration for the future21So thats it. I hope you enjoyed my field notes and can take something away from my SXSW 2015 interactive experience.

Take-home Insights:

Content Solve meaningful problems and look into the spaces between the spaces

Process Apply design thinking holistically and whenever possible Idea > Stimulus > Feedback > Learning > Iteration>

Overall and in general - Be thankful. Love what you do. Now is an exciting time to be in the idea development business here in Austin Texas

THANK YOU Clangdon5