Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Studs of SXSW Interactive 2010

In a delayed response to The Frisky’s “The Studs of SXSW” post which unceremoniously omits the fellas of Southby’s Interactive to solely highlight the Music-makers, I decided to pay tribute to the nerds of Southby with my own personal list of men who are not only worth watching, but who are worth looking at:

  • Mark Hendrickson, founder of Plancast, the much talked-about and utlized service at Southby this year which can be most easily described as “Foursquare for the future.” Mark talks to TECHcocktail’s Frank Gruber here where you can easily see why I put him at the top of the list.
  • Andy McAfee, HBS professor turned MIT scientist turned best-selling author turned stand-up comedian. Andy somehow packed the house for an early Monday morning session (that means the nerds had been socializing for at least three days straight!) with a talk on Corporate America. Andy is not technically a stand-up comedian but he managed to keep the audience not only awake, but engaged and wanting more.
  • Jesse Thomas, also known as the guy who spells his name with a number, Jess3′s work was plastered everywhere at Southby. The creative force behind this State of the Internet masterpiece, you can expect big things to come from Jesse in the future.
  • Aaron Vest, the man behind the force known as Queen of Spain, or simply Erin Kotecki-Vest’s husband. Mr. Vest entertained followers by tweeting the experience of “getting his sxsw cherry popped.” In no way does he appear emasculated by having a strong, successful woman as a wife. Rather the opposite.
  • Steven, the Robotchampion, Mandzik, aka the man who makes me compost stuff and wash out and reuse my yogurt containers. A true nerd’s nerd, the Robot led what I consider one of the best talks at Southby, a very interactive discussion on Zero Waste.

So while Gary Vee still “brought the thunder”, while Robert Scoble continued his thought-provoking tech musings, and while Pete Cashmore is still just as good-looking in person as he is in his Mashable avatar, I think it’s important to recognize new talent and give credit where credit is due. Thanks guys.

A TweetStory Of My SXSW Talk on Zero Waste

It’s a shame to let the twitter stream go to waste. So when looking for ways to recap my experience delivering a talk on Zero Waste at SXSW, the twittstream seemed like the perfect way to tell the story.

It all starts with my last two tweets before getting started:

Twitter_avatar_normal robotchampion Prepped and ready for 1230 #zerowaste talk, props, surprise guests, and even activism!

Twitter_avatar_normalrobotchampion Talk is just moments away, use the #zerowaste hashtag

As we get started eight folks chime in with GoWalla and Foursquare check-ins and general announcements about it beginning:

Default_profile_4_normal steveblackmon #zerowaste — at Zero Waste: The Future of Green http://gowal.la/s/4rK2

Me_normal JessiO At the #zerowaste session in 8A. (@ Austin Convention Center w/ @ramon_deleon @benedictwong @leahjones) http://4sq.com/8RQqOx

Yannx_-_small_normal YannR next #zerowaste … the future of green @ sxsw

4419588603_797328914c_b_normal sustaining Settling in at the #zerowaste session; looks like a diverse crowd and a lot of Austinites!

Then, I launch into my intro attempting to explain #zerowaste, but here is what they crowd hears/tweets:

Greenited_normal GREENITED On average Americans create 6 pounds of trash per day per person. #zerowaste #sxsw

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood At #zerowaste, @robotchampion is talking about companies like @WholeFoods that are reducing the amt of trash they send to landfill. Saves $.

Lbd2008_012_normal accooper1 Change the size of the compost (largest) recycle & landfill (smallest) bins to help change behavior #zerowaste #sxsw

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood #zerowaste is diverting from landfills… composting, recycling… – @robotchampion #SXSW

Ok, so either I was extremely captivating and no one cared to tweet, or I talked way too fast and folks only had time to tweet major snippets?

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood Next speaker is Beth Ferguson from Austin… Her design thesis was on solar charging stations for electric vehicles & bikes. #zerowaste

Agreenerlife_normal agreenerlifeorg At the #zerowaste panel being impressed with people’s ingenuity.

Newpic_normal Blocks8 Look for the solar recharge stations that look like 1950′s gas pumps around Austin #sxsw #zerowaste

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood One audience member said they saw it last night and there was a line. People are digging it. #zerowaste // Now I wanna go snap a pic!

Picture_20_normal LisaRedShoesPR did not know about the retro-fitted 50s style gas pumps as solar charging stations for bikes, laptops around… #sxsw #zerowaste

4419588603_797328914c_b_normal sustaining Beth Ferguson’s design for a solar electric charging station incorporates 1950s gas pumps to make energy consumption visible. #zerowaste

Kelly_new_avatar_normal craftyb RT @createthegood: Henry Ford’s wife drove the first electric vehicle. #zerowaste #whoknew

I chime in with an important fact that a few tweet about:

Avatar_122615_normal changeorder The greatest new energy source is energy reduction. #zerowaste #sxsw

Then our next speaker, Jason Aramburu, starts off with a zinger:

Croppercapture_3__normal brianfit Clean coal? Oxymoron! #zerowaste

Bbf_normal brookebf Rechar doing project in Houston ship channel w waste wood fr hurricane ike gen pwr & fertilizer reduce landfill #zerowaste #sxswi #housxsw

After Jason’s talk I go off on compost, which seemed to set off a flurry of tweets:

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood A lot of people in the room raise their hand saying they compost. Me, I’m learning. #zerowaste #SXSW

E_solo_1_normal ericavandenberg “Farmers call compost black gold” #zerowaste #sxswi

3604605400_69a847a333_normal KuraFire Compost is the new black gold. #zerowaste

Amy begins her part:

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood Next up, @sengseng (aka “Steve’s woman”) She’s talking about the girlfriend’s perspective living with someone who lives #zerowaste lifestyle

Noname_6__normal kirbstr #zerowaste victim or guinea pig :)

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood . @sengseng‘s first reaction was that #zerowaste is impossible in today’s society #SXSW

Lbd2008_012_normal accooper1 Waste is just a bad habit not a lifestyle #zerowaste #sxsw

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood Even just bringing a water bottle or your own cup helps reduce the paper generated. – @sengseng #zerowaste #SXSW

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood Changing food habits was one of the biggest challenges. @robotchampion & @sengseng shop at farmers markets mainly #zerowaste #SXSW

Picture_20_normal LisaRedShoesPR Re-think what constitutes a meal … #sxsw #zerowaste eat things from farmer’s markets.

Amy hits the tweet bingo with the most folks re-tweeting her lines/quoting her. Then a questioneer brings up the crucial question with perfect timing and saving me from the awkward transition to it. What are the online resources for zero waste, food, etc.?

Picture_20_normal LisaRedShoesPR take note of the #slowfood movement. #sxsw #zerowaste

Ctg_jelly_normal createthegood To find your local farmers markets or locally sourced food, one resource is http://www.localharvest.org/ #zerowaste #SXSW

Picture_20_normal LisaRedShoesPR check out eatwellguide.org for farmer’s guide market #sxsw #zerowaste

Finally, the session winds down with announcements and lots of folks with new ideas:

Noname_6__normal kirbstr #zerowaste comment on the waste of the swag bags, but they are a revenue source for smaller biz but #sxsw is cutting down on paper wastes

Img_4890-edit-2-edit_normal MelissaSavcic Great talk about #zerowaste at #sxsw There needs to be more ‘green’ lifestyle conferences!

3604605400_69a847a333_normal KuraFire IFixit.com is aiming to be a Wikipedia for fixing your own hardware (like broken iPhone screens). #zerowaste

3604605400_69a847a333_normal KuraFire “Reduce first, Reuse second, Recycle third. Now a fourth one: Rethink.” #Zerowaste

Pirate_normal floridagirlindc My fave from #zerowaste panel at #SXSW: @sengseng‘s “Look at the faces of people in supermakret vs people at farmers market. Who’s happier?”

Img_0860_normal the007way #zerowaste www.soldesignlab.com Been considering an elec scooter but I have nowhere to charge it at present. Just got rid of car.

The Stats

  • 6 rave reviews and 2 critiques (here, here, I followed up personally with each critique)
  • During the 60 minute session:
  • – there were 51 ReTweets
  • – 204 Tweets using the hashtag #zerowaste
  • – which is 3.4 tweets/minute or about a tweet every 18 seconds
  • 1 Live Streamer
  • 3 Live Note Takers (by YannR, cwcinc, and benrigby)

The Ending, My Favorite Tweet

Photo_071309_001_normal AeroSuch Lots of sandals & composters at #Zerowaste. Great insights into solar recharge, bio charcoal, and savingmoney/calories/trash #habits #sxsw

Management: Not Your Parents’ Chevy But It Still Has A Steering Wheel

lt’s no secret that customer service can make or break a company. It’s the reason why companies like Zappos, Starbucks, and Amazon are dominating the markets. They get this. They get that happy customers equal happy profits. It’s also no secret that companies who, in the words of Southwest Airlines founder Herbert D. Kelleher “treat their employees like customers” are more successful and profitable than their peers who don’t.

Andy McAfee recently pointed out in his SXSW talk “What Does Corporate America of 2.0” that “CEOs are now forced to face the new reality that customers control the market and the message.” This means that corporations not only need to be listening to their customers, but interacting and having conversations with them in a meaningful way. Now replace customers with employees and some leaders and managers start to convulse. The notion that employees have any control whatsoever is scary – at least to companies and organizations that don’t know how to evoke great performance.

Management is about direction, not control. There’s a pervasive sentiment in the business world that the current set of tools and technologies available to knowledge workers will essentially force managers out of a job. But anyone who thinks having transparent, open platforms for employees to work in means that everyone is looking around, seeing what the other is doing and automatically achieving psychic-symbiosis is just plain off their rockers. The role of management isn’t going anywhere. Whether it’s systems, project or community management, it’s still a critical element to large and small organizations alike.  And whether managers arise organically or are appointed officially, the fundamentals of the role remain the same.

Businesses and enterprises need individuals to help grow their employees, to maintain appropriate elements of structure and conduct, to foster solutions and resolutions (and be responsible for them) to issues when they exist outside the capabilities of an employee or group, and to look at the business as a system to identify areas of growth and provide direction. Now, however, instead of doing this with opacity, it’s done with transparency, instead of acting from a rung of hierarchy, participation is that as of a member of the community, and instead of simply dictating orders, management engages in discussion.  Why is it considered SO revolutionary for a manager to have a blog, to update information in a wiki or talk to employees in twitter?

There’s a saying that managers have subordinates while leaders have followers. To me this just sounds like the difference between bad managers and good managers. So if the new corporate playing field helps delineate between good and bad managers, I’m all for bad ones getting their licenses revoked.

Management: Not Your Parents' Chevy But It Still Has A Steering Wheel

lt’s no secret that customer service can make or break a company. It’s the reason why companies like Zappos, Starbucks, and Amazon are dominating the markets. They get this. They get that happy customers equal happy profits. It’s also no secret that companies who, in the words of Southwest Airlines founder Herbert D. Kelleher “treat their employees like customers” are more successful and profitable than their peers who don’t.

Andy McAfee recently pointed out in his SXSW talk “What Does Corporate America of 2.0” that “CEOs are now forced to face the new reality that customers control the market and the message.” This means that corporations not only need to be listening to their customers, but interacting and having conversations with them in a meaningful way. Now replace customers with employees and some leaders and managers start to convulse. The notion that employees have any control whatsoever is scary – at least to companies and organizations that don’t know how to evoke great performance.

Management is about direction, not control. There’s a pervasive sentiment in the business world that the current set of tools and technologies available to knowledge workers will essentially force managers out of a job. But anyone who thinks having transparent, open platforms for employees to work in means that everyone is looking around, seeing what the other is doing and automatically achieving psychic-symbiosis is just plain off their rockers. The role of management isn’t going anywhere. Whether it’s systems, project or community management, it’s still a critical element to large and small organizations alike.  And whether managers arise organically or are appointed officially, the fundamentals of the role remain the same.

Businesses and enterprises need individuals to help grow their employees, to maintain appropriate elements of structure and conduct, to foster solutions and resolutions (and be responsible for them) to issues when they exist outside the capabilities of an employee or group, and to look at the business as a system to identify areas of growth and provide direction. Now, however, instead of doing this with opacity, it’s done with transparency, instead of acting from a rung of hierarchy, participation is that as of a member of the community, and instead of simply dictating orders, management engages in discussion.  Why is it considered SO revolutionary for a manager to have a blog, to update information in a wiki or talk to employees in twitter?

There’s a saying that managers have subordinates while leaders have followers. To me this just sounds like the difference between bad managers and good managers. So if the new corporate playing field helps delineate between good and bad managers, I’m all for bad ones getting their licenses revoked.