Tag Archives: SXSW

Silicon Beach Fest – this weekend in Santa Monica – June 21-23 – the SXSW of Los Angeles

Silicon Beach Fest is LA’s first festival organized by its tech community to celebrate LA tech, entertainment & startups with panels, keynotes, workshops, mixers, and more at a dozen venues focused in Santa Monica and Venice on June 21-23, 2012. Head to the beach on the first weekend of summer to celebrate LA’s digital innovators!

Follow @SBFestLA - #SBF.

Fest attendees and speakers include: invited celebs, start-ups, VCs, movie and music studio execs, agencies, fashion, content creators, artists, social media gurus, developers, etc. from LA, Silicon Valley, etc.

 

Learn moreSilicon Beach Feast

 

Of all the events, the most exciting is Angel Pitch Day, with Nate Werlin of Venture Beat judging:

Got an idea? Want to pitch it to the angels and get feedback?

Then Angel Pitch Day is the event for you. If your idea is selected, you will get to participate at Angel Pitch Day where you will have an opportunity to pitch your idea to a live audience of angel investors.

You will have 2 minutes to deliver your pitch, then you will get candid feedback from top angels on your idea. Hear what they have to say and their insights into how you can improve your idea.

The untold story of American superheroines

Yesterday, I wrote about the need for women writers and artists in comic books, highlighting a very successful Kickstarter project, Womanthology. The project was so successful that they have an offshoot. A documentary about female super heroes that premiered at South by Southwest 2012:

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s, to the blockbusters of today, WONDER WOMEN! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.

The film introduces audiences to a cast of fictional and real life superheroines fighting for positive role models for girls, both on screen and off, and reminds us of our common human need for stories that tell us we can all be heroes.

Kickstarter project: Womanthology – massive all-female comic anthology

I read a lot of comics and it is always upsetting that there are no women creating them. There are female characters everywhere in the stories, many super heroines, and yet, nearly all the top female characters have all-male teams working on them.

It is pretty sad, and unfair.

The good news is that a few projects rumbling around are experiencing awesome success. The following Kickstarter project, one of the most successful on the site, covers this exact topic:

 

Womanthology; Massive All Female Comic Anthology!

Womanthology is a large scale anthology comic showcasing the works of women in comics. It is created entirely by over 140 women of all experience levels, including top industry professionals.

The purpose of the book is to show support for female creators in comics and media. There will be multiple short stories, “how to” & interviews with professionals, and features showcasing iconic female comic creators that have passed, such as Nell Brinkley and Tarpe Mills. A Kids & Teens section will also be included, showcasing their work, and offering tips & tricks to help them prepare themselves for their future careers in comics.

Overall, this is pretty much a huge book showcasing what women in comics have accomplished, and what we are capable of :) We are also hoping that by doing this book, it will encourage a new generation of women to pick up the pencil and create!

A documentary on the next big thing in gaming – Independent developers of 2-3 people

Great things are continuing to come out of Kickstarter, especially their huge jump in funding and million dollar projects.

Here is another one: Indie Game: The Movie

A behind the scenes look at the tiny, passionate teams of imaginative programmers and level designers who spend years and thousands of dollars slaving away towards realizing lifelong dreams of sharing their creative vision.

The documentary follows two different game developers building games for the X-Box Live Arcade. One is called Super Meat Boy, the other is called Fez.

Now these aren’t the thousands strong teams that bring us games like Call of Duty or Fallout 3, these are young dudes who have a passion for gaming. Both teams consist of 2-3 people doing all the coding, designing, business end stuff, organizing, beta testing and distributing of their work.

The Super Meat Boy guys (Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes) are the upstarts, bright-eyed young men bound and determined to wow the world with their concept

The makers of Fez are more the rock stars (Phil Fish) who made a big splash at a gaming con when they announced the game. They won awards, garnered huge praise from the gaming press and then disappeared.

They also give us a brief history of indie gaming, underlining the huge boom thanks to X-Box Live Arcade, tablets and smart phones.

via Ain’t It Cool News

 

It’s a brilliant movie and well worth watching. It will be at SXSW 2012 and several screenings around the country. There is also an option for an HBO fiction series.

Twitter: @IndieGameMovie

Facebook: IndieGameTheMovie

A Blogging Champion At Work: From 295 To Over 46,000 Monthly Views

Over the past several months, I’ve had the unique opportunity to watch my partner-in-crime focus on building 1X57 as a blog.

Starting in July, Steve began blogging full-time for 1X57, producing content on a daily basis, focusing on what he loves and finds interesting, which includes topics such as surfing, comics, big data, and more.

It’s been a fascinating process to witness, especially since it’s been more than just SEO or creating catchy titles. His focus has been on improving the quality of his writing, learning to be a journalist, mastering web publishing and connecting with audiences who care about the things he cares about. Not to mention growing his social media prowess.

And it’s working.

Back in November 2010, we had 295 unique monthly views. By August 2011, the site has grown to receive almost 47,000 monthly views, over 150x growth…

…which is significant for us, since the growth we experienced in our first two years (starting with our initial post in November 2008, through November 2010) increased from only the 10′s to the 100′s for monthly views.

If you’re interested in hearing more about @robotchampion‘s journey from zero to blog dominance, please vote for his SXSW 2012 talk, “Blogging isn’t dead, it just went professional.”

I promise you, he won’t disappoint.

NOTE: Voting ends tomorrow, Friday, September 2, 11:59 CDT.

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

My SXSW All-Stars

South by Southwest…what can I say that hasn’t been said. I felt like the bumble bee girl in the Blind Melon video “No Rain.” For someone who is unable to sit through a meeting without thumping her leg/foot 98% of the time, who gets lambasted for not following “the rules” on a regular basis, who sleeps with her iPhone and wakes up in the middle of the night to google something that surfaces in a dream, and whose biggest buying addiction is books, I felt reunited with “my kind.” SXSW is like a giant bazaar for starving geeks to greedily consume and share knowledge and information.

As much as I learned, the event would be not be what it is without the personal interaction. So here are my SXSW All-Stars, the people who made my SXSW experience stellar:

Most Beautiful: Qui Diaz, @beautfiulthangs

Qui and I knew of each other through Twitter but had never met in person or even exchanged tweets. When we were introduced, she was wearing a cowgirl hat & emanated a certain light and joy that felt completely familiar to me. Mary Oliver said, “Beauty without purpose is beauty without virtue…” and Qui’s Twitter bio speaks to her virtue: I heart nonprofits, blog about social media for social good & see beauty everywhere.

Most Refreshing: Guy Kawasaki, @guykawasaki

This guy was in the Blogger’s Lounge passing out Alltop stickers like a band promoter in a parking lot. Humility and modesty are a rarity in our culture and this web celebrity lacks the bravado and hubris too many of the “big names” possess.

Most Passionate: Sheri Graner Ray

Sheri, a Senior Game Designer for companies like Electronic Arts, Origin Systems, Sony Online Entertainment and Cartoon Network, spoke on the panel “Gaming as a Gateway Drug: Getting Girls Interested in Technology” and her passion is infectious. I hope companies listen up and understand that we need to get and keep girls in tech and gaming is one of the best ways to do this. The ones that do WILL dominate the market.

Most Interesting: David Heyman, @davidheyman

David makes geography & cartography cool. He’s hung out with lions and elephants in Kenya, does improv/stand-up comedy and has a vast amount of baseball knowledge.

Most Energizing: Gary Vaynerchuk, @garyvee

Gary Vee is like doing a triple shot of expresso while listening to AC/DC. If you get the chance to hear him speak in person, take it.

Most Impressive: Andy Carvin, @acarvin

As National Public Radio’s senior product manager for online communities, Andy understands news, journalism and the web 2.0 world. Since joining NPR, he’s been working to develop a new online strategy for the organization, including citizen journalism, social networking and user-generated content.

Most Sauce: Laura Fitton , @pistachio

I bonded with Laura over Twitter (I admit, mostly making fun of Andy McAfee). In person, she’s smart and down-to-earth, with a dollop of dead-on snark. She’s the type of person with whom you want to do business AND go grab a drink.

Most Hustle: Larry Chiang, @larrychiang

Good god, does the man ever stop working a room? I’m almost certain he sleeps in a collared shirt, cradling both his blackberry and iPhone in hand, mumbling thoughts about venture capital and credit scores. Check out his tips on “How to Work a Conference.”

Most Surprising: Christopher Barger, @cbarger

Christopher Barger, Director of Global Communications Technology at General Motors, was a surprise. I wasn’t expecting to see anyone from an American Motor Company at SXSW, yet alone on the panel “Digital Tsunami: Breaking News at Breakneck Speeds.” I’m still skeptical. It’s got to be a new way of doing business for how the United States approaches transportation or bow and parish at the feet the innovators of the industry.

Most Thought-Provoking: The panel for “OpenID, OAuth, Data Portability and the Enterprise

The twitter stream from the panel paints a pretty good picture of the discussion: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=+%23sxswid

Joseph Smarr, Chief Platform Architect at Plaxo, gave a choice quote when he described the future of online identities and content: Ownership of user-generated content via open platforms is a “slippery salamander.”

My personal SXSW MVP: Michael Bassik, @mbassik

Michael is the reason I attended SXSW. I highly recommend listening to his panel “What your Startup Can Learn from Barack Obama and Howard Dean.” Thanks, Michael, for showing me the SXSW light:)

“He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.” ~William Blake

Spying 2.0: What I will & won't be saying at SXSW

Tomorrow (Friday) I’ll be speaking at SXSW Interactive. I’ve never been to SXSW (yes, I’m a SWirgin) and I have no expectations. The truth is I’m not one of the people you see on the “panel circuit” – in general I prefer to listen and learn – and then assault panelists/speakers with my typical barrage of questions:) My friend submitted the topic and when it got accepted, he asked me to speak and I said yes.

The topic of my talk is Spying 2.0: Can America Compete With Web-Savvy Enemies? For the record: I’m not a spy, most defintely not a Mrs. Smith. I’m a senior research analyst for LMI, a not-for-profit strategic consultancy committed to helping government leaders and managers reach decisions that make a difference.  We work with every federal department, agency, and military service on a broad spectrum of issues and opportunities.  At the beginning of my talk, I will be making the disclaimer that I will not be speaking for any of the clients LMI represents. As a contractor, I cannot refer to any of the projects I work on and as an employee of LMI, my thoughts and opinions expressed during my talk are strictly my own and do not represent those of LMI nor any of the clients LMI serves.

I have a “robust” set of restrictions on what I can and cannot say but the best part is the format of my talk is a Salon, which I’m told is a “tad less formal” and  an alternative to the rigid speaker versus audience format. If you ask me, it sounds like a cocktail party discussion (refreshments will be available) where I present a topic and the objective is to stimulate some good discourse amongst the participants.

I am not an “expert” in anything detailed in my Salon description:

Accelerating technology cycles leave the US intelligence community gasping. Twitter, cloud computing, folksonomies, Loopt… can America’s sclerotic intelligence machinery compete as our enemies adopt cheap, fast-evolving open-source and web 2.0 intel strategies?

Fortunately for me, I don’t have to be. My experience has shown me my network, more times than not, is smarter than the expert.  I do plan on tweeting during my talk and I’ll have my peeps @immunity & @robotchampion in the room. I hope to see some other familiar faces but really I want to generate solid discussion and ideas on the topic.

I have some general thoughts on what I plan on saying, including asking what it means to be a “spy” in today’s day and age when everyone and anyone can take a picture with their cell phone and post it to the internet. And I also want to share something Rod Beckstrom said when I first met him last year: “We’re not safe until we ALL are safe.”  This is not limited to just Americans and our allies.

Dennis Blair, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, recently made the following statement about cybersecurity: “It’s a crew race. The offense pulls ahead -– you find out -– then the defense pulls ahead. We’ve got to keep stroking, faster, better, with more teamwork.” This doesn’t seem to be, in my opinion, a very good long-term strategic plan.  Something has to change.

If you look at the current U.S. administration’s agenda, the breadth of intelligence issues has broadened to include things such as the economy (the President now receives an Economic Daily Briefing) and energy and the environment. My plan for the talk is to share what I can, ask questions, listen and have everyone tweet the hell of it during and after:)

Excuse me while I get my boots on

Spying 2.0: What I will & won’t be saying at SXSW

Tomorrow (Friday) I’ll be speaking at SXSW Interactive. I’ve never been to SXSW (yes, I’m a SWirgin) and I have no expectations. The truth is I’m not one of the people you see on the “panel circuit” – in general I prefer to listen and learn – and then assault panelists/speakers with my typical barrage of questions:) My friend submitted the topic and when it got accepted, he asked me to speak and I said yes.

The topic of my talk is Spying 2.0: Can America Compete With Web-Savvy Enemies? For the record: I’m not a spy, most defintely not a Mrs. Smith. I’m a senior research analyst for LMI, a not-for-profit strategic consultancy committed to helping government leaders and managers reach decisions that make a difference.  We work with every federal department, agency, and military service on a broad spectrum of issues and opportunities.  At the beginning of my talk, I will be making the disclaimer that I will not be speaking for any of the clients LMI represents. As a contractor, I cannot refer to any of the projects I work on and as an employee of LMI, my thoughts and opinions expressed during my talk are strictly my own and do not represent those of LMI nor any of the clients LMI serves.

I have a “robust” set of restrictions on what I can and cannot say but the best part is the format of my talk is a Salon, which I’m told is a “tad less formal” and  an alternative to the rigid speaker versus audience format. If you ask me, it sounds like a cocktail party discussion (refreshments will be available) where I present a topic and the objective is to stimulate some good discourse amongst the participants.

I am not an “expert” in anything detailed in my Salon description:

Accelerating technology cycles leave the US intelligence community gasping. Twitter, cloud computing, folksonomies, Loopt… can America’s sclerotic intelligence machinery compete as our enemies adopt cheap, fast-evolving open-source and web 2.0 intel strategies?

Fortunately for me, I don’t have to be. My experience has shown me my network, more times than not, is smarter than the expert.  I do plan on tweeting during my talk and I’ll have my peeps @immunity & @robotchampion in the room. I hope to see some other familiar faces but really I want to generate solid discussion and ideas on the topic.

I have some general thoughts on what I plan on saying, including asking what it means to be a “spy” in today’s day and age when everyone and anyone can take a picture with their cell phone and post it to the internet. And I also want to share something Rod Beckstrom said when I first met him last year: “We’re not safe until we ALL are safe.”  This is not limited to just Americans and our allies.

Dennis Blair, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, recently made the following statement about cybersecurity: “It’s a crew race. The offense pulls ahead -– you find out -– then the defense pulls ahead. We’ve got to keep stroking, faster, better, with more teamwork.” This doesn’t seem to be, in my opinion, a very good long-term strategic plan.  Something has to change.

If you look at the current U.S. administration’s agenda, the breadth of intelligence issues has broadened to include things such as the economy (the President now receives an Economic Daily Briefing) and energy and the environment. My plan for the talk is to share what I can, ask questions, listen and have everyone tweet the hell of it during and after:)

Excuse me while I get my boots on