South by South West (sxsw) is nearly upon us again. For those that have never been, it’s understandably a bit of a mystery. For those of us who do get to go, it is a unique chance to catch up with people from around the world who are passionate about The Web, technology, film, music and all sorts of digital interaction. It’s a marker in the year for me. A chance to look forward and a chance to look back. I’ll do my best to share what I learn. This little video I shot of Documentally last year is a good reminder of the mental chaos that ensues!
Thanks to pummelvision, here is my 2010 – 2,500 photos turned into one four minute 34 second video:
The big event of the year was, of course, South by South West – The largest digital festival on the planet. Once again, a great set of British Businesses set off to Austin, Texas, on the Digital Mission, to network, learn and share. Many familiar faces in the opening minute of the video. Oh, and I got to see Fenech Solar, before then even released their first album. They are slightly massive now!
Yes, there’s a photo of me holding a snake in there. That was at Teen Tech – a brilliant event pulled together by Maggie Philbin, encouraging young folks to get involved in science and technology. Would love to see more businesses involved.
Then there’s Tom Watson (blog) and Cory Doctorow (blog) at the protest against the Digital Economy Bill (now act…) – that was an eye opening bit of parliamentary process at the end of the last government. And the Twestivals (I attened both Farnham and Reading this year) – and of course speaking at Digital Surrey.
Quite a few events at Gum Tree and eBay’s offices this year – thank you for supporting the community guys! Speaking of community, TVSMC has settled into a steady circular of events in the Thames Valley and beyond, with the wonderful Lloyd Davis (who also came ot SXSWi), and electric dress maker Debbie Davis dropping in.
All sorts of other things. Lots of speaking engagements (which I loved!), Gigs (great to have the bass out again), TEDx, RSA events. The two stand-out events of the year in the UK for me were Herb Kim’s Thinking Digital conference in the North East, and Scott and Drew’s Like Minds in Exeter. Two amazing, and very different, experiences.
Social Media in the Business space has gone from strength to strength. Speaking at Dell’s Social Media huddle event caused me to reflect on how much things have matured. Collecting not one, but two awards for Redcatco’s work with TheBlueBallRoom and DHL was a major highlight of the year. Meanwhile SocialOptic’s first service, Milestone Planner, has flourished, starting the year in Beta, and ending the year with customers across 3 continents, a phenomenal growth curve, and sharing the stage with Google, Microsoft and IBM. Not bad!
What a year 2009 Was… I’ve been looking through my Flickr stream and pulled out some highlights. Apologies, as the page may take a while to load, but pictures seem to express the year better than any words I could write. Towards the end of 2008 I was at a dinner with Caalie and the Scobles. There were quite a few faces at that meal that ended up playing different roles through out 2009 – you can see Neville Hobson and Chris Heuer as well as Robert Scoble here.
This week has been intense, but great. Last night Camberley Toastmasters club, of which I have the pleasure of being president, got to chartering. To add to the evening, I was awarded best prepared speaker. Given that I was up against two people that I consider the best speakers in the region, and that I only had a couple of hours to prepare, it made me a very happy man.
The How to write a speech in 5 minutes on the WOWNDADI blog was read over 10,000 times in just a couple of weeks. The house had 12 people living in it for most of the week, which added to the general excitement levels too.