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Austin and SXSW

It’s excruciating to be an Austin blogger and not be at SXSW interactive.  I’ve been missing out on all the big parties such as the huge Plutopia party, the 9th year of the SXSWi after-party, as well as the Ustream Studio Live from Austin, TX live broadband broadcast from The Belmont.

No problem: I’ve got four kids to entertain me.

However, thanks to all these new cool social media tools I’ve been living SXSW vicariously through all the Tweets and posts from some of my new-found follow-ees, many of whom were visiting from outside Austin or from abroad.

After discovering that my fellow soccer dad Mike Chapman (our daughters played soccer together for a couple of seasons) is a luminary in the social media space in Austin, I FINALLY figured out what Twitter is for: to find out what famous people are doing!

I started finding cool people who were presenting at SXSWi, such as David Dunkley Gyimah, began following them on Twitter, visited blog posts they had referenced, or checked out somebody else’s Twitter account who had been referenced in a @xxxx micro-message. These are all new people for me. Before I knew it I discovered about 7-10 cool new social media movers and shakers, about 7-10 new cool apps, and all through their various social media outlets.

Some of my favorite posts about SXSWi:

1. SXSW Rocks by David Dunkley Gyimah

2. Robert and Rocky by Scobleizer

3. Palliative Care by Alan Graham.  By the way, this is a perfect personal example of the power of social media: I would never have known about Alan if it hadn’t been for Mike Chapman’s Tweets. Alan Graham is a great Austin philanthropist whose organization, Mobile Loaves and Fish, is doing a great job of feeding the hungry.

4. Tacos and BBQ by Armando Rayo and

5. Making Austin the Hub for Social Media, by Mike Chapman. This was about an event that I actually DID go to, the one that got me excited about social media and the possibilities it provides for Austin to distinguish itself in a unique way, separate from the “Keep Austin Weird,” “Live Music Capital,” and “Silicon Hills” monikers.

So while I missed all the cool parties, I didn’t really miss a beat.

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