2012 3 23 mindshare sxsw summary

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South by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring (usually in March) in Austin, Texas, US. Below are some themes we witnessed across the selection of Interactive presentations we were able to attend.

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2012 3 23 mindshare sxsw summary

  1. 1. SXSW Alistair Lennie March 23, 2012South by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that takeplace every spring (usually in March) in Austin, Texas, US. Below are some themes we witnessedacross the selection of Interactive presentations we were able to attend.Real World Social ActivationIt seems that one topic that almost everyone at SXSW was talking about this year was the collisionof the digital and physical worlds.New technologies will leverage newly accessible data gleaned from user app usage, local searchresults, social streams and location to speak with people on their own terms, in ways that addmeaning and convenience.The start-up that gained the most buzz @SXSW was Highlight - a mobile ambient awareness app.When you are near another Highlight user, who is your Facebook friend or that you have friends orinterests in common with, Highlight sends you a push notification and lets you connect with them.Similar companies in the space: Glancee, Gauss, Ban.jo and Sonar.Clearly, with web usage data, personal social graph data from Facebook and other social data fromGoogle, contextual data and customer relationship management (CRM) data, there is a lot ofpotential information to play with. The end game is the ultimate in personalization: a new business-to-individual communication model.Pandora (internet radio) talked of their geo-location evolution. Indie artists, which make up 70% oftheir music library, will be able know where their songs have been thumbed-up, thus identifying theadvocates and informing future tour destinations.Better location and social models based on location awareness mixed with the data created by suchinteraction theoretically could have a profound effect on user behaviour. In addition, brands andretailers could find this information useful.Integrating branded services into „calm technologies‟ represents a long-term future in this space,e.g., Apple‟s Siri and Foursquare‟s Radar service.Shifting Viewers To UsersSeveral talks touched upon the trend of passive viewing evolving into active experiences, i.e., howbrands are moving viewers from lean back to lean towards in order to create enhanced viewingexperiences that capitalize on user interaction and create an „instant water cooler‟ effect.  Group.Me partnered with MTV and Oxygen to enable users to create special groups with their friends, who will then receive additional content and live access to personalities via chat and con-call functions.  The „Twitter Tracker‟ is now an integrated part of the MTV VMA and EMA viewing experience. Viewers can track their favourite celebrities‟ online buzz, re-tweet pictures from the show and watch the stars tweet from their seats at the ceremony, within a branded environment.  GetGlue maintained a high profile on panels in SXSW this year. The service allows viewers to „check-in‟ to TV shows. It now has 2 million users. Committed viewing is rewarded both virtually and physically. The service has a chat function, thus creating niche communities around vertical programs.
  2. 2. SXSW Alistair Lennie March 20, 2012YouTube also talked about their steps to toward evolving content engagement. A majority of usersenter YouTube with an „unarticulated want‟. The „recommended viewing‟ column - using algorithmiccuration – was introduced to address this and now accounts for 60% of all site clicks. It outperformsother sections such as „top rated‟ and „most viewed‟ by 200%.Viral campaign success metrics need to evolve as a result. Beyond view counts, the measure ofsuccessful content seeding will evolve to likes, comments and social sharing.Social sportsSocial media is being used more and more by sports companies.Team USA (the US Olympic federation) is using social spaces to connect Americans to their Olympicathletes leading to the Games. During the games there are restrictions on what athletes can say(e.g., endorsements, commentating on rivals, etc.). However they can talk about their experiencesand show pictures.Samsung‟s shared their „US Olympic Genome Project‟ as another example of connecting people totheir national athletes. It will allow deeper access to athletes for an extended amount of time. Theapp will live within Facebook and will match athletes to you via degrees of separation – basedaround interests, location, education, work.Social media will also be used around the Olympic viewing experience. For the first time, YouTubewill livestream all the events and Google+ will facilitate huddles. GetGlue check-ins will encourageconversation around niche sports.Technical creativity is the next agency evolutionIt was apparent from so many presentations and panels that tomorrow‟s creativity will be driven bythe clever, useful and functional use of technology rather than by the creative message itself.Delivering the right message to the right person and the right time is more about working out howto be useful, than how to be seen. The integration of technology solutions will be the way to engageaudiences.Other interesting start-ups discussed @SXSW • Grandstand is a web platform that transforms Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and SMS data/content into games, instant rewards and eye-popping visualizations. • Zaarly is a proximity based, real-time buyer powered market. Buyers make an offer for an immediate need and sellers cash in on an infinite marketplace for items and services they never knew were for sale • Group.Me is a group messaging service that lets you stay in touch with groups of people via mobile phones and the Web. The service allows you to effortlessly group text with the people in your life that are important to you. It‟s totally free and works on every phone. • Pinterest‟s big idea is “helping people discover things that they didn‟t know they wanted”. Social media buzz is around real-time updates – but Pinterest is about creating „timeless
  3. 3. SXSW Alistair Lennie March 20, 2012 beauty‟. As of January, they have 16.1 million U.S. “uniques”, essentially doubling in users since November. Unlike Twitter, Pinterest did not grow via celebrities, but through networks of people, e.g., design bloggers. Pinterest has become very successful with women and homeowners. • Path is a social networking-enabled photo sharing and messaging service for mobile devices. Dave Morin, Co-founder and CEO, said: “our long-term grand vision here is to build a network that is very high quality and that people feel comfortable contributing to at any time.” Nike recently partnered with Path so Nike+ users can share their runs. • Instagram – 27 million users. Of the active (weekly) users, 67% used Instagram yesterday. They still only have a staff 13 workers - 4 of which are dedicated social community managers. Currently limited to iOS users; however they announced that an Android version was currently in private beta. • Pandora – internet radio streaming tailored. Stations are created by song/artist choices and songs selections are tailored via thumbs up/down interaction. US based only but with international expansion plans in 2013. The future of Pandora is 1) Indie bands using its geo- location capabilities to tailor tour destinations and 2) brands using their segmentation capabilities to better nuance targeting and messaging.Noteworthy events @SXSWAMEX & Jay Z • Free tickets given to those that synched their AmEx Card with their Twitter account. • Songs were requested with the #jaysyncshow tag • Entire show was livestreamed, and is available on Youtube & XBOXNike Fuel experiences • Event space with Fuel based challenges - Bball, fball, & skate • Physical Missions each day giving access to live music events that night • Preferential access to Fuel band wearersHomeless Hotspots • Homeless Hotspots was a charitable innovation initiative by BBH New York. • It attempted to modernize the Street Newspaper model employed to support homeless populations by turning homeless people into 4G hotspots • SXSW‟ers paid to get a password to gain access

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