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From Google to Gaga: Top Takeaways from SxSW 2014


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Deirdre Walsh, Jive Software's Senior Social Strategist and Social Team Manager, attended her 16th consecutive SXSW Interactive conference this year.

Throughout the years, Deirdre has been part of some historic tech moments: blogging alongside Scoble in 2006, joining the Twitter explosion in 2007, and sitting in the front row for Zuckerburg’s keynote in 2008.

However, for Deirdre, this year’s event was the most holistically thought-provoking. She left re-energized and inspired by new ideas, connections and passions. Enjoy Deirdre's top takeaways!

Published in: Technology
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From Google to Gaga: Top Takeaways from SxSW 2014

  2. Privacy Speakers like Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, and Edward Snowden, an NSA whistleblower, gave mind-blowing presentations about data security and government surveillance. People also buzzed about: - Secret, which allows users to “speak freely” - Darknet, a new kind of Internet where people can conceal their online behavior - BitCoin, which enables anonymous payments - Ghostery, which notifies users of web page “trackers” Thursday, March 20, 14
  3. Wearables and Printables Hardware gurus pushed sensors, wearable gadgets, and 3D printers.  Google exec Sundar Pichai announced the company’s plan to release an Android- based SDK for wearable devices.  There were demonstrations of everything from a tweet-powered, 3D printer that allowed users to create their own Oreo flavor to smart medicine bottles that will send a text if you forget to take your pill. Thursday, March 20, 14
  4. Legislation From digital lobbying to patent reform to the power of the online “unruly mob,” SXSW made it clear that entrepreneurs and elected officials want to cooperate to modernize US legislation and government.  A new film called “The Internet’s Own Boy” premiered and shined light on outdated technology laws. This film not only celebrates the life of online visionary Aaron Swartz, but also inspires heated discussion about access to information and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  Thursday, March 20, 14
  5. Data You couldn’t turn a corner this year without hearing someone talk about “small data” or “big data.” Lots of smart marketers showcased how they’re using information for research, personalized news delivery, and location- based incentives. Brian Wong, the energetic founder of Kiip, shared his mission to use data to reward people for everyday moments like running, completing a task, and listening to music. Thursday, March 20, 14
  6. Experiences From small app companies to corporate giants, the most successful organizations focused on manifesting shared experiences - not pushing messages. Hello, bacon-scented alarm clock! SXSW proved that brands must think beyond how to serve up a specific marketing campaign and start focusing on how to create daily, customized experiences across connected devices and IRL. Thursday, March 20, 14
  7. Economy From Uber cars to Airbnb rooms, most SXSW attendees participated in some form of the sharing/collaborative economy.  If you aren’t familiar with this latest buzz phrase, you soon will be.  According to Crowd Companies exec Jeremiah Owyang, “it’s a powerful movement in which people are getting goods and services from each other” rather than buying from big brands. Thursday, March 20, 14
  8. Work Yes, people talk about work at SXSW. Strategist Ayelet Baron and Forbes Blogger Rawn Shah led a conversation about modern work which moves us from: - Work-live to life-work balance - Function-based to project-based work - Competing for market share to creating new markets The duo also made bold statements, such as “change management will die because it will happen too quickly” and “retirement will be a thing of the past.” Thursday, March 20, 14
  9. Community Paul Vinelli, who studied the What.CD online music community, shared the following: - Backscratching leads to strong relationships - Individuals should be accountable for whom they bring into communities - if you invite someone in who breaches the guidelines, both you and the violator should be penalized. - Members must maintain a strong ratio of contribution to consumption - say goodbye 90:9:1! Thursday, March 20, 14
  10. Passion Nobody exhibited more passion than pop- star Lady Gaga who stated: "At the end of the day, nobody's going to remember what you tweeted when you die. No one's going to remember your Web content. What's going to be remembered is those magical moments you have helped create.” Thursday, March 20, 14
  11. Did you attend SXSW? If so, what did I miss? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Deirdre Walsh, Sr. Strategist, Jive Software Thursday, March 20, 14