Feeling a lot better than the two days previous, I ventured back out the Convention Center for some more brain food. I have learnt that sometimes, it's not worth your while trying to get into the really popular sessions - mostly ones involving HTML5 and or game theory. Even if you manage to get there a few minutes before it starts, the queue is out the door with practically no chance of getting in. However, strategically picking niche subjects that you're really into, and if the sessions are within close proximity to each other, it is the least manic way of getting by SXSW Interactive.
Perhaps after all this, I'll write a blog post on how best to get around this massive event..
Session 7: Finding Music With Pictures. Data Visualisation For Discovery. [solo]
by Paul Lamere (@plamere) - Director of Dev Platform, The Echo Nest
This was a no brainer for me - visualisation of data, and when that data is music metadata, I naturally was drawn to this. Lamere laid it out plain and simple at the start of his talk..
Goal: Get excited for visualisation for music discovery!
The challange for the current digital generation is that music is very much so accessible, but there is just too much of it. How do we keep up in all the noise?
Music has always been a social experience. And we are starting to build online tools to be more social. Yet, why is it so hard to discover new music that is to your taste?
A study found that the average music listener has 3,500 songs in the music library on their computer. 65% on average have never been listened to. Why? Perhaps the interface (iTunes, WinAmp) does not make it easy for the listener to contextually find new songs they might like. The experience can sometimes be like navigating through a massive spreadsheet.
Now, before I go on, Lamere went through a multitude of really cool examples of music visualisation that currently exist and I have about 7 pages worth of notes, however, Hugh Garry (@huey) has used Storify to amazingly put it all down.
The slides of the presentation has also been upped by Lamere on his blog, http://musicmachinery.com/
Session 8: Keynote - Christopher 'moot' Poole
Founder of 4chan and now canv.as
A lot has been made of Poole's Sunday keynote in the last 24 hours. He is still of the opinion that anonymity is authenticity, and is what makes the web fun. Web identity has created culture of being scared to fail - You don't want your name to be associated with posting something that is wrong.
In the case of 4chan, the lack of fear of failing provides a means for 'things' to be born out of nothing. And that's powerful.
Again, I'm going to cheat here and put up the Ogilvy visual note.
There have been numerous articles written about this keynote. It seems to have ruffled a few feathers, with headlines like "Mark Zuckerberg is totally wrong about anonymity"
Poole's new project is canv.as, and it was officially launched here at SXSW. It is a community where users can edit, mix, re-mix and mash together a photo. It's free and like 4chan, you have the option to post anonymously. Poole commented that he wants to make it a place where people can 'just hang out'.
It is still locked down in beta, but those in the audience were lucky enough to receive invites. Will send some out too, once they become available.