— 13 March 2005 —

SXSW – Matthew’s Day 1(ish)

Kickball!

Seriously when you hear the words, “Let’s play kickball.” You think, uh, ooooohhhhkay. But it was a lot of fun. Especially since the team Mike and I were on won in extra innings. Gina Trapani caught brilliantly to take us into extra innings and Mike crossed the plate to give us the winning run.

Paul. Sorry dude, but you LOST! In the end it was all good because no matter what, Business Logs was on the winning team. Paul did score major points with his shoes and his mad press-shoe-against-ball-with-explosive-force skills.

I also won a sun burn. And a wrench. Thanks Anil for organizing the game and calling in favour of us a couple of times when we didn’t deserve it. Damn, did I say that out loud?

Zeledman’s opening remarks.

Will Pate of GoodBasic has a decent rundown as to what Zeldy spoke about. I won’t do that here because I sorta stopped listening 1/8 of the way through and watched Paul play Tetris on his Sidekick II. There was a session following Zeldman’s talk called “How to get the most of of SXSW.” I had highlighted that, but decided to skip it because I felt I got the gist of what I would get by being at Zeldman’s talk. It only lasted about 30 minutes, but it was essentially an infomercial on SXSW. I said, “I already bought my ticket, I don’t need to be sold on the reasons to be here.”

I didn’t really have any expectations of his talk, but they still weren’t met. And since I ensconced myself in the exact middle of the room, leaving was difficult if not socially impossible. All the clapping people might turn against me if I try to squeeze by between the knees and chairs.

We spent some time talking it up after the keynote in the hallway. I saw a lot of people I almost know. Briefly saw Mr. Fried as he was on his way to prepare for his session (which later we couldn’t get into because it was over-full).

So instead we went to lunch with Mr. D. Keith and Mr. Pate. We solved all problems with the web, but unfortunately created a whole new set, so I won’t go into our solution here.

After lunch I was able to make it to the Blogging Without Borders panel which was somewhat interesting. One of the panelists mentioned that it is now popular in some of the larger cities in Iran to ask in prelude to any potential intimate endeavour: do you have a blog. There is a site that has a list of blogs by Iranians titled, conveniently enough blogsbyiranians.com. He mentioned it was an okay place to see what is going on in Iran, but most of the list doesn’t represent the true voice of Iranians who blog from within the country.

The Evening

We went to a Web Standards get-your-drink-on in the early evening where I met quite a number of people I’ve never heard of. While I do think web standards are important, I don’t fall into the camp that say you must validate or die. I’ll validate enough but I meet a point of diminishing returns when I start caring more about validation than accessibility of my content to the majority of my users. And no surprise that most businesses think that way too. Take away lesson: web standards important, but don’t be a WS Cop. Be a lawyer and explain the risks and benefits. </soapbox>.

I was hanging a bit with Mike D. toward the end of the web standards thing, when most of the group decided to head out to the Frog party. Mike D. and I waited for a friend of his, but really for only about 5 minutes. When we got to the Frog part, there was a line half a block long and they had velvet ropes. Paul and Mike had been able to walk right in. Generally speaking I will wait in line for things, but not if there is a velvet rope involved.

So Mike D. and I went to a crap pizza place to sit with Byron, D. Keith and some other people who I didn’t know. After two bites of said crap pizza, I thought I would try to get in again; see if the line was gone. I had to wait behind one person for about a minute before they let us in. It was a hip party. Noticeably hip, so in fact it wasn’t hip. Gyrating girls of burlesque on platforms, lots of free booze, and a room with 2 Xboxes hooked up to two giant screens. We spent about 20 minutes killing each other (I ended with a score of -4 because I suck at video games). And with that we were done.

For me that was the end of the night… at 10pm. The rest of the crew stayed out to the wee hours. Sunday brings many panels which I will actually go to this time. I am sitting next to the people who are doing the DIY panel. They know I highlighted theirs so I sorta have to go now. It better be good Gina! Smile, nod politely… pretend you are not blogging about her right now… Excellent.

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