SXSW Social Enhancements


After spending a few days at SXSW interactive, and being active on social platforms as well as social in real life, I have a few suggested improvements that might have helped:

  1. Text message folders: No offense to those who weren’t in Austin, but I didn’t really want to chat with you for a few days, as I was fully focused on my experience at SXSW. With that said, there were people I was in contact with via text that I don’t necessarily message on a regular basis, but due to coordinating events, outings, etc. they moved to the top of my list. If I could have somehow created a folder, conveniently named SXSW in regards to this event, and was able to group my text threads with the people who were there in order to access and keep track in one place, that would have been helpful in my opinion.
  2. Untapped: Great app. I always recommend it to those I meet who are beer drinkers/snobs like I am. When in Rome (aka Austin) I of course opted to drink only Texas beer. Same as in other cities I visit. When you’re out with people, there should be an easier way to connect on that app, especially an app like that. I recall Budweiser had some kind of idea/promotion called the buddy cup where you clinked beers and became Facebook friends. Not sure I want to take it that far, but a great extension of this app would be to enable tapping iPhones, or some kind of coding within the app that allows you to connect via close proximity with one swift mode. Of course, if you don’t already have the app, it would direct you via your friends’ suggestion to the app store first.  
  3. Swarm: Someone summed it up accurately the other night when they saw me checking in on swarm. They said, “Oh, you stuck with it, how cute.” Many dropped off the platform after they split from FourSquare, I was one of those people for a short period of time, mostly because Swarm was eating my battery life on the iPhone 5. I am back on it, since checking in can be an addictive activity I’ve noticed. Now, I don’t always want to do this, but an extension to the SXSW app (or other similar events for that matter) would be a swarm-like activation, where you opt in just for the event. You can connect your address book, Facebook, twitter, etc. to track those you are at this event with. But, the key would be that it expires at the end of the event and does not hold any of your personal information on file, Snapchat style. This would make it easier not only for friends/colleagues to connect at large events, but also to connect with those who you want to meet in real life rather than just on your social platforms.
  4. Charging lockers: #mophieRescue was a super smart activation. Was helpful, I can personally attest to that, as well as a good cause. But when a city is overtaken by countless marketers, vendors, agency folks, etc. and it’ for a week+ every year, by now you’d think the bars/venues would adapt more. Yes we have portable charging sticks available and very well branded by those taking advantage of the use cases. However, when you’re spending time at a specific event, I would think more outlets should be installed and/or charging stations, which again, great place for branding and sponsorship opportunities I’d say.
  5. Nap pods: Google, Huffington Post, where you at? This would have been an ideal usage of sponsorship and promotion at an event like this as well. Especially for these two companies since it’s fairly well-known that google has pods and Arianna Huffington promotes work-life wellness and balance. I know I had numerous conversations with people at SXSW discussing how it would be great to have a place to take a quick power nap since it feels like you’re go-go-go and have to be “on” for about 5 days straight. Not to mention the hotels and places to stay in the central area of the city filled up so fast that many were staying in the outskirts and couldn’t take advantage of sneaking away to their room for downtime, yours truly included.
  6. LinkedIn: It’s a given that your LinkedIn connections expand vastly during an event such as SXSW. Networking is the key ingredient that makes the event go round, so to speak. I always found it interesting how once you hit 500 connections, the site doesn’t tell you how many you have, just adds a little + sign. Not a big deal on the number, however, because the number can grow extensively and quickly, it would be nice to have a way to organize your connections. Maybe there is a way and I haven’t fully immersed myself in the LinkedIn experience (please, feel free to educate me) but I haven’t found it yet. A place to group people together, such as noting you met them at SXSW, or another conference or event. Plus an area where you can add your own notes about the person. If this is really a social networking site, which I certainly classify it as so, there are many enhancements such as these I listed to begin with, that would help the user experience.
  7. Spotify: Even though I was there for the interactive part of SXSW and left just as the music part officially began, let’s be honest, they definitely overlap. At nearly every event in the evening and at night there were live performances and normally during the day all the venues had some great beats. I love music and I’m a big shazam-er. I also enjoy creating playlists. Last year I smashed those two ideas together and made a Spotify playlist that contained everything I have shazamed. I mean, if you think about it the common theme is interest, though the genera’s might vary. Now, what if you could connect the apps in a way where you could automatically send your shazamed songs to specific playlists (or create them) on Spotify? Now that is music to my ears. #lazyhack

I guess those who can, do, those who can’t, ideate. Please address royalty checks to me. Or, if any techies want to work together, feel free to reach out. There are many more ideas where these came from… 

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