Highlights from SXSW 2011
May 15, 2011
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Earlier this year in March SXSW took place. For those not in the know SXSW stands for South by South West and is a set of three festivals that takes place in Austin, Texas in the US. The three conferences concentrate on Music, Film and Interactive. In the interactive portion many web startups and technical experts come together in a very creative environment. Last year the one big big thing that came from South By South West Interactive was checkin services like Gowalla and Foursquare which have gone on to be massively popular in social networking terms…
This year, from what I read and listened about, these are the things that were hot and may be ideas for student projects or social networking tools for learning:
Game overlays on Real Life…. “Gmaification” as it has been termed. The biggest company at the forefront of this is SCVNGR (scvngr.com). SCVNGR (taking the current trend of dropping vowels in words) adds hotspots and clues on maps to create virtual scavenger hunts which lead to badges (virtual) or perhaps prizes (free burger for getting to the end etc etc). Playing SCVNGR is free but it costs to set up.
Group Messaging…. This has been a bubbling topic anyway but SXSW seems to have kicked it off big time… Group messaging apps such a beluga or Group messenger bring groups together across multiple platforms and different messaging styles. Both the apps I mentioned have web front ends, desktop apps, iPhone and android apps and also allow text messaging input as well. Group owners (or pod owners in Belugas case) set the membership and conversations are read and replied to within that specific group… As flexible as twitter but you are not broadcasting to the entire world.
The topic of Web 3.0 is starting to rear it’s head… Coined again by Good ole Tim Berners Lee. The last time I saw him at TED he was angling towards a data driven web and it looks that this has further refined itself to what he called ‘sensor-driving collective intelligence’ where things like phones and cameras and other data gathering devices will become even more the conduit to the information we absorb from the Internet. I guess this is kind of live in a small way from the Japan Tsunami and nuclear plant disaster where radiation counters have been set up with their output going on to the web so people can view radiation levels in particular areas.