South by Southwest Season: Pimp That Panel

It’s South by Southwest season again, or at least the run-up to it. For the last two years I’ve headed to Austin for the excellent South by Southwest Interactive festival, a fun week of geeks and great conversations that takes place each spring in one of the greatest small cities in America. The process of choosing who gets to take the stage there, though, starts early. Hugh Forest, who runs the place, has just posted this year’s SXSW Panel-Picker, the mechanism by which a fair portion of the panels are chosen. I’ve proposed two, which I’m going to insist you all go vote on forthwith. Here are the titles, links and descriptions:

• Presence: Building the Social Web
“Despite social networking, the Web remains a lonely place: a billion people browse it, each one alone. This session examines efforts to make the Web a more social medium by bringing “presence” online. Help us imagine a Web that works less like a library and more like a multiplayer game.”

• Kicking Virtual Ass and Taking Avatar Names
“What is it like to run the virtual world’s most notorious tabloid? Where do you draw the line between good taste and bad, between information and sensation, between virtual and real — if such a line exists? Explore the role of a very free press in the evolution of online worlds. Dual presentation with [Second Life Herald founder] Peter Ludlow.”

While you’re at it, why not vote for these excellent choices as well:

• Susan Wu of Charles River Ventures has proposed three interesting-sounding panels:

Virtual Goods: The Next Big Business Model!
What’s Wrong With Today’s Major Social Networks?
Human and Property Rights in Virtual Worlds

• Justin Hall of the Passively Multiplayer Online Game has proposed DataPlay: Living Games, which sounds like a great discussion of passive gaming and augmented reality.

• Wagner James Au wants to go Inside the Making of Second Life for some reason.

I’m obviously just pimping my friends here (and I know there are some people I’ve forgotten), but there are also a host of other interesting panel possibilities, including ones on mapping, social objects, cool new game ideas and much more. Vote early, and vote often.


  1. JimmyJet Fossett

    Wow, lot’s of SXSW panel competition this year (682 or so submissions). The panels listed here look good (great topics), so will check them out and vote. Interesting item on Roo Reynold’s “Roovatar” at