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Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Suffering from chronic idiocy since 1977

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SxSW 2006 Day 5

The fifth and final day of my inaugural SxSW experience started, well, late. After returning to my hotel the night before (well, earlier that morning to be more accurate) I had all intentions of waking up at 9am Tuesday, but apparently I was sleeping heavily enough to ignore a nuke going off next to my head…

Soooo, after getting to the Convention Center around lunch time, and hanging out with other tired folks in the hallway, my first panel of the last day was Dogma Free Design (yes, the 3:30pm panel… oh hush…). I had been looking forward to this panel, but I was let down — there was a lot of talk about “checklists” and how to deal with large organizations’ propensity to require (nay, indulge in) mounds of unnecessary (useless?) paperwork, excel spreadsheets, etc. Not that the subject matter wasn’t important to a certain segment of the audience, but I think the title and description of the panel were misleading. Moving on…

I came very close indeed to skipping the final session in favor of eating (something I didn’t do much of all week), but a few smart folks I respect were heading in, so I followed dutifully into the standing-room-only audience (actually, I ended up sitting on the floor behind some chairs, it was that crowded). As it turns out, Bruce Sterling’s “The State of the World” was quite entertaining, and even a wee bit enlightening in a few spots. Without getting into political rants, as a child of a limey, I’ve always been aware of the difference in perception when outside the U.S. borders (a lot of the world news I was exposed to while growing up came from the BBC and other sources my mum gathered), so it was easy to appreciate some of the commentary Bruce had to share, especially on issues such as “Globalization vs. Americanization”. There were a few moving moments during the hour, and I’m glad I changed tacks and stayed for it.

After a quick stop at the Registrant’s Lounge, a few of us gathered at Moonshine for a SxSW last supper (you get to pick who played Jesus…). I know I’m going to miss a few names here, but my dinner dates included Faruk, Matthew, Anton, Jonathan (sorry my brain left you out mate :), Eris, Steve, Steve, Bryan, David, Zach, Eric (whom I actually met the night before thanks to Eris; he’s on the Blogger team at Google, it’s nice to meet the people who actually make my Blogger template run…) and a bunch of other people who were equally nice but at the other end of the table. This was definitely one of the highlights of the week for me, since it gave us all the opportunity to discuss the week, our best and worst moments, most surprising moments, and what we would be taking home from the experience. The food was almost as good as the company, and you know it’s a good time when even paying the bill is a non-stressful event :)

The rest of the evening featured the smashing Media Temple closing party (view Bryan’s pics), where I finally had the chance to meet both the fantastic Veerle (yes, yes, her redesign is terrific, but she’s a person too… ;) and Leslie, Shaun‘s beautiful fiancee (nice catch, both of you :)

After enjoying the free drinks (poor Zach enjoyed more than his fair share I think…), the last stop of the night was the Red Bull house, which was, um, really really fun… and not just because of the multiplayer Halo 2 (yes, Bryan kicked my sorry white ass…) — suffice it to say that this was another one of the highlights of my week (except when Eris lost her phone, which caused much distress to all of us who were there… but she found it eventually, and thus order was restored to the world).

I found a taxi as late as I possibly could (3am or so), picked up my laptop from Anton and Matthew’s room at the Hilton, took another taxi back to my hotel, packed, and hit the lobby just as the airport shuttle arrived. Happily, just before boarding I was able to spend a little more time with Steve and Jim (one of Steve’s colleagues at the Notre Dame Web Group), which capped off the trip quite nicely.

This was by far the best week of my life — and I don’t say that lightly, but rather with much reverence for the people who made it so. Thank you all.

This item was posted by Dan Rubin on Tuesday, March 21st, 2006.

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6 comments on “SxSW 2006 Day 5”

  1. Posted by Jonathan Snook on Tuesday, March 21st, 2006.

    How ironic that I click on “remember me” in this comment form. I was the slightly inebriated one next to Anton at dinner. :) Also amusing is that I picked up my laptop from Anton at around 4am. Fun times. Until next year!

  2. Posted by Zach Inglis on Tuesday, March 21st, 2006.

    That was a fantastic event, was great to meet everyone and

  3. Posted by Dan Rubin on Tuesday, March 21st, 2006.

    Ack, Jonathan! This is why I really should have written about everything sooner, the memory really does start to fade and change after a week… I’ve snuck you back into the dinner party so your place in SxSW history is secured ;)

    Great meeting you as well, hope we can all do this again next year.

  4. Posted by Anton on Thursday, March 23rd, 2006.

    Definately good times. Can’t wait for next year!

  5. Posted by Zach on Tuesday, March 28th, 2006.

    It was all a big blur as it was happening to m and im used to meeting loads of people.

    o_O my post must have been cut off, maybe i used a tag.

    Bringing the girlfriend next year :) should be fantastic

  6. Posted by Faruk AteÅŸ on Monday, April 3rd, 2006.

    Hey Dan, it was really great meeting and hanging out with you. I had a blast at SXSW and you’re definitely part of the reason it was so much fun!

    Looking forward to hanging out again next year. Maybe I’ll just have to claim you early for the Avalonstar Bowling Extravaganza 2007 ;)