#SXSW2009 – Bruce Sterling

I spent the last week at SXSW Interactive 2009 in Austin, TX. This was my second time attending. I’m still unpacking, physically and metaphorically, and I plan to post some thoughts and reactions over the next couple of days.

About the title: using # symbols is a trend that’s recently caught on in Twitter. It allows people to tag the context of their discussion. Use of these “hash tags” is hotly debated, but apppears to be here to stay.

I’ll start with the one of the sessions that I’ve been thinking about a lot these last couple of days. Author, journalist, futurist and “global microbrandBruce Sterling delivered his much-anticipated rant to a packed crowd. Bruce chastised us all for not doing enough. We’re all tweeting when we should be listening. We’re letting good art and good stories (and good publishers!) die by our inattention.

My takeaway from the session is this: I’m going to create more (things! not just digital artifacts). I’m going to try to be a better audience member and participant. I’m going to focus more on engaging people in conversation than just getting my point across. To quote Mr. Sterling: “Let’s talk about our relationship. Yours and mine.”