My Guide to the SXSW Podcasts

In my earlier post I referenced the mixed bag I was experiencing from the SXSW podcasts. I figured, why not go all the way and publish my scorecard. What is a blog for if not spasms of judgmentalism? I’ll keep updating this post as I listen to more shows. Because I have really worked off the queue in the last few weeks, I went to fill up my mobiBLU and actually had space left over so instead of one I put several SXSW sessions on there, all of which were listened to this morning.

Note that these are not absolute judgments of intrinsic value, but my experience and how useful they were to me. Others with different interests and different tolerances will find different results.

Session Participants My Reaction
How to Rawk SXSW Min Jung Kim – Photobucket
Glenda Bautista – Agendacide
Tantek Çelik – Chief Technologist, Technorati
Nick Douglas – Dir, Look! Shiny!
Andrew Huff – Editor & Publisher, Gapers Block
Lynne d Johnson – Senior Editor,
Tony Pierce – Editor,
Shut off after 5 minutes, and I felt oily and cheap for having listened to that much. Smug self-satisfaction abounded.
Keynote Kathy Sierra – CreatingPassionateUsers Interesting presentation, heard in the odd lens of her receiving death threats in the recent past.
After the Brief: A Field Guide to Design Inspiration Jason Santa Maria – Creative Dir, Happy Cog Studios
Cameron Moll –
Rob Weychert – Art Dir, Happy Cog Studios
Didn’t finish it. The subject matter just didn’t speak to me and I just wasn’t in to it.
Emerging Social and Technology Trends Laura Moorhead – Sr Editor Culture, Wired
Andrew Blum – Contributing Editor, Wired
Robert Fabricant – Exec Creative Dir, Frog Design
Eliot Van Buskirk – Columnist/Blogger, Wired News
Peter Rojas – Engadget
Daniel Raffel – Product Mgr, Yahoo!
The lucky winner of the first panel I could finish! Overall pretty interesting, a little bit of goofiness in the middle where it felt like it was getting off track but not a waste of time.
Sex and Computational Technology Amanda Williams – University of California at Irvine
Violet Blue – Blogger, Open Source Sex
Johanna Brewer – University of California at Irvine
Kyle Machulis – Engineer, Nonpolynomial Labs
Cory Silverberg – Author & Educator, Come As You Are &
Shut it off after maybe 10 minutes. Listening to experts talk about sex is the single most boring thing in the world, slightly less engaging than listening to accounts define EBITDA and exactly as sexy. I’ve heard Violet Blue give her teledildonics rap other places and once is way more than enough per lifetime.
Keynote Limor Fried – Adafruit Industries
Phillip Torrone – Sr Editor, MAKE magazine
I think not being able to see the presentation hurt some but I love Phil and his talks on these subjects and I thought Limor talking about making a business of giving away schematics was fascinating. Chicks with soldering irons are way more sexy than experts talking sex.
Keynote Interview Dan Rather –
Jane Hamsher – Publisher, The Fire Dog Lake Company
Boring and by the numbers. The only moments of interest were listening to Dan Rather exclaim the value of bloggers while also trying to minimize the value of bloggers, all while trying to not choke on his own bile at the role bloggers played in his downfall at CBS.
Five Tips to Make Your Lame Podcast Listenable Steve Mack – Principal, LUX Media
Jose Castillo – thinkjose
Lame. Finished it by accident only because it was short. Two guys I’ve never heard of explain how to do a great podcast while avoiding being interesting, informative or funny. Not engineered to get me to listen to their shows.
Online Games: Beyond Play and Fantasy with Joi Ito and Justin Hall Joichi Ito – We Know Guild
Justin Hall – Passively Multiplayer
Shockingly to me, I enjoyed this. Considering I’ve never played World of Warcraft and actively hate Second Life I expected to not care much. This was a pretty cool and engaging talk though. I still don’t expect to like any MMORPG anytime soon, but I enjoyed the presentation.
The Rise of the Blogebrity Kyle Bunch – Co-Founder, Blogebrity
Amanda Congdon – Co-Pres, ABC News/Oxmour Entertainment
Henry Copeland – Founder,
Karina Longworth – Editor, Netscape
Casey McKinnon – Exec Producer, Galacticast
Nick Douglas – Dir, Look! Shiny!
I expected from the title to find this a snore and I did, even though it had my friend Amanda on the panel. I just listened to it a few hours ago, and I can’t remember any insight that sticks with me. I do think that if there is a damning charge that can be leveled at the blogosphere, it’s that it allowed Nick Douglas to rise to prominence. I’ve heard him on multiple podcasts where I have always found him a self-important boor, but I’ve never once read anything he’s ever written. These appearances never make me think I’ve missed anything. When I first heard of Valleywag I thought “OK, I’ll get to that after I’ve read everything else that has ever been written.”
Keynote Bruce Sterling – Visionary In Residence, Pretty good, even if it was Brother Brucie sounding somewhat on auto-pilot. At least it didn’t have the forced emotional breakdown of last year’s talk. Even Bruce’s rote efforts are most people’s high water marks.
The 4-Hour Workweek: Secrets of Doing More with Less in a Digital World Tim Ferriss – Crown/Random House Another sleeper success. I hadn’t even paid attention to this getting put on my player, so I just heard it with zero preconceived notion. Even though not everyone can follow Ferriss’ pattern (unless everyone runs a own company that can continue on in their absence) it had a lot of good advice about focusing on what is important, not just in a business context but also in your personal life. He found a lot of advantage in firing the customers that were the most trouble without providing compensating revenue. Lots of food for thought.
Web Typography Sucks Mark Boulton – Owner, Mark Boulton Design
Richard Rutter – Production Dir, Clearleft Ltd
Shut off after 10 minutes. I didn’t really care about the subject matter and I assume that the interesting stuff was visual.
Worldchanging 2.0 Alex Steffen – Executive Editor, Good presentation. I enjoyed it even though most of the things referenced were items I had already read on the weblog. I note that Alex also criticized An Inconvenient Truth for presenting 90 minutes describing impending catastrophe and putting the notes about what citizens can do as afterthoughts jammed between the credits.
Why Marketers Need To Work With People Media Tony Conrad – CEO & Founder, Sphere
John Battelle – Chairman & Founder, Federated Media Publishing
Toni Schneider – Automattic Inc
More interesting than I thought it would be. I expected this to be a skip button special but it wasn’t. I was a little distracted at points during the workday so I might give this that rarest of things in the podcast world, a second listen. Some of the bits about how to get moolah out of traffic were kind of interesting.
There’s no Such Thing as the Mobile Web (Or Is There?) Bob Morgan – VP North America, Cognima/ShoZu
Carlo Longino – MobHappy
Daniel Appelquist – Sr Technology Strategist, Vodafone
Dwipal Desai –
Michael Sippey – VP Prod, Six Apart Ltd
Stopped this one after 5 -10 minutes. This is the sort of thing I used to listen to all the way through on IT Conversations and part of why I don’t listen to the full slate there anymore. If I tried really hard I could maybe muster up a little caring about the titular topic, but it would be forced. I don’t really give a shit about the mobile web and the basic received wisdom that most of the world will interface the internet via a phone is something I’ll believe when I see a phone on which anything other than making a call is less painful than having a tooth pulled..Thus, I skip.
12 Values Shaping Technology’s Future Scott Smith – Futurist/Dir Research Applications, Social Technologies
Rachel Matney – Guest Insight Group Mgr, Target
Andrea Shortell – MTV
Timo Veikkola – Sr futures Specialist, Nokia
Pretty bland, not much of value. I did finish it but it was a close call as the skip button called longingly at several points.
Keynote Will Wright – Chief Designer, Maxis/EA Interesting neepery on game design. Even though I couldn’t see the demo of Spore it was oddly compelling. Is it just me or does that background music sound a lot like 70’s and early 80’s Laurie Anderson?
Jocks and Jokes: The Deadspin Phenomenon Edward Cossette – Design Technologist,
Will Leitch – Editor, Deadspin
Hart Brachen – founder, The Soxaholix
Shut this off at the 5 minute mark. I’ve never heard of Deadspin, I don’t really care about sports bloggers and I found all these panelists kind of annoying. Next.
Production Companies 2.0: Taking Online Video to the Next Level
Zadi Diaz – Principal, Smashface Productions
Andrew Baron – Owner, Rocketboom
Ryanne Hodson – Prod Editor,
David Prager – COO, Revision3 Corporation
Douglas Sarine – Co-Owner, Beatbox Giant Productions
Interestingly enough, I was wearing my Ask A Ninja t-shirt while I was listening to this panel. There was a little bit of interesting material. I do like that several people hammered home the idea that the game changes when the cost of production falls so low as to round to zero. I call this the “quantum effect”, because the game changes just like the rules of physics do when you go from the macro to the minute scale. It might have been a little under expectation based on the quality of people on the panel. I think Doug Sarine was the standout as being funny and interesting.
What Does the Future Hold for Video on the Internet Eddie Codel – Producer & Co-Founder, Geek Entertainment TV
Micki Krimmel – Dir of Community, Revver
Kent Nichols – Ask A Ninja
Kevin Rose – Founder, Digg Inc
Scott Watson – CTO, Walt Disney R&D
Made it through it but it was not so wildly interesting. I got to have a drink with Micki Krimmel at the Bloggercon in Palo Alto a few years ago, and I’ve always paid attention to her work with Worldchanging and such. When I saw her face briefly during An Inconvenient Truth I told my wife “Hey I know her!” She was kind of drowned out by the guys here. Kevin Rose wasn’t so interesting, and Kent Nichols was less funny than his partner in the other panel.
Making Your Short Attention-Span Pay Big Dividends Jim Coudal – Pres, Coudal Partners
Brendan Dawes – magneticNorth
Not yet downloaded
A Decade of Style Molly Holzschlag – Pres, Inc
Eric Meyer – Principal, Complex Spiral Consulting
Chris Wilson – IE Platform Architect, Microsoft
Douglas Bowman – Visual Design Lead, Google
I was interested in the subject, but I couldn’t take these people. After 5 minutes of horsing around, I was ready to give up on them. Instead of skipping the whole presentation, I fast forwarded a few minutes to see if they got the bullshit out of their systems. Nope. A few more minutes, still nonsense. I gave them more leeway than any skipped presentation, and still they blew it.
The Real Story Behind Snakes on a Plane Alex Williams – Dir of Community Dev, SplashCast
Corey Denis – IODA Digital Mktg Mgr, IODA
Molly Wright Steenson –
Kris Krug – Pres, Bryght
I listened longer to this than any episode I didn’t finish. After 25 minutes, I wonder why the hell I was still listening. I’ve never seen the movie, I don’t really care and there wasn’t really much of a sensible statement made about the larger issues about film and internet culture. A few tried a little but it didn’t really go anywhere and so I gave up.
Writing, Better Greg Storey – Principal/Creative Dir, Airbag Industries LLC
Bronwyn Jones – Mktg Comms, Apple Computer
Erin Kissane – Editor, Happy Cog
Ethan Marcotte – Vertua Studios
Skipped this one, and kind of quick. Whoever the first guy that talked was, he convinced me there would be nothing of value in this session so I got the hell out quick.
Terraforming the Internet: When 3D Models Meet Business Models John Tolva – Program Mgr, IBM
Eric Rice – Slackstreet Studios
Bill Victor – Halcyon Worlds
Jan D’Alessandro – VP Business Affairs, Meez
Benjamin Batstone-Cunningham – Alt-Zoom Studios
Another surprise, I listened to this all and enjoyed it. My new media buddy Eric was his usual self. I think at this point, I’ve heard and read it so often I could pretty much do his rap on this subject. I don’t care about Second Life or Warcraft – the only virtual world I’m interested in making money in is Full Tilt Poker. Despite all that, it held my interest all the way through. If you are into the subject matter, you will almost certainly like this.
World Domination Via Collaboration Jory Des Jardins – Co-Founder, BlogHer LLC
Betsy Aoki – Program Mgr, Microsoft
Jessica Hardwick – Founder & CEO, SwapThing
Lisa Stone – Co-Founder & Pres of Operations & Evangelism, BlogHer LLC
Jenna Woodul – Co-founder, LiveWorld
You know, I listened to the whole thing but even now a short time later I can’t remember anything about it. I think the basic message was “collaboration is good” and at some point they whipped out guitars and sang “Kumbaya”.
Online Publishers & Ad Networks Jonathan Weber – Founder & Editor in Chief, NewWest.Net
Larry Allen – SVP, TACODA
Patrick McCarthy – Dir of Business Dev, Right Media
Cody Simms – Sr Prod Mgr, Yahoo!
Justin Ward – Advertising Operations, FeedBurner
I am somewhat interested in the topic, and there were points of interest but all in all it was a little vague for me. I’d have preferred some more specifics although I imagine the panelists were prohibited from saying things too close to a sales pitch about their own products.
Why XSLT is Sexy Lindsey Simon – Web Developer, Dishola/Google
Joe Orr – Dev, NYCircuits Inc
I found this one interesting, even not being able to see the code snippets. At one point they talk about using XSLT to take your XML document and drive the ActiveWidgets table component, something I have actually done at the day job. This is for the hardcore geek, but if you care about the topic the session is pretty good.
New Dogs, New Tricks: New Media Goes to the Movies Scott Kirsner – Editor, CinemaTech
Rick DeVos – CEO, Spout LLC
David Dinerstein – Pres of Intl Mktg and Distribition, Lakeshore Entertainment
David Gale – Exec. VP, MTV New Media
Tracy Mercer – ClickStar Inc
I listened to it a few days ago, and even now I can remember little about it. I think they talked a lot about various downloadable movie services, blah blah blah. Nothing so irksome as to skip it, nothing so wonderful as to be that memorable.
Turning Projects Into Revenue Generating Businesses Ted Rheingold – Top Dog, Dogster Inc
Tara Hunt – CoFounder & CMO, Citizen Agency
Gabe Rivera – CEO, Techmeme
Shanalyn Victor – Owner/Designer, Pixelgirl Shop
Ryan Carson – Dir, Carson Systems
This is a subject I am really interested in. The panel was OK but neither rocked my world nor told me much of anything I didn’t already know. In that respect, I guess it was a disappointment compared to my expectations. Finding out that Dogster makes over $1M a year makes me want to tie rocks to my waist and jump in the river. Or maybe, it gives me hope that really frigging stupid ideas can become successful.
The Influence of Art in Design Dan Rubin – Creative Dir, Webgraph Inc
Patrick Haney – Not a Sausage
Anton Peck – Web Designer, MultiAd Inc
Erik Sagen – Erik Sagen Designs
Glenda Sims – Sr Systems Analyst, UT Austin
Dave Shea –
Pass. This is one of those ones that started with such jokey familarity that I couldn’t take it from the introductions on. I fast-forwarded past that, and still it didn’t seem very interesting or useful so I skipped it.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.

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