The brain explodes, but sadly, my belly aches for some good Austin BBQ. SXSW, the cultural fest of arts, music, film and interactivity has ended and it's hard to assess the success of its second year of being virtual.
The event was hosted over five days on SwapCard. Its vastness was both admirable and head splitting.
Meh, for impact. You’ll find nary a word in the press about news coming out of SXSW Online.
As for tele-connecting with the Austin vibe, it’s hard, but not impossible. Even though many sessions were pre-recorded there were some interesting side-screen chats and folks who wanted to connect. With rebroadcasts through the night I probably consumed 10x more content than I would at a physical South By.
Discovery was really tough -- 5 main stages, plus a full conference schedule, networking, meetups, awards. I mapped out my show ahead of time but found myself furiously channel surfing with less than optimal absorption.
Next gen? I really looked forward to the range of things happening in XR including films and a recreation of Austin’s Congress Street. Sadly, tech issues trumped success. Based on the comments in the XR Online room, I was not alone. For XR movies my Oculus and MS Surface didn’t have enough graphics oomph. For the VRchat, I wandered rooms of foul-mouthed,
pre-pubescent avatars but never found my South By VR host.
The annual sojourners I connect with shared a single sentiment . “Great effort” but “can’t wait to get back to IRL”. Event aficionados need to look at Room, a video conferencing platform that puts you at the meeting table in live video. Announced at