So finally, the most important aspect of SXSW, and my reason for going: the people. There was so much talk about how good the social side was last year, that I had to come.
I was looking forward to meeting, (although some only very briefly) Jason Santa Maria, Shaun Inman, Jeffrey Zeldman, Dave Shea, Doug Bowman, Ethan Marcotte, Dan Cederholm, Molly, Tantek Celik, Mike Davidson, John Allsopp, Maxine Sherrin, Jeremy Flint, Eric Meyer, Joe Clark, Josh and Rachel Williams, Khoi Vinh, Neil Lee, Andrei Herasimchuk (Elvis is not dead), Eris Free, Simon Willison. I really missed out on meeting Jeffrey Veen and Keith Robinson, and only got the briefest of chats with Cameron Moll and Ryan Sims.
I was very keen to meet Doug Bowman, as it was Stopdesign that turned me onto using web standards in the first place. I expected to be blurting out some sort of squeaky stammering “I …t..hink you’re grrrreat Mr Bowman” but instead I started by joining in with John Allsopp in slagging off american beer. I think it worked.
SXSW wasn’t just about meeting people I knew already from email and blogs. There were many lovely people whose unexpected company was a real bonus. I’m talking about Glenda “Good witch” Sims, Rob Weychert (the ‘brains’ behind Virtual Stan), Derek Featherstone, James Craig, Cindy Lee, Elsa Kawai, Omar (our hotel receptionist who took Malarkey and I for a tour around Austin and the surrounds) and our new group mascot Craig Cook.
In the whole conference, There was only one person I met that I didn’t like. But it turns out he wasn’t actually attending SXSW, and I think I’ll leave it at that.
Finally, a big thankyou to Leigh, who was insistent from the start that I should go and fun, despite it meaning her being left to look after the kids.
The rest is all on Flickr