SXSW 2013 – A mashup

We’ve been at SXSW a couple of days now and despite some setbacks in our travel schedule (we ended up in San Antonio – don’t ask ..), jetlag, and a rather soggy first day, we took taken the bull by the horns, braved the buzz and sought out new truths to explore, dissect, discuss and deliver back to you lovely folk.

A fun thing about this ‘coming together of great minds’, is that the span between two sessions, just on a conceptual level, can be unimaginably great – so much so that, one speaker, such as the wonderful Jason Silva, will take your mind to the edges of known reality with his so called “shots of philosophical espresso”, weaving in and out of subjects like ..

  • data mapping (recurring patterns between natural and manmade systems) and
  • a quantified self revolution (backing up ourselves)

.. with such an ease and abundance of intellectual references, you start to wonder if you’ve ever really lived

.. whilst another speaker, such as the self-confessed “goofball” BJ Fogg brings out some stuffed toys on stage (to represent fictional characters), and talks about ‘tiny habits’ that give ‘big results’, referring to very tangible concepts of everyday behaviours that for one reason or another, people would like to change or influence; and suggesting humourous exercises such as using an ‘anchor’ (something familiar that you do each day without fail) as a ‘trigger’ for other new habits … like peeing .. so as to say to yourself .. “after I pee, I will _____” and matching the frequency of the anchor to the frequency of the new wanted behaviour. He also pleaded with us the audience, to “stop designing systems/products that promise people that they will help them take big leaps” and rather, make the ‘onboarding’ like a first time install, or first encounter with a site, give the user a “success momentum” that will help them to feel a sense of achievement; and encourage greater patience with the rest of the journey or eventual roadblocks.

It’s just great though that from one end of the spectrum to the next, you see certain themes or patterns or truths shine through; which has definitely been the case so far. But more sessions ahead, so more on that later! So many sessions, so many notes, so little time – #sxswproblems

Stay tuned here, or for more regular updates, check out our other reporting channels:

Over and out, Anna Leckstrom

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