Interactive Plugging

I love SXSWi. It’s the most amazing collection of creative geeks I’ve ever seen, and I’m drinking it all in like a chocolate shake. I’ve met some of my blog heroes, heard some of my design muses speak, hung out with cool people who do and think wonderful things, and made more new friends than I can list here.

If you live on the web, are passionate about self-expression and technology, then I can’t recommend SXSW to you enough. It’s like spring break for geeks. I listened to Howard Rheingold speak about smartmobs today. Yesterday, I learned a little about emergent democracy, got a tour of how Google works from a human perspective, and went to Fray, where I heard funny, touching and true personal stories told by the same people I’ve been hanging out with all week.

For me, SXSW is a way to get out in the world, show the world who I am, and see who other people are. We speak the same language here, and it’s refreshing. There’s no explaining the benefits of web standards, there’s a vibe here where everything is cool. Everyone is open to you. I’ve never met more people interested in meeting each other in my life, and I love it. I’m sure I’ve annoyed a lot of people, because I feel like more of myself here. I think I’ve been a little too much of “me” this week… but I’m not sure I can do anything about that.

And it’s not that this is all goofing off. It’s not. The days are full of interesting panels, where new ideas are thrown around like they’ve existed forever – because they just make sense – well, OK, some of them make sense. But, we’re all here just talking about our passions.

I’ll try to come up with a list of all the people I’ve met here, and all the people I’ve hung out with, but I’m not sure I can. There are so many very cool people here. And now, I can’t wait to get back to work to share all the new ideas that have sprouted, all the great things I’ve heard and seen, and the joi de vie I’ve rediscovered while being here.

My Little Homophobe

I’m not quite the sensative, hip and with-it modern man I thought I was. Case in point: Last night at Fray, Lance Arthur told a hilarious story about gay dating, being a hottie, and a gargantuan penis. It was extremely funny, although there was enough detail to make me, someone who thinks he’s very comfortable with his sexuality, squirm just a little. But, it was perfectly told, and funny. And you know me, funny trumps all. So, as Lance comes off the stage, I hold out my hand, and shake his as he walks past.

And then it hits me… I just touched the hand that touched that gigantic penis. My brain went through mini-convulsions for a couple nanoseconds, and then the cool part of me told the little homophobe hiding in the corner of my psyche, “Yeah, but I’m sure he’s washed his hands since then.”