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SXSW mag

by henrycopeland
Friday, May 9th, 2008

I had a short piece in the SXSW quarterly mag that just came out. It was fun to try to carve the thing down from 400 words to 200. Here she is:

My favorite hour at SXSW ’08 began with boredom. I was watching a panel on social media metrics gum its topic. I shuffled my feet, opened my laptop. Twittered. Stewed.

Ian Schafer leaned over. “Get on Meebo.” I wasn’t alone in my frustration!

— guest439761: “20 minutes in and haven’t really heard anything.”
— Christen: “don’t tell me that there are metrics, tell me what they ARE, how to measure them, what the benchmarks are.”

Michael Bassik went to the mic: “To give the panelists a heads up, Meebo chatters are demanding numbers and names.” The moderator responded: “We’ve still got 30 minutes, we’ll get to metrics.” Ten more metricless minutes passed.

— mvp: “someone hack the system and get this up on the screen.”
— mediastorm: “i say we all walk out.”
— nancy: “don’t laugh! the panelist will think they are interesting.”

We started plotting. Strip and storm the stage? A sweater flew, then a sock. We synchronized hand-raising. We coughed in unison. We riffed on metrical drink names and games.

Suddenly our hour was over. So soon? Awww. We’d net-worked a sixty-minute revolution, transforming private anger into collective action and a humorous new culture. And we were ready for Sarah Lacy.

Kudos to SXSW for publishing something critical of itself in the house publication. But I guess not that critical, because the hour was the most fun I’ve had in social media in a while.

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