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.