Sorry for the delay, but the last installment of our South by Southwest posts is here! On Monday morning of SXSWi in Austin, we had a 4sqday meetup with a fantastic turnout. I met people from all over the world: Australia, Germany, Denmark; we all discussed celebrating foursquare day.
Those who had previously hosted 4sqDay parties gave some how-to’s and helpful hints. Those who hadn’t had great questions. Foursquare had handouts explaining how to register on meetup.com and sign up for a swag pack. Nina let us in on the new “crown” swag secret and got our feedback on other merchandise.
My favorite part of the meetup was a discussion about redefining the “superuser.” We were asked our opinion if the superuser should evolve into different areas of expertise or if that could become too complicated. I recorded some of the conversation:
After our meetup, the foursquare court was set up for the tournament. They washed it down with Pepsi Max so no one would slip! And isn’t Anoop the most adorable referee ever?
After the meetup, I ran into Jessica Barnett, one of the 4sqDay originators! Then Dennis Crowley talked to me! Very cool day.
The foursquare party at SXSW was INSANE. I was lucky enough (a.k.a. quick enough) to be on the RSVP list, so I got in easily and did not have to wait in a super long line. The Cedar Street Courtyard was an amazing venue for the party! Beers, wine and wells were free and DJ Bo Bliz was aaaaamazing! I ended up dancing all night with Anas and Simone from American Express and my new sxswbff April. They could part-ay. LocaModa was capturing our tweets and before you knew it, we were on the stage and the courtyard was jam-packed. It reminded me of a 4sqDay party. Here’s some pictures and video. Wish we could have all danced together!
On Sunday of SXSWi, I met up with Eric Leist, emerging tech strategist and co-host of the About Foursquare podcast and Tech Interruption and Benedict Corpuz, flight attendant and true mayor of the San Francisco Airport, to record the weekly About Foursquare Podcast. Shaky cellphone pic:
As an enthusiast, I’m a fan of this weekly podcast, and highly encourage other users to listen. Eric and Ching Yu highlight important foursquare/LBS news of the week, discuss new badges and offer great insight and interviews. It’s really great to listen to while at work – if you don’t have a regular podcast habit, this could be your gateway drug.
This was my 4th time as a guest on the podcast, which you can listen to here. Comment on the post and get a chance to win a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card. Right before we started recording, I spit my gum out into a foursquare napkin that I picked up with coffee at the foursquare court, but didn’t use so I pocketed it. Eric and Benedict were very amused with my fangirlness.
A week has passed since I drove to Austin and experienced the melee of SXSW and I’m still processing everything. SXSWi was overwhelming in scope: the influx of technology, ideas and extreme time organization was mentally and physically draining. Figuring out where to go, what to do, which startup to learn more about all at the same time avoiding the downpour with a backpack increasingly becoming heaver with free t-shirts, stickers, and koozies was downright exhausting. That being said, it was heavenly and I would return in a heartbeat. I could geek out about unlocking a new badge and not embarrass the people around me. In fact, I unlocked 20 badges while in Austin. Here’s a video of 19 of them. I unlocked the Super Swarm badge retroactively at the foursquare party and didn’t realize it until later.
Some of my favorites: SXSW Virgin (my favorite design of all time), Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, and Too Cool for School. I also liked that foursquare organized it into a separate category in the badge trophy case. Alas, I didn’t unlock all the SXSW badges, but I think I put in a good effort.
Foursquare was one of my favorite tools to use at SXSW. I changed my friends list to “nearby” could see where my friends were checked in and reach out to them to meet up a later time – I found friends I didn’t even know were going to be in Austin. There were several opportunities of squarendipity. I used foursquare lists and foursquare tips to find places to eat and the best dishes. I dare-say it was the most helpful tool at for me at SXSW.
I did try out some of the other hyped location-based services debuting at SXSWi, but found the constant notifications annoying and a drain on my phone battery and disabled them after the first day. Perhaps it’s just me, but I may be too introverted to use shared social graph features to introduce myself to strangers. I felt uneasy about it – and if a progressive LBS user is a tad resistant about that level of connectivity, perhaps these apps miss the mark somehow. I did get to respond to Localmind inquiries for the first time and felt useful in that sense. So, not a complete wash! On a sadder note, I saw my first “Highlight Us!” Gowalla cling on the day they closed down.
I’m already wanting to prepare myself for SXSWi 2013; nerd spring break is going to become an annual tradition.