Just got off the CNN Express, the mighty bus I ride to some of the less media-saturated parts of America, where concern about gas prices and frustration over Washington's ability to get much done are both running high.
There's a moment, when singer LP performs the song "Into the Wild," that her face tightens and she purses her lips, even as she keeps singing. It happened show after show at the South by Southwest music festival, whether on sunny daytime stages, in dark clubs, or while rocking a ukulele, solo, in the middle of an Austin, Texas, street. She is trying not to smile.
Do you suffer from FOMO (otherwise known as "fear of missing out")? Does the idea that some infinitely intriguing person/place/thing is currently flitting through your general sphere of being -- WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE -- cause your heart to constrict with terror?
Anyone expecting outspoken rocker Bruce Springsteen to spend his keynote address here at the South by Southwest music conference talking about his new No. 1 album or the politically divided state of the country may have gotten a surprise.
Looking to sell the public on your plan to combine Twitter with beer drinking? Well, there are worse places to push the idea than South by Southwest Interactive, the annual gathering known as "spring break for geeks." (Or for "tech hipsters." The line is getting blurrier and blurrier these days.)
South by Southwest, the tech-music-movie conference getting under way here Friday, isn't typically a place for big newsy announcements. The indie ethos of SXSW is more about discovering the hot emerging thing -- a new mobile app, a bold filmmaker, a brilliant set by an undiscovered band.
When Jane McGonigal was 21 and a bit listless, she went to the New York Public Library to reinvent herself. She read up on computer science and physics and used that knowledge to apply to a graduate program in game design in California.
South by Southwest is a long, winding "spring break!" (yelled in frat-boy fashion) for tech nerds and music fans alike. The fest has since wrapped, leaving attendees with glowing memories, emotional and physical scars and suitcases bursting with ripe clothing.
Among the 18,000 attendees who descended on Austin this week for the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive gathering were hundreds of venture capitalists and angel investors, prowling through the city in search of the next breakout tech invention.
On Thursday, I'll join more than 12,000 geeks on an annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas. The "Interactive" portion of the South by Southwest festival -- referred to by attendees as "South by" or "SXSW" -- is akin to spring break for the technology crowd.
The Steven Tyler-model of career planning is starting to look like the norm in the business world: frequent changes of venue, constant reinvention, and, hopefully, a loyal fan base that sticks with you through it all.
Over the past few years, the South by Southwest Interactive Festival has emerged as one of the most important events in the international new media landscape, bringing thousands of the industry's most creative thinkers to Austin, Texas, every March for five days of panels, networking and fun.
If you spend any time on the Internet, you've no doubt seen "David After Dentist," the YouTube video of a woozy 7-year-old boy in the back seat of a car, struggling to understand the effects of anesthesia.