Monthly Archives: March 2004

The Roundup of Ms. Jen’s and’s SXSW 2004 Coverage

Throw Rag at SXSW 2004
Throw Rag at SXSW – 3/19/04.

Here is a list of links to all the’s and my photos, blogs, and other bits of SXSW 2004 – Interactive and Music.

Notes from a Hot Monday Afternoon

First off, I want to say a BIG congratulations to Drs. Clairce and Greg Mullinax on the March 11th birth of their first son, Joshua Perrin Mullinax. Little Joshua is truly a gift. Yeah.
Second off, I want to thank Patrick Nielsen Hayden for posting Archbishop Romero’s prayer to his blog a few days ago, as reading this was exactly what I needed late last week.

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God

Welcome to the Jungle, Part 237

My homestate of California is a funny and sometimes confusing place. We supposedly are a very Democratic state, yet we keep electing Republican governors. We supposedly are known in other parts of the country as the “Land of Fruits & Nuts” or “The Left Coast,” yet we keep enacting very conservative legislation and amendments like the Three Strikes Law and continually desire lower taxes of all sorts.
Given that almost eveyone I know, conservative or liberal, does not want to pay a single cent more in taxes, yet they want all the services that the State and Local governements provide, I had a good laugh when I saw this headline on the front page of the LA Times today:
Jail Inmates Freed Early to Save Money

Welcome Scruffy!

Scruffy the puppy - at 4 months Scruffy the puppy - at 4 months

My brother, Joe, adopted Scruffy last monday night while I was at SXSW. Today was the first day that I could go over to meet Scruffy. Here he is!

Day 4 Dispatch

Today was the last day of SXSW Interactive and transitioned into music-world by evening.
*At breakfast at the hotel, I had a nice chat with Kristin, Leonard, and James McNally. Fun, bright people.
* Bruce Sterling and his “Rant” panel was funny and all over the place in the best sort of way. He started the session by inviting the audience to his annual Tuesday night house party. I recommend Heath’s transcription of the talk, as I did not take notes but did client work as I sat in the session.
* After Bruce Sterling’s talk/rant, I went for a sweep of the “if!” Trade Show and then to lunch.
* After lunch it was time for the Jonathan Abrams’ Keynote speech. Mr. Abrams is the founder of Friendster and he spoke on why he started it, what they hope for the site to do, how they plan to make money (advertising) and dispelled rumors (no, they won’t be charging the users). The best part was he gave away Friendster condoms at the end of the session.
I have social networking fatigue and would rather not have to go to Friendster or My Space or to have an online representation of my social network, so I spent the time while listening to this session making my links and blog roll XFN compliant on here Black Phoebe : Ms Jen and over at the News and Tidbits.
* For the very last panel of SXSW Interactive 2004, I attended Wireless and Grassroots with Cory Doctorow, Joi Ito, and Dan Gillmor. As I had hoped it was a good discussion on all the favorite whipping boys of each panelist without touching the topic at hand! Go, Cory and Dan, go! I did learn that I can get an unlocked with SIM card new Treo 600 on eBay for less than $450…
*After Interactive was all over, goodbyes said, tons of crap dropped off at the hotel room, I met up with Heidi Richman to start the Music whirl a day early. Heidi and I went to the BMI bbq at Stubbs where The Green Cards were delighting the ears of the party attendees.
* Next up was the Guerrila Monster film Broad Daylight premier at Elysium, as well as the It’s a Chick Productions film premier of The Velvet Hammer Burlesque and burlesque girl performances.

SXSW Day 3 – Evening

What's the Big Deal?! Lamps at La Zona Rosa Craig Newmark tells his story

This evening was Interactive’s biggest party night with too many choices. I chose to go to the 20×2’s party at La Zona Rosa. The 20 people doing 2 minutes of story/performance/video/whatever to a set theme/idea was enjoyable. Highlights were James McNally’s Little Guy Leagure story, the Pong guys in orange coveralls high fiving the audience, and the guy who acted out “What’s the Big Deal!”
The highlight of the night was my brother’s phone call that the little dog we found on Craigslist was officially adopted around 6pm. I went up to Craig Newmark at 20×2 and thanked him. Craig laughed and said that he liked dogs.

SXSW Day 3 – Afternoon Dispatch

Austin at night
View of the Austin skyline from the Fox & Hound

Here are my notes for the Monday, March 15th, SXSW Interactive Day 3 panels, some coherent, some not – read at your own risk. I am sorry for the lack of pictures, but I left the memory card for the digital camera at the hotel. Oops.
* Hi-Fi Design with CSS – with Douglas Bowman, Dan Cederholm, and Dave Shea — this panel was a mix between the nuts and bolts of CSS and a pointer on how one can design well and be artistic – all at 10:00 am.
* Future of Blogging – with Anil Dash, Justin Hall, Danah Boyd, with good, pointed question help by Molly Steenson Wright.
* Howard Rheingold – ‘Wireless Future Keynote – wrote Smart Mobs – The Next Social Revolution. Howard is interested in cooperation and social action. Howard is very smart and a bit all over the place.
[What follows is my paraphrased transcript of Howard’s interesting bits:
The Internet is a commons. Bring the commonwealth to the world.
Important messages emerging from technology of Internet and Mobile Devices is Collective Action.
Moore’s Law – Cute little cell phone today is much more powerful than a PC ten years ago, and that cell phone can be bought with one month’s salary by the poor all over the world. A device that wil lbe as powerful as a 2004 desktop computer will reach the price of the average worldwide lower middle class one month salary will happend in 7years.
People who were not able to derive benefit from previous industrial revolutions will be benefited by the wireless device revolution.
The users of the PCs are the ones who created the PC revolution. Bill Gates was a 19 year old drop out who loved computers. Same with Apple. The microchip and the TV screen did give us mainframes only to be used by corporations and govenment, but PCs that are used by the world. Trying to figure out the revolution of wireless devices now would have been like trying to figure out the future of the PC in 1980 or the future of the internet in 1990.
Some resources are best treated as private (living rooms, cars, etc.), some resources are best treated as commons (internet, public domain, etc).
You could argue that progress is not all that it is cracked up to be, we build more complex societies, we build more wealth, we can do things with rationalism and organization.
Collective action is the lens that we can look at this untethered [the Internet]… More folks used Napster, 70 million, than voted for the president in 2000.
What could we do with mobile devices while walking around with reputation systems? We now take for granted that we can reach any information or search for it or meet up with common interests on the internet. A lot could be possible if this was available on wireless devices (Howard thinks this is undescribable of what will happen in the future).
The only problem with reputations systems is that only geeks change the default settings. Mobs are a great tool of facists, but the more people who understand the principles of wireless devices and the internet the more control that the people will have over it.
Wi-Fi started with Ham radio. Over 2 million wi-fi cards are bought every month.
Encourage new systems.
Creative Destruction – new ways of doing things that destruct previous way of doing things. Right now industries and governement are restricting innovation with billions of dollars of buying politicians and legislating restrictions.]
* The Aesthetics of Social Networks
Social Networks : people connecting to people
Aesthetics : beauty
Online Social Networks : orignally people connecting online. Now specific applications .
* Heath Row is transcribing / live blogging the panels that he is in to the SXSW official blog. He was kind enough to share a electrical plug with me during the Aesthetics of Social Networks panel. His post on this panel is much more coherent than my thoughts above.
* I am now sitting in Ridiculously Easy Group Forming and Celik Tantek has a great presentation on XFN. XHTML Friends Network (adding a relationship to a link tag) was suggested to Tantek by John Halcyon Styn at SXSW 2003. A XFN creator can be found GMPG or at
Here ends the afternoon dispatch. I am off to get food before the evening events.

SXSW Day 2 – Evening Dispatch

Lamp at the Red Eye Fly, Austin
Lamp at the Red Eye Fly, Austin

Notes from the day and evening of Sunday, March 14 – Day 2 of SXSW.

* Viriginia Postrel’s presentation made more sense than the first two chapters of her book. Listening to her speak encouraged me to take the book back up again.
* MoveOn.Org keynote was very encouraging and inspiring. Molly Ivins introduced Eli Parsier and Zack Exley. All three were very funny, intelligent, and it was a good hour spent. Eli and Zach are interested in grassroots, social action and how it can mass to making political change.
* Rebecca Blood was unable to make it to SXSW and as I sat in the Wiki panel she was supposed to moderate I went to her site to find out why she did not come to SXSW, I found this informative list for writers and bloggers.
Photo left: Moblog Nation panel brought new insights on the potential and dangers of mobile devices / cell phones that connect to the internet and/or take photos that one can post to a weblog or web site.
* The SXSW 2004 Web Awards were held in a big beautiful ballroom in the new Downtown Hilton. John Halcyon Styn presented for the 4th year, and for the 3 years that I have attended, his style and sense of humor makes sitting with no dinner in your belly worth it. Thank you John, and a big thanks to all the marvelous sites that won and made it to the finals. Photo to the left is the nice young men of Ruder Finn who designed Mr. Picassohead
Ms. Jen and Brothers Styn
Ms. Jen and Brothers Styn at the Red Eye Fly for Fray Cafe