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.