Monday, March 10, 2008

SXSW Day 3

We started in the convention center by attending a documentary film, "Some Assembly Required", about a national toy engineering competition for 6th-8th graders; it is organized by Dr. Sally Ride, who was in attendance at the screening. Also attending were many of the kids and teachers featured in the film. We stayed for the Q&A, then headed to PF Chang's for lunch.

Next up was the Mark Zuckerberg keynote speech. He's the founder of Facebook (and noted to be the world's youngest billionaire, at age 23). It was actually fairly dull, largely because of the interviewer, but got MUCH more interesting when the audience turned against the interviewer in the last 15 minutes. I won't go into it; just google it. It has generated buzz all over the conference and the internet. (Check CNET, for example).

After briefly listening to a book author talk about career advice for tech workers, I hit the trade show floor, asking a few of them about their miscellaneous products and services. (Reminder to self that I created an Utterz account at the Utterz booth; I will need to check on that later).

We then went to the weblog presentation by the "I Can Has Cheezburger?" founder. They described how the web log just started as a small personal amusement and traced how it rose to prominence over the course of just a year.

Next was a movie premiere at the Paramount, "The Promotion". It was a pretty light but enjoyable comedy, with John C Reilly. We didn't hang around for Q&A because we bolted to make it to the Ritz for the next film, arriving while it was already letting in.

The film at the Ritz was "Throw Down Your Heart", a premiere of a film about Bela Fleck traveling to Africa to play and record with musicians in Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia, and Mali. Very enjoyable. Also, since it was at the Ritz, we ordered and ate dinner during the movie. We stayed for the Q&A with Bela Fleck and the movie's director.

We again skipped all parties. I twice considered getting a free beer but both times the line was longer than I was interested in dealing with. We walked by the Bela Fleck party at Maggie Mae's too (w/ free BBQ), but the line to get in was crazy-long and we would have missed "The Promotion". I won't be surprised if we finish the week seeing movies, music, and panels, and not attend a single party. (Well, maybe music day-parties; we'll see).

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