Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2009 SXSW Day 4

I started in the Hilton across from the ACC for a panel on web aggregation and finding good content (techmeme, readwriteweb, ligit ...). Took a few notes to explore later.
I then walked into the ACC and decided to attend one of the gaming panels -- in particular, one that dealt more with the psychology behind games and how people learn from them. This one was in a large room and I sat near the back, fairly disengaged actually; in fact, during this session I half-listened and half wrote the first blog entry for my activities through day 3.

Next, I went to a documentary film, "MIME", about the plight of animal (pet) rescue from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. It followed the stories of five residents and they found their pets, scattered to shelters across the country, and the trials they went through trying to get them back (in some cases successfully; in some not). It also presented cases where the pets were assumed to be orphaned and were adopted out before the owners had located them, and the new owners who struggled to face giving up the pets they'd adopted -- and in a couple cases forming new friendships and bonds with the original owners. One of the owners who has still not successfully gotten his dog back (though it has been found) was in attendance at the screening and participated in the Q&A with the director and producer. He's having to resort to litigation with the family that adopted the dog. He said that all he wants is his dog back; he doesn't want to sue anybody. Also present was one of the women who adopted a rescue dog and became attached to it, but gave it up to the original owner (an elderly woman) who had on the roof with her dog but was airlifted and forced to leave the dog behind. When the woman later died, she left it back to the adopted family in her will. Eye-watering stuff.

Then, back to Interactive panes. I went to the Kathy Sierra "Making Breakthroughs Happen" talk. This was more of a motivational business talk, nothing specific. But I did learn about the "blog" of "unneccessary" comments and the blog of misusing the word "literally" -- both things that make my skin crawl, so I enjoyed finding these! :)
Then: a panel on using the web for amateur science, and how people can engage in such activities with other enthusiasts. I took notes to follow up later.

Next I went to the registrants tent and met up there with M (my wife). The free beer line was long, so I grabbed a soft drink. But then we went next door to the Sierra Mist tent, where they were serving the new Sierra Mist flavor mixed with vodka and pomegranite juice. It was good. The tent is open 12-7 every day, so if I'm walking past again I may stop in again.

Last was another movie, "Luckey". (That's the guy's name, not a typo). It was just a personal story about a paralyzed man who is an architect/builder of children's play sculptures, and the struggles he and his family go through.

We drove by the Austin Chronicle party at La Zona Rosa, but the crowd looked like more than we wanted to deal with. So we moved on, and called it a night, again getting home not much later than 10pm.

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