SXSW 2012 Panel Picker – Picks and Recommendations

Vote for My SXSW Idea!

How is it possible that it is that time again? The SXSW Panel Picker went live this week, and there are more than 3200 proposal for you to peruse, vote for and comment on. If you don’t have time to read them all, here are a few that I think are most interesting.

First, the shameless plug. I have a proposal titled “Covering SXSW: Social Media and Experience Learning,” that deals with using SXSW as a platform for an experiential learning project. My graduate class Advanced Online Media has covered SXSW at SXTXState.com for the past four years (this will be our fifth!), but Hans Ibold from Indiana University and Russell Rains of St. Ed’s have also used SXSW for student projects. Two SXTXState alum, Dale Blasingame and Maira Garcia, round out the panel. Please take a moment and check out the proposal as well as the site. The most recent posts have some images and videos that highlight the student activity. We would appreciate your support.

It’s great when our TXST grads propose panels, and this is not the first time for some of these folks. Dee Kapila from KUT has the proposal Big ‘Ol Babies: Why Baby Boomers=Public Media FAIL. Her panelists include people from WOSU Public Media and PBS, and they will deal with the ways that the older generation and digital natives differ in their approach to decision-making and leadership in a public media environment. I think this is a provocative idea and one worth exploring. Should provide for some lively commentary.

Michael Trice took a class with me a few years ago, and was part of the very first SXTXState.com project. He has since done a Fulbright Fellowship and is currently working on a Ph.D. at Texas Tech. Michael’s panel is Community Regenerati‚Äčon through Digital Literacy and it describes a project in Bristol, UK called the Knowle West Media Centre’s University of Local Knowledge project. This will be a great case study in learning about effective ways to spread digital literacy. Michael is also endorsing this proposal by Partisans.org – Reporters and Evangelists: Politics of Online News.

Another TXST grad, Jordan Viator who works for Spredfast, has the proposal #Socialbiz FTW: Achieve Business Goals with Social. This panel deals with how organizations can engage social media outside of the marketing department for business results. This has been key to the success of many organizations, how social aspects get introduced to all levels and functions.

Way back when, I used to teach at UT, when I was working on my Ph.D. One of my then students, Cary-Anne Olsen is now Web and Graphic Designer at Concordia University. I was happy to see her proposal for a Higher Education Technology Meetup. It’s proposed as a core conversation, but is framed as a way to discover and network with higher ed colleagues specifically.

Jill Ward is another of my former students from UT, who now works at Convio. Her proposal When the Webinator and Mobile Have a Love Child will deal with the future of mobile to non-profits. Convio is one of the most progressive companies in engaging non-profits with new technologies to help them achieve their missions.

Another of my former students, Kristin Nicely, this time from the year I spent teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University, now works in Austin at T3. She forwarded a couple of their panels along to me, and they look quite interesting: Why Creative Technologists are the Future and provocative: Which SXSW Technologies Do Not Matter to You.

A good friend and colleague who was in the Ph.D. program at UT with me and is now at San Diego State is Amy Schmitz-Weiss. Amy works with Rosental Alves on the International Symposium in Online Journalism and the new #ISOJ Journal, so you might be familiar with her from those activities. Her panel idea is Innovations in Nonprofit Journalism – What is Next? With panelists from ProPublica, Knight Foundation, Watchdog Institute and the Investigative News Network, this will be a good overview on the state the non-profit model for media.

I have had the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most innovative people in journalism right now. Burt Herman heads up Storify as well as the Hacks/Hackers group (of which I am one of the Austin organizers). His proposal is From Foreign Correspondent to Entrepreneur and will share his experiences of integrating innovation in his career. We used Storify during SXTXState.com last year, when it was still in private beta, and we loved working with it.

Jenny 8 Lee works with Burt on Hacks/Hackers. Her proposal deals with the same mission as the meetup group, how to foster better understanding between communicators and coders: Content and Coding is Not a Commodity: How. She’ll be joined by panelists from Washington Post and the FCC.

I have been fortunate over past few years to get to know both Aron Pilhofer of NY Times and Jim Brady of Journal Register. They are both on a proposal submitted by Stephen Buckley at Poynter Storytelling Beyond Words: New Forms of Journalism that would also include Bill Adair of St. Petersburg Times and Politifact. This one is kind of a no-brainer in terms of acceptance. These are some of the most innovative and progressive in the journalism realm right now. What a great opportunity for them to share their vision. This line of the proposal sums it up “This panel is for geeks who care about storytelling, and it’s for storytellers who care about digital tools.”

I see proposals by two of Aron’s staff, who are fantastic programmer/journalists. Brian Hamman will discuss Second Screen Dashboard: Cover Live Events Better dealing with some of the NY Times special projects for Oscars, Super Bowl, etc. And Tyson Evans, who did a core conversation with me a couple years ago, has Journalism’s Got 99 Problems, Design is #1. This panel features Miranda Mulligan from The Boston Globe and David Wright from NPR. I like the approach that design is so critical to everything with which we engage, but is rarely talked about in regard to the future of journalism. You just have to look at what Apple has done to recognize the value of design.

Another person I have met in my interactions with progressive news teams is HO Maycotte. I first met him when he led the developers at Texas Tribune, but he is now working on his own projects. His proposal, Who Owns Your Audience?, broaches the question that many are missing. How do you control and benefit from audience data when you are increasingly using public platforms like Facebook to engage them?

Another media aficionado that I know from my Texas Tribune dealings is CEO and editor-in-chief Evan Smith. He’s one of the panelists for the Nieman Journalism Labs panel titled Skills & Bills: Can News Be a Product to Sell? This gets to the heart of the issue that many refer to (both seriously and tongue-in-cheek with air quotes) as “monetization.” But journalism can’t operate without a business model, whether non-profit or otherwise, so this panel will feature people with strong insight.

Steve Myers is at the Poynter Institute and I met him a couple years ago at SXSW. He’s got great insight on social media’s role in journalism. His proposal is on Tweeting Osama’s Death: From Citizen to Journalist, and it deals with the individual who unknowingly tweeted the Bin Laden raid, but more generally, the increasing role of the average person in covering news.

Dave Stanton, previously at Poynter and now with the consulting and development group Smart Media Creative, is someone I have known since we were both Ph.D. students, with common interests coming together at the AEJMC conference. His proposal is Applied User Testing: Cooking Actionable Research and like a good Ph.D. he knows the value of customer research. He will provide some helpful tips to make that process easier and more effective.

Last year, I was on a panel with Jonathan Carroll of Gowalla, dealing with musicians using location-based social media platforms. This year, Jonathan is one of the proposed panelists on You Are Here: Location-Based Citizen Journalism. The panel is proposed by Juan Garcia of UT, but also includes Victor Hernandez of CNN and Jonathan’s Gowalla colleague, Andy Ellwood. I will want to attend this discussion, should it be accepted, because I think there is much potential for news organizations to engage the public with locatoin-based projects.

And Jonathan and I were part of a panel at the Austin Social Media Club recently that also included Brad Bogus of Speak Social. He’s got a music-related proposal titled Social Media and Fan Engagement in Music. Right up my alley. One of my pet areas is in how bands can encourage fan engagement, not just with the artists but amongst the fan community itself. This is happening on its own in many ways, but how can the artist help and benefit from this? I would definitely attend this panel, and I like to see music-related panels infiltrating the Interactive ranks.

Rob Quigley recently left the Statesman to pursue a career in academia, and I think he made a great choice ;-). He is proposing to talk about Teaching the Facebook Generation, a topic that is near and dear to me. Along with Jen Reeves of KOMU and Missouri School of Journalism, Rob will address the myth that college students and digital natives have the know-how and perspective to use technology effectively as professionals. They may be avid users, but they don’t necessarily come to the table with an idea of how things work or how to create their own spaces. This is definitely a core conversation that I would want to be a part.

There are some other educators that I saw with great ideas. I went to a presentation by Peg Faimon & Glenn Platt a couple years ago on Universities in the Free Era. I loved what they had to say about the new professor and learning environment. They have another proposal for 2012 Dream U: Building an Open Source University. I like the participatory nature of this talk and really hope it gets accepted.

Jeremy Littau from Lehigh University is someone who I have followed on Twitter and met in person last year. His proposal is My Community Knows More Than I Do: Let Them Teach. This has a similar theme to my proposal, with his idea of “Classroom Without Walls” and engaging students in civic projects and real-world experiences.

Robert Hernandez teaches at USC in the Annenberg School of Communication. He’s got a proposal called Journalism is Dead. Long Live Journalism! Looks like he will have a panel of young journalists talking about how to save the industry. I agree that there is no more exciting time to be a journalist than now, and opportunities abound to impact the field.

Another academic, who I met at Poynter recently, is Jeremy Gilbert from Northwestern U. His panel idea Why are Media Products So Unusuable, deals with the design, interface and originality of news products. He’ll be joined by a media consultant and someone from Chicago Tribune.

Andrea Hickerson was a graduate student with me at UT. She now teaches at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her proposal deals with another of my favorite topics, the role of gender in the technology realm. Binary Bitches: Keeping Open Source Open to Women will be an important way to discuss women’s participation in open source communities, the challenges and opportunities.

I have dealt with Jon Lebkowsky for the Hacks/Hackers group, and he was instrumental in pulling together the Journalism track for SXSW 2011. He has a proposal on The Future of the Internet, with insights from his years working as a tech consultant.

There are several panels that were proposed by people I don’t know or haven’t dealt, but that looked interesting as I was going through the Panel Picker. Here are just a few that are worth checking out.

Students, New Media & the Myth of Tech Fluency – this corresponds to Rob Quigley’s proposal

How to Design for What the World is Watching – features folks from YouTube.

Designing WordPress – always interested in what is going on with them.

Accessible HTML5 Canvas? Really? How? РI like to hit up a few panels that will expand my tech insight into skills I can share in class.  This features some Microsoft people, so they might have some perspective on the IE situation.

HTML5 vs. Native Apps — Who Will Win? – Everyone wants to know…

Getting Rad with Mobile CSS3 Animation Techniques – same as above, need to get the skills. But am skeptical of the use of the word “rad” (as I often am when panels include “ninja,” “rockstar” or “douchebag”).

The Ruby on Rails 3.1 Views & Asset Pipeline – gotta keep up with the Web frameworks, too.

Navigating the Open Source Web Frameworks Landscape – looks to be a good overview for understanding the current state of these technologies.

Real-time APIs: Mobile Meets Instant Gratification – this one features someone from Foursquare.

And just a couple on Music, although I’m sure there are more:

Designing Future Music Experiences – Rdio and Turntable.fm

Turntable.fm: The Future of Music is Social – because it is

So, that’s it for now. I will probably come across more gems over time. Give these proposals some attention, a vote, perhaps a comment. I will be going back through and doing the same on the Panel Picker site. Thanks for reading. Feel free to make recommendations for me to consider for those I may have missed that you feel deserve some love – tweet at me @cindyroyal.

2 thoughts on “SXSW 2012 Panel Picker – Picks and Recommendations

  1. Michael Trice says:

    Great list. I have a lot of voting and commenting to do this weekend!

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