SXSWi: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Posted: March 16, 2010 in Advertising & Marketing, Technology

“If you’re looking for the next big thing, and you’re looking where everyone else is, you’re looking in the wrong place.” — Mark Cuban @ 2010 SXSWi

Full disclosure: I entered the agency world at the end of the paste-up and the emergence of the computer keyline. As such, I’ve always vacillated between a hearty curiosity and healthy skepticism when it comes to the latest, greatest shiny new object — from the rise of the Internet to the acceleration of location-based services. (And before I forget — Foursquare users, I’m happy that one of you is the new mayor of my dry cleaners — but seriously, enough already.)

With that said, as Mr. Cuban’s quote suggests, much of the conversation at this year’s SXSW Interactive Festival has been around “the next big thing.” And in particular, both the means (“How do I do the thing with the thing?”) and ends (“How do I measure and track whether my thing did its thing?”) of what “new” means for our industry.

But I’ve observed an undercurrent in many of the sessions that I’ve attended the past few days — from both speakers and attendees alike. We all seem to be trying to dig a little deeper, attempting to ascertain what these changing technologies mean for us, for our culture and for the people with whom we seek to interact online. While we’re talking about “expanding platforms” and strategizing around “time displacement,” we’re all striving to understand what’s really going on at a more fundamental level. (see the rest of the story)


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