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    How to Explain SXSW to Your Grandparents

    I returned from SXSW about two weeks ago, and I tweeted about explaining the conference to my grandparents. My team had an amazing time at SXSW, and we did a ton of social media around our time at the conference. You can check out the Twitter hashtag #whatsyourstory or @Duarte on Twitter to see some of the insights we gained while attending sessions, trekking the tradeshow floor, and going to events in the evenings. We made quite a few videos to document the experience, and you can check out my contribution here!

    But, what you REALLY want to know is, “how did you explain SXSW to your grandparents?” So, here’s the conversation:

    GP: Now, I thought I heard that SXSW is a music festival, so why would they send a business person to Austin?

    Me: Well, it started as a music festival, but now it’s a hub for interactive, music, and film. The “interactive” portion is all about the digital world.

    GP: The digital world? What is that?

    Me: Um, it’s for apps… applications… um, you know how you have a phone? Ok, well, on your phone, you can access the internet. So there’s all these programs on your phone called apps, and they help you do all sorts of things. You can look up reviews on restaurants, or convert different currencies. The other big thing this year was 3D printing. Basically, they put a picture into a computer program and then load up a special little printer with plastic, and it goes around and builds the picture. There’s also a lot of bloggers, you know how I have a blog that I send links to? Well, lots of people are trying to tell their story on their blog or their company website, and so they go to SXSW to meet up with other people who are trying to tell their story.

    GP: So how do you know if you did well at SXSW?

    Me: One of our big metrics was around a service called Twitter. So, Twitter is kind of like Facebook, where you can have friends… except, they’re called followers. And, you can post updates, kind of like a Facebook status, and people can respond or share your status. We had lots of people sharing our status and responding, so that was successful.

    GP: *Confused look*

    Me: Ok, you know when your sons were in high school, and when they returned home from school, you’d ask how their day went? And they’d respond with like one sentence? Twitter is kind of like that… except more informative.

    GP: OOOHHHHHH, that makes sense now.

    I learned a lot during my time at SXSW, and I’ll be posting a few of those insights in separate posts. But for now, enjoy the conversation and videos :)

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