SXSW Interactive – General Takeaways

Attending SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas this year has really opened my eyes to where we are as a society, where we are going in technology and how we can become more innovative.

Here are my main takeaways:

Be authentic and real. Share from your heart. Care about your audience. As Gary Vaynerchuck states “The fact that anyone listens to what you have to say is a HUGE deal. It doesn’t matter if it’s one person or a million people. You care about them!”

“You cannot scale authenticity.”

Be real, share personal stories and connect with your audience.

Everyone has a voice. If someone has bad service, they can whip out their phone and write about their experience on Yelp, tell their friends on Facebook and Tweet about it to their followers.

Organizations and businesses need to be aware of what is being said. Listening is absolutely essential. Set Google Alerts and be aware of your brand and what other are saying. Be prepared to make changes if and when needed.

This is an amazing time. Embrace it. Never before have we had so many amazing options to create whatever it is we desire and need in this world. Create solutions to problems. Rather than re-inventing the same things, think about how we can make it better. It’s not about copying a product, it’s about solving a problem and finding unmet needs for the end user.

We need to care about our audience.

Technology is just a tool to a means or a way. We live in a segmented culture. Back in the day people were born in the village. Grew up in the village. Married in the village. Worked in the village and then died in the village.

Now we are spread out across the world. Segmented souls longing to find a connection. Families are not as tightly connected. More than ever people are not knowing where they fit into the social map.

It’s imperative that we create connections / networks with other like-minded people. We need to move to a more participatory culture.

“I” needs “we” to truly be “I.” – Alan Moore

When developing new technologies we need to understand cooperation is fundamental. We need to meet these core human needs.

Connection and collaboration are key.

Every person no matter what you are doing is in the customer service industry. Caring is massively underrated in today’s society.

The thing is — it’s all about caring.

Those that are giving good customer service and listening to their audience are winning. Those that are not are corroding. We need to live in a thank you economy. People are completely underestimating the words “thank you” and “your welcome.”

My favorite line from the whole event was from the co-founder of Twitter, Evan Williams during his Keynote session.

“We just want to be a force of good.”

That’s what it’s all about. We all need to follow this model. Stand up and take the oath to be a force of good. Care about others and make a positive impact.

by: Stephanie Ross, e-Project Specialist