Hello Blogroll

This year’s South By Southwest, my first, was an amazing experience. As pretty much everyone else has already said, it’s not so much about the sessions and pre-planned events—it’s really about the people. And I met a lot of people in Austin.

While I have the schedule to remember the conference proper, I’m left to my own resources to remember everything else. So I’ve created a little embedded collaboration widget that I’m calling Wicked. It’s kind of like a wiki isolated in the middle of the other page content. More on Wicked later, this post is about people.

That’s where you come in. I’m human, I forget things, but I’d like to construct as complete an account of my experience at SXSW as possible and I need your help filling in the blanks. I remember meeting a lot of people but I know I met a lot more than I remember. So if you’ve been missed write yourself in (just as long as you were really there!). And if you’re already in, correct me if I’m wrong with spelling, your presence at a particular event or when we first met/spoke.

Arrival: Friday, March 11th 2005

Day One: Saturday, March 12th 2005

  • Breakfast with the Hampton Inn Brit-pack
  • Met Ms. Jen
  • Leslie and I wandered off in search of the kickball game, Kick!, and came across Richard along the way
  • While there we witnessed Paul Scrivens showboat after a run and met Dave Shea, Cameron Moll and his lovely wife Suzanne, Ste Grainer
  • Walked back to the hotel with Stan and Dave, then Leslie and I had lunch at the Cedar Door (this was recommended as “something light and healthy” by the woman at the front desk—not exactly) (Stan had to prepare an introduction for Zeldman’s Keynote)
  • Noted the PMS 382 table parasols on the deck
  • Spotted Rob (or at least the beard) two blocks away coming back from a film screening, waved him over to have lunch with us

Jeffrey Zeldman Opening Remarks

Bluff Your Way in CSS

  • Admittedly not my first choice for this session but I’m really glad we didn’t miss it ( Before Jeremy & Andy, didn’t know that CSS could be that funny… )
  • Standing room only, in the back with Mike Davidson and Dave, Leslie found a spot on the floor

Make Big Things Happen with Small Teams

That Night

  • Found our way to Buffalo Billiards.
  • Caught up with Keith for the first time at the conference
  • Properly met “Durstan” Orchard and Nicole
  • Repeated interrupted Rob and Maxine Sherrin’s conversation while trying to figure out what we were all going to do for dinner
  • Listened eagerly to Malarkey’s story about his 12 year old son’s experience building a website and working with IE at school (can this story be found online?)
  • Dinner at the Iron Cactus with Budd, Hicks, Shea, Trey Piepmeier, Jason Johnson, Rob, Glenda (the good witch) Sims, Malarkey, Craig Cook and Leslie
  • Walked up 6th on our way to Copa and bumped into Dunstan and Nicole finishing up dinner
  • Bailed out early

Day Two: Sunday, March 13th 2005

Blogging Showdown

Hi-fi Design with CSS


Open Source Marketing

Wasn’t too impressed—by the speakers or the audience who seemed to be taking things a little too personally

Build Your Brand with blogs

Best quote, Jim Coudal: The question isn’t, “Should your business have a blog?” Of course your business should have a blog. The much more interesting question is, “Should your blog have a business?”

SXSW Web Awards 2005

  • Wandered semi-aimlessly in search of barbeque with Leslie, Aaron, Nick, Zeldman, and Stan
  • Nick helped save a blind couple from falling in a construction pit.
  • Given two drink tickets at the door (one for being an attendant, the other I can only assume for being a finalist)
  • Sat with Leslie, Keith, Aaron, Krista Stevens, and (a few others who’s names I didn’t catch and faces I don’t remember—it was dark)
  • Won Best Blog
  • Forgot to stick around for the post-interviews after being dragged off for photos and an interview with G4 Media
  • Called home to tell the ‘rents, told my lil bro Steve-O instead
  • Over the course of the night met Andrei Herasimchuk, Ryan Sims (felt short at that point, forget about how short I felt when I met Jeffrey Veen on the last night), Mike Rundle, Paul Scrivens, Eris Free and others (This is where things really get fuzzy, introduction overload. Help me fill in the blanks!)

Post Awards

  • Stole away with Leslie, Joshua Darden, Susan “Sooz” Kaup, and Mike to discuss our session
  • Dinner at Eddie V’s. Everyone had steak. Josh had the New York strip and the rest had the Peppercorn-encrusted filet mignon. The only reason I mention this is that Eddie V’s is a seafood place.
  • Mike: “Anytime I’m in Austin, I always eat at Eddie V’s.” (this was Mike’s first visit to Austin)
  • Hit the party at the Cedar Door
  • Met Garret Dimon and Ian Lloyd who very openly and honestly asked me to explain who I was. He was familiar with my name but having travelled a lot during the past year wasn’t familiar with my work. The perfect and perfectly timed ego-check.
  • Nice long talk with Jason and Trey from mmacreative

Day Three: Monday, March 14th 2005

Does Design Matter

Virtual Stan thinks it does. Too bad he’s not captioned.

How to Inform Design

The Bloggies

  • Sergio takes away “Best Latin American Weblog” wearing a sweet last (incomplete) level of the 80’s arcade Pacman shirt
  • The throw-down which would have occurred between Stan and I had the other won Best Designed blog (which went to Loobylu) was narrowly averted

Missed Keynote, Missed Barbeque

  • A huge group of folks (Aaron, Jeremy, Richard, Ian, Cindy, Sergio & Kyle Bradshaw) went to Iron Works but Leslie and I had to excuse ourselves (Leslie is allergic to onions)
  • Made our way back to the hotel and decided to seek out sushi but once the extremely helpful valet was done giving us directions we only had time to run across the street to P.F. Chang’s and still missed that afternoon’s keynote

Flash vs. HTML Game Show

Home Star Runner Folks

This was spectacularly funny if not overly informative. Definitely a fanboy session.


  • Grabbed cabs to Tambaleo
  • Passed the responsibility of writing a last minute bio onto Rob who came through in a pinch: “Lock up your mother and your daughters. Shaun Inman will make them his. Also lock up your wife and your blueberry schnapps.”
  • Discovered that the pick-up in my guitar was shot (and I had just bought a new battery too)
  • Sang the song
  • Back to the hotel to prepare for tomorrow’s session
  • Had a terrible excuse for a meal delivered from T.G.I.Fridays (the only place we could find that would deliver at quarter of 10 on a Monday)

Day Four: Tuesday, March 15th 2005

Typography for the Screen

  • Thoroughly enjoyed Josh and Mike’s portions
  • I took a bit to get warmed up and then realized that the content I had prepared would definitely require more time than we had alotted and ended up winging it a little more than I would have liked
  • Joe Clark blessed sIFR

Missed Keynote for Thai at MeKong River

  • In attendance was Derek, Craig, Stan, Hicks, Rob, Leslie, Cindy Li, Doug Bowman, Andy, Dave, Ethan, Dan Cederholm, Sooz, Joe Clark, Josh, Eris, (a girl I didn’t meet), and Jeremy (I may have missed a handful of people at the other end of the 8 tables)
  • Noodled about in the hallway during the final keynote, showed Ethan and possibly Craig the vSun SNES emulator on my Nokia 6600 and promised to hook him up with an emulator for the Mac and mad ROMs

Post Accessibility Shoot-Out

  • Met John Alsopp (briefly) and James Archer, said goodbye to Mike
  • Headed to the Hilton coffee shop for some joe with Jon, Andy, Malarkey, Ethan, Dan, Derek, and Leslie
  • Rob and Stan crashed, Stan crashed the ATM, Rob took zany headshots (Flickr links)
  • Had a chuckle over $3 dollar waters that required an armed stockboy to restock, and more laughter still when the lesser non-Evian brand did not


  • Before heading out, I gave a small, private performance of What’s the Word for those who weren’t there at 20x2 including: Ethan, Jon, the Andies, Jeremy, Richard and Dunstan
  • Crashed the Austin AIGA book drawing with our group walking away with most of the prizes (sorry Austin!)
  • I scored a copy of Webdesign on a Shoestring by Carrie Bickner
  • Dinner at The Bitter End with Leslie, Joe, Jeremy, Mark Trammell, Richard, Andy, Jon, Dave, Craig, Rob, Stan, Malarkey, with Ethan, Dan, Derek and Ryan Irelan (I know there were more of our people lurking about) stuck at the “kid’s table(s)”
  • Regaled the Brits with stories of aerosol cheese
  • I took a nasty (sober) fall right outside of the restaurant stepping down from the curb into a giant pothole, almost spraining my ankle
  • Cab to the Closing Party with Leslie, Dave and Jeremy.

Bruce Sterling/SXSW Closing Party

  • Arrived and ordered a “Smelly Bishop” with my drink ticket (Earlier in the day Derek was telling me about a drink called the “Smiling Jerry,” at dinner Jonder was telling us about a very stinky cheese he’d recently had, the Stinking Bishop. The wires must gotten have crossed—that explains why the bartender looked at me sideways and I had to tell him what to mix!)
  • Finally met Eric Meyer, a Mike (last name?) that lives around the block from him, Julie (last name?)
  • Pic with Ryan Sims, bye to him and Nixlog

Rounding Out the Evening

  • Cab with Leslie, Derek and Richard to 3304 Locke Lane (thanks to whoever threw that bash (Ben Brown))
  • There was some confusion over which square on the grid we were heading to, 6J or 6U, but The Dragon sorted it out for the cabbie
  • The cabbie, also named Richard, and Leslie almost came to blows in an argument over whether she was actually from Jersey—he pegged her as English because by this point we were all pretty much speaking like the Brits (Leslie kept saying she needed the loo)
  • Met Lane Becker chatting with Leslie
  • Cab (driven by Joe) back to the Hilton for last call with Leslie, Andy Budd and Ethan
  • Missed last call at the Hilton lounge so we strolled down to 6th
  • Made last call at Maggie Mae’s, things got a little hectic
  • Went back to the Hampton and just chilled in 1508 until 20 minutes to 4am when Andy had to leave for the airport and Jeremy had the good sense to kick us all out (for which he is deeply sorry and ashamed but he had been awake for two days at that stage (no harm, no foul friend)). Us being myself, Ethan, Andy, Jeremy, Richard, Leslie and towards the end Dunstan.

Departure: Wednesday, March 16th 2005

  • Woke up late and recorded a toned-down version of What’s the Word (it wasn’t that late in the morning)
  • Leslie wasn’t feeling so great so I went down and grabbed breakfast
  • Ribbed by Dave Shea over my choice of pink ringer tee shirt
  • Around noon we came back downstairs to chill with the remaining Brits, Dan and the Phili-boos, bemoaning the uselessness that would again befall our Rendezvous chat windows upon returning home
  • Said our goodbyes to Richard (who was staying for the music) and Craig
  • Took a cab to the airport with Leslie and Jeremy
  • Once inside the airport we met back up with Stan, Rob and Dan and bumped into Josh and Sooz
  • While looking for food we found Joe Clark who was looking for an electric outlet but settled on human interaction
  • We all had lunch, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways

Some events I can’t place temporarily

Feel free to plug these in above if you can:

Tiger RSS Screensaver
Virtual Impossibility
Shaun Inman
March 28th, 2005 at 12:28 am
017 (Now closed)



Note to self, need to add a “Reason” field to better keep track of changes to longer content. Also, seems a little buggy in Safari. Playing with it a for a couple minutes results in a crash. Haven’t pinned it down to one particular action though…

Shaun Inman
Mar 27th, 2005 7:52 pm

Very nice. Love the Wicked!

Favorite feature: Reference to “Meatspace Stan”.

Mike D.
Mar 27th, 2005 9:00 pm

Very nice idea. You remember much more than I do actually, little flavorful details like cab driver’s names. In the few weeks since getting back I’ve been following all the Flickr galleries and blog postings, and it’s clear I missed so many great events I wish I could have been a part of. I’m looking forward to next year.

And let me offer my official congrats on the impending hitch. I didn’t known the engagement was so fresh when we met.

Craig C.
Mar 27th, 2005 9:20 pm

Sounds like an awesome time. I too am impressed by your ability to remember stuff, because stuff (in general) is something that I can’t remember. I’d love to make it to SXSW some time.

The Wicked application looks pretty sweet. I only had one problem: in Firefox/Win you can’t scroll a div with the scrollwheel. It’s been ages since I gave up on scroll bars, and it’s become quite difficult for me. : )

Mar 27th, 2005 11:20 pm

Scott, that’s a browser deficiency (which I may have a fix for). As far as I know only IE PC has the ability to scroll overflow: auto; scrollbars with a mouse scrollwheel without any additional JavaScripting.

Everyone else, maybe until I add the “Reason” field you could quickly mention what you’ve edited in the comments here.

Other notes to self, add scrollwheel support for Firefox (Safari doesn’t support the required events yet) and check into the locking mechanism to make sure that I’m providing adequate feedback in the Ajax version of Wicked.

Shaun Inman
Mar 28th, 2005 3:17 am

that application is slicker than grease!

Phil Renaud
Mar 28th, 2005 6:34 am

not only is wicked awesome — so is your memory! i filled in my name and url…

Scott Kidder
Mar 28th, 2005 6:58 am

The Wolf and The Dragon shall ride again!!

Derek Featherstone
Mar 28th, 2005 10:09 am

Hahaha, thanks. Now I have this image of Harvey Keitel and Bruce Lee driving around in black suits talking about the differences between fast-food at home and abroad.

Shaun Inman
Mar 28th, 2005 10:17 am

Just added Ryan Irelan - he was at the “kids table” with myself, Dan and Ethan…

Derek Featherstone
Mar 28th, 2005 11:17 am

This is fun, much more fun (or funner) than editing the average wiki…

smiles, jen ;o)

Ms. Jen
Mar 28th, 2005 7:25 pm

Fixed spealling of my name, added a link to my site, added Krista Stevens (of Digital Web Magazine) to the Web Awards recap and Jason Landry to the Paradise group.

Aaron Gustafson
Mar 29th, 2005 8:18 am

Also added the posse that went to IronWorks for BBQ (which we were all sad you guys couldn’t stay for).

Aaron Gustafson
Mar 29th, 2005 8:24 am

Excellent, I meant to ask for that. (Sorry about the spelling mistake.)

Shaun Inman
Mar 29th, 2005 8:31 am

Shaun - Wicked is a fabulous little app. Crashed my Safari eventually too, though. Added a few little details to the narrative, including an admission of guilt.

Richard Rutter
Mar 30th, 2005 12:50 am

Awesome idea. I added the link to the errorwear site for those who want to get the Pacman shirt.

Shaun, I want to add your “Actually, the blood on my site was Jason’s” quote (it was funny, and the subject of another discussion at PF Chang’s later), but I can’t remember when it was that you said it.

Sergio Villarreal
Mar 31st, 2005 5:25 am

I believe it was after HiFi Design with CSS, but I can’t say for sure.

Aaron Gustafson
Apr 1st, 2005 4:22 am