Breakfast with the Blogroll

True to form, I’m late to the SxSWi 2006 wrap-up write-up game. The value and essence of South By South West has already been described and captured by far more capable writers than I. As a result this post is less “why you should attend” and more “it was great to meet all of you.” There will be far less name-dropping than last year’s post (because I will inevitably forget someone) but Mint doorbells will still be ringing.


There was some scheduling confusion regarding our return flight which ended up being at 10am rather than 4pm. (We’re doing a lot of travel in the near future, the original time we told everyone was actually for our return flight from Boston in April—not Austin!) Fortunately we made an early night of it and had time to pack and set the alarm. But instead of the anticipated leisurely breakfast with the usual Hampton Inn crew we were in a cab to the airport before most anyone else was up. Sans goodbyes. sniff


Over the course of the week I participated in two panels, Hollistic Web Design and Does Your Blog Have a Business? Everyone on both panels did a great job but I want to give an extra nod to Garret Dimon and DL Byron for being superb moderators. (Thanks for the Clip-n-Seal Byron!) Some guy named Carl has posted all of the files from the Hollistic panel.

There was a question at the end of the Blog/Business panel (transcripts available) about building an audience that I didn’t have a chance to chime in on due to time. Some of the other panelists talked about using lean mark-up and writing howto articles. My response would be to produce relevant content (howtos are an example of this) but more importantly you need to engage the community your content serves. This includes participating in relevant discussions on other’s blogs, helping where you can in forums and contributing to or creating community projects like A List Apart, Designologue or the CSS Zen Garden. If you make worthwhile contributions abroad people are going to be more likely to take a lasting interest in what you are saying on your own site.


While in Austin I had the pleasure of doing two interviews. The first with Geoffrey Grosenbach was the Rails Podcast (available now, no direct link though). We discussed Ruby and Rails from the perspective of a PHP developer and whether or not the LAMP combo was the right decision for Mint. The second interview was with Josh Owens and Chris Saylor for the Web 2.0 Show. We talked mostly about what happened to ShortStat 2.0 and how Mint evolved to meet the community’s and my own needs.

Mint Meetup

It seems like every other person I met at SXSW had something nice to say about Mint. Looking out into the audience during panels you were sure to spot someone checking their Mint installation or their Newest Unique Referrers feed. I had an opportunity to meet a Pepper developer or two and flesh out some ideas to improve the Pepper API. Maybe next year I should organize a night of mojitos and Mint juleps. Mint by South West?

Now for some Miscellaneous Superlatives

Most Awkward Introduction

Spelling Veerle Pieters’s name (V-E-E-R-L-E?) for fear of mispronouncing it and making a fool out of myself. Kind of backfired. Now that she mentions it, Leslie chasing down poor Catherine from Boston who was wearing my HatP Weapon tee to breakfast ranks pretty high too.

Most Arch-Nemesis

Jake Ingman.

Best Nick Tagline

Mike D. on the Wolf: “Where problems go to die.”

Most Thoughtful Gift

The “got mint?” tee that Paul Nixon and crew picked up for me during dinner on their final night in town.

Most Unique Business Card

A tie between @media 2006 and Terra Incognita.

Best Use of a Grid on a Business Card

No contest, Khoi Vhin’s card for

Flashiest Business Card

Seed Media Group. Ooh, shiny.

Most Tactile Business Card

Easily goes to Mike Davidson, CEO of Newsvine. Suede is the new blog. (I think Mike’s card did two laps in my wallet, it’s looking a little worse for wear.)

Most Homemade Business Card

A tie between Jason Santa Maria (is a graphic designer) and Rob Weychert. Stan went the extra mile and rounded the corners while Rob is big pimpin’ with gold foil. These Philly chumps have too much time on their hands. Isn’t there a giant cracked bell in need of repair?

Biggest Regrets

Not making it out for a few drinks with Tom Coates and pals from Flickr on the last night. Not catching up with Timothy Gray despite being in Austin for almost an entire week. Not having something more interesting to say when I had a chance to talk with Jason Kottke and the guys from Skinny Corp.

New Faces and Old Friends

It was great seeing friends from last year: the extended Philly and Brit Pack contingent, our northern neighbors, ghosts from old haunts (New England), chums from the Northwest and those from the warmer states.

With all the people I met last year I was afraid that my poor, over-taxed brain wouldn’t be able to make room for all the new faces and names. It held up pretty well but there are certainly some gaps. I didn’t take daily notes each night before bed this year so illuminating those dark recesses is proving a bit challenging. Do me a favor, if our meeting was blotted out by a Rusty Nail or the time between the events and my writing this, add yourself back into my history below (but please save the historical fiction for a another time).

South By South Wicked

I’ll be fleshing this out over the course of the next few days. Feel free to add yourself including links to appropriate Flickr photos and blogs.

Arrival: Thursday, March 9th, 2006

  • An uneventful flight (no engagements this year)
  • Lunch at P.F. Changs with Leslie
  • Met Veerle, Geert and Kenneth at the Hampton Inn
  • Bumped into Andy and Molly in the lobby
  • Had dinner at the Paradise with a lot of Brits, Belgians (and some Americans). Ran into Garrett, Eris and party.
  • Promised Steve I’d post a link to some older original tunage
  • Ended up at Buffalo Billiards. Met Anton, Patrick Haney, and Brits Steve and Dave
  • Called it an early night

Day Zero: Friday, March 10th, 2006

An Expedition

  • With Leslie, Jeremy, Jessica, Richard, Craig Cook, Stuart Colville, Chris, Ms. Jen, Lauren, and Aaron
  • Went to the Wholefoods mothership for lunch and then across the street to Waterloo for some music
  • Picked up the newish Boards of Canada, Beth Orton and Jack Johnson albums


  • Bumped into the Pixelworthy crew. Met Dan Mall, Josh Lane, Jon, Michael. I missed some introductions because I had to run back up to the room (Greg and Liz maybe?).
  • Finally met my internet heroes Rob Weychert and Jason Santa Maria.

The Registrant Lounge

  • Immediately tore the Velcro off my badge lanyard, preferring to tie it off (the stitching was irritating).
  • Caught up with Ryan and Gillian Carson and Gareth Knight over free beer and water

Dinner at 219 West

  • With a very large group. My table ended up being Gareth, Ryan, and Stuart. Leslie almost scored our group a private room. Instead our sole waiter received a very generous tip.
  • I think I “sold” Gareth a twenty pound note for ten dollars. Something tells me that starting with a Jack and Coke, a Shiner Bock and a Jagerbomb was not the way to go. Always a good idea to pace yourself with a glass of water per beverage.

Break Bread with Brad at the Ginger Man

  • Met Jeff Croft, Wilson Miner, James Asher, Shannon (rhymes with cannon), Eric Rice, and more
  • Introduced Jeff (who doesn’t drink beer) to the Belgian Kwak
  • Ran into Jason and Trey who we met last year at SxSW and saw again at Cre824

Day One: Saturday, March 11th, 2006

  • Did some Mint hacking during breakfast

Traditional Design and New Technology

How to be a Web Design Superhero

  • Hey look, it’s me! As the Green Lantern!
  • I may have met my arch-nemesis and Dane before this session…

Lunch at Moonshine

  • With the Hollistic Web Design panel members, Eris, Jason, Garret and…
  • Met some guy named Carl for the first time

Coudal/Fried Opening Remarks

How to Bluff Your Way in DOM Scripting

  • Aaron gives me a nod for the scrolling script used in Mint and on the MORE website. Original props go to Travis Beckham.

Starting Small: Web Business for the Rest of Us

  • I was sitting next Dunstan for most of the panel, only realized this at the end though

Rails Podcast Interview with Geoffrey

Wine and Cheese in Ms. Jen’s Room

  • With a cozy group consisting of Ms. Jen, Geoffrey, Lauren, Veerle, Geert, Kenneth, Alun, Jon and Leslie
  • Leslie stayed in after that
  • Tried to hook up with Ethan et al
  • Some went on in search of the Frog Design party, others sought sustenance

Dinner at the Iron Cactus

  • With Geoffrey, Alun, Geert, Jon, Kenneth and Veerle
  • Spied a pale Jeff Croft and Wilson Minor being seated as we were finishing up

South By North West at the Iron Cactus

  • Once dinner was done we sauntered into the back room to say hello to the Blue Flavor/Newsvine crews
  • Met a lot of people. At one point I thought I was talking to Stuart (a Brit) but I was actually talking to Wade from Bright Corner (a Texan). That was before any margaritas found their way into my grasp. Met Bryan Veloso, Dan Rubin, Jon and Heather Armstrong, Greg Storey, a guy from Maryland, Michael Buffington (was able to convince him that we could still be friends despite his involvement in Measure Maps and that he thought I was sleeping through his Small Business panel), and Andrea Schwandt-Arbogast. Crossed paths with Glenda “The Good Witch” Sims and many more I’m sure—this room was packed!

Day Two: Sunday, March 12th, 2006

Sink or Swim: Important Startup Decisions

  • Almost overlooked this one until the Pixelworthy crew told me that Cabel Sasser and Joel Spolsky were going to be there.

  • Met John Gruber (although this may have happened earlier), Cabel and his girlfriend, Paul from Apple, and Ryan Brill (I met Ryan’s brother later in the week but can’t place the event temporally).

Skipped a panel?

Lunch at the Iron Cactus

  • Ran out to steal a passing Rob Weychert away from Dan Mall
  • With Leslie, the Carsons, Gareth, Trey and Jason, Ryan Brill, Jeff, James, Craig Cook, and eventually Rob
  • Craig scores a free Mint license by toting my forgotten laptop back from lunch

Heather Armstrong and Jason Kottke Keynote

Green Room preparing for…

Hollistic Web Design

  • Met Vanessa Tan who travelled 14 hours from Singapore to visit SXSW

Sushi with just Leslie

  • We ended up bailing on Keith Robinson et al so that Leslie could find onion-free food and not die

Web Awards

  • Met up with Designolegend fashionvictim and the guys and gals from Cotton Blend
  • Byran Veloso takes the Web Award for the Blog category thus jinxing my entire table (sorry Tracey!)
  • Took Leslie back to the hotel

Web Awards After Party at Club DeVille

  • With Jason, Eris, the P-dub crew, Greg Storey, Paul Nixon with “Nixon’s Vixens” (sorry Shelby, Bronwyn), Mike, Wilson, Jeff
  • In a jealous rage at not having a Web Award in hand that night I “accidentally” kicked a Rusty Nail in Michael’s face. Shock and awe!

Day Three: Monday, March 13th, 2006

Green Room preparing for…

  • Met DL Byron and Phoebe Espiritu for the first time

Does Your Blog Have a Business

  • Met another Leslie from SCAD who was an SXSW volunteer

Skipped lunch to do the Web 2.0 Show

  • Grabbed a pizza from the lounge

Craig Newmark Keynote

  • Tackled some email in the overflow room

Designing for Community

  • Finally met Kelly McCarthy (Aaron’s wife)

Design Eye for the List Guy

Dinner at Moonshine

  • With, at my table, Scott Sims, Leslie, Kelly and Aaron, Veerle and Geert, Kenneth, and Lauren, and at the other table…they were to my back but I know Glenda, Craig, Andy, Ms. Jen, Jon, Alun and Andrea were there.

Velvet Spade

  • Ran into Brad and yet another Leslie, both from SCAD. Three Leslies from SCAD in one day? Zoinks.
  • Bumped into Jason and Trey, Dave and Lauren, Ryan and Gareth, Ethan, Rich, Dustin, and more (too damn crowded)
  • Had a nice talk with Jamin before we decided to bail

The Sidebar

  • Tracked down Ethan, Rob, Ryan, Greg, Paul, Shelby, Bronwyn, Mike, and Eris. Met Brett Woitunski

Day Four: Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

Skipped the first panel

  • Bid a fond farewell to Kenneth and helped Veerle fix images in comments on her blog

Designing the Next Generation of Web Apps


  • With Andy and Leslie at the Old Pecan Street Cafe

Skipped the keynote to explore the exhibit hall

  • Bought Object Oriented PHP Solutions Volume II, expected more.
  • Ran into Drew, Dustin, Simon and Natalie (?) who told me about…

The Orthley Children and Their Computer

  • _why is one crazy dude

Bruce Sterling: The State of the World

The Final Wine and Cheese

  • With Craig, Alun, Jon, Leslie, Ms. Jen, Dave, Lauren, Jessica, Cindy Li, Glenda, Richard, Jeremy, Veerle, Geert, James Craig, Keith, Trey, and Jason (how did we fit so many people into one room?)

Dinner at P.F. Changs

  • See above

Media Temple SXSW Closing Party at the Foundation

  • Met Jason and Scott from Media Temple, formally met Amber, Tantek’s birthday surprise, someone claiming to be Hayo Bethlehem (all hugs, that guy)
  • Said goodbyes to Crofty, Miner and Asher, Zeldman’s Angels with Rob and Ethan
  • Everyone wanted a picture with the “got mint?” tee

Departure: Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

  • No time for nothin’
  • Verrry bumpy landing in Baltimore, so bumpy, I thought we were going to have to take another pass at it
While my ukulele gently weeps
Shaun Inman
March 20th, 2006 at 2:57 pm
028 (Now closed)



This is simultaneously the most awesome and most ridiculously obsessive-compulssive post I’ve ever read.

Thanks for reminding me of all the good times, man. :)

Jeff Croft
Mar 20th, 2006 10:12 am

I kept telling myself that I wasn’t going to break out the Wicked this year, that it was just too self indulgent. I wrote the proceeding post to make up for it, but in the end I wanted to remember all this stuff—so there you go. :D

Shaun Inman
Mar 20th, 2006 10:17 am

Late, but awesome. I like the business card gallery the best.

Corey Csuhta
Mar 20th, 2006 10:19 am

You know it was a memorable event because we somehow got Jeff to drink a beer. That, in and of itself, is an earth-shattering event.

James Asher
Mar 20th, 2006 10:33 am

Shaun, it was awesome to meet you. You are such a kind guy with a great sense of humor, and you just keep truckin’ even when you’ve been punched in the throat.

I’m sorry my friend Jake had to be such a jerk, making you cry in front of your entire panel and everything. If you behave yourself maybe we’ll invite you to our panel next year.

Mar 20th, 2006 10:40 am

You rang?

You should have scored one of the “luxury” music badge lanyards with the clip instead of the ghetto velcro. Much less chafe-i-licious.

As I said before, it was flippin’ great meeting you. Sorry I stole your “breakfast with your blogroll” tagline. I’ll give it back next year.

Wilson Miner
Mar 20th, 2006 11:09 am

South by Mint West

Stefan Hayden
Mar 20th, 2006 12:18 pm

Bam, Stefan nails it!

Shaun Inman
Mar 20th, 2006 12:18 pm

Great to meet you Shaun, I had a great time with Ryan, Gareth and your good self.

It’s fair enough about the mix-up with the Texan, there were plenty of us baldies at SXSW and that wasn’t the only case of mistaken identify for me, although the other one did at least involve another Brit!

Stuart Colville
Mar 20th, 2006 1:48 pm

It was great to meet you and Leslie! And the intro wasn’t awkward at all! :D That Harry and the Potters shirt is one of my favorites and I was super pumped to meet the guy who designed it. Yay!

Mar 20th, 2006 5:12 pm

The fact that you can remember this much is freakishly wierd. I remember having a beer on day one with two buddies… then goint to a panel or two, then going out to get more beers… then taking a shower, then going to another panel, then going out for more beer… yea, you get the pattern.

Dustin Diaz
Mar 20th, 2006 8:24 pm

When writing my own wrapup I found myself hard-pressed to remember anything about the panels. For me the days were all a blur, but I have distinct and joyous memories of meals and nights out with rockstar geekerati.

Craig C.
Mar 20th, 2006 11:00 pm

So nice meeting you and Leslie and hoping to see y’all in London for @media. If not, we’ll certainly meet again next year cause I’m hooked to sxsw for sure. Now it’s just a question of remembering all those other names and faces for an entire year… right? We should do a proper directory :-)

Mar 20th, 2006 11:39 pm

hehe late as always but still v. good

Mar 21st, 2006 6:55 am

Hey man - was great to see y’all again this year. Let’s keep it rollin for 2007.

Mar 21st, 2006 12:46 pm

Oh and @ Kenneth — someone should make a SXSW yearbook. We could have attendies submit photos and such and then maybe print on demand for people going. That way, at the closing parties we could pass around and get signatures, etc.

Mar 21st, 2006 12:48 pm

It was great to finally meet you this year, and a shame you don’t live in Boston anymore (at least for me anyway). Too bad we didn’t really get to talk much, but I put the blame on this being my first SXSW, so I had way too many people to meet.

Anyway, great recap, the best one I’ve seen yet. Keep on keepin’ on.

Patrick Haney
Mar 21st, 2006 12:52 pm

I was honored to have made your “Biggest Regrets” list, but then I read your account of the week. I must have been the only one left in Austin that you didn’t see. {;o)

There’s always next year!

Timothy Gray
Mar 21st, 2006 1:08 pm

Hey Shaun, guess I’m late coming to this party as well… but I wanted to say it was an honor to finally meet you. You’re an awesome person and I hope we could probably collaborate on one… or two things. (Maybe a podcast?)

Anyway.. next year you have to make it to the bowling event and both our asses will be kicked and tables jinxed when another newbie from nowhere wins “Best Blog” at the web awards. ;) Also, we must get our revenge on Snook for this debacle.

Expect an email from me soon… if it doesn’t find itself in your spam-box first. Take care!

Bryan Veloso
Mar 21st, 2006 3:46 pm

I just wonder are there any types of cources online? About bloging or so on? If yes, please drop a links here, maybe another post?

Mar 21st, 2006 4:18 pm

Just wanted to say hi. We chatted for a minute on the couch at the Adaptive Path + Consumating party and it was great to finally meet you! Take care!

Travis Schmeisser
Mar 22nd, 2006 7:18 am

I was really happy you posted pictures of business cards. Thanks!

Do any of you have a specific printing company you recommend for business cards?

James (not Jim)
Mar 23rd, 2006 1:43 am

“…someone claiming to be Hayo Bethlehem (all hugs, that guy”

Ah, that must have been Zach, being drunk.

Hayo Bethlehem
Mar 24th, 2006 2:43 am

Ha, I thought he looked an awful lot like Zach (who I had already met) but it was dark and he was dodgy and huggy.

Shaun Inman
Mar 24th, 2006 4:22 am

Glad I ran into you. And nice to meet Leslie, too.

FYI, since you mentioned you liked the logo on my biz card, Mark Paat of Letter Thirteen designed it.

Mar 24th, 2006 7:09 am

You got that Hayo Belthlehem thing wrong, i spoke of Hayo. It WAS me instead. And yes, I hugged WAY too many people. Damn liquor.

Zach Inglis
Mar 24th, 2006 8:42 am

Hmmm…. how did we get so many people in one room? Ha! Extra-dimensional magic… yeah… that’s it…

I was sad at breakfast on Wed to find ya’ll had left early.

I have to agree with Craig that the panels were a blur, but then again, so were most of the parties. I will chalk it off to jet lag…


Ms. Jen
Mar 26th, 2006 3:50 am

Most arch-nemesis huh? Well I’m honored, but this doesn’t change things between us.

Jake Ingman
Apr 1st, 2006 4:53 am