Simon Willison’s Weblog


SXSW 2004

18th March 2004

SXSW 2004 was a blast: by far the geekiest weekend of my life. I was planning on writing a few updates from the conference but quickly discovered that laptops and socialising just don’t mix—there were just too many interesting people to talk to!

A special thanks has to go to Jeremy Dunck, who sorted me out with accomodation on his brother’s couch and gave me a lift up from Dallas to Austin. If he blogs half as smart as he talks his soon-to-be-launched weblog will be an absolute treat.

I attended a whole bunch of panels, and tried to sample a good range of topics. Surprisingly one of the most thought-provoking was Monetizing the Blogosphere, which I went along to purely to see if any fights would break out. It turned out to be a marketing pitch for Weblogs Inc, but their business plan and author package was impressive. Authors get the first $1,000 earned by their blog every month with the rest of the revenue split 50/50. The value proposition is that Weblogs Inc will actively seek advertisers and sponsorship deals—the kind of miserable task that most bloggers would run a mile from. Jason Calacanis added an element of fun to the proceedings by introducing a purple furry monkey as a “proxy” for rival blog promoter Nick Denton, who was unable (or unwilling) to attend the panel.

I hope to write some more about SxSW in the next few days but I’ve come back to a literal mountain of work (it’s NCAA tournament week) so I’ll be pretty busy for a while.

This is SXSW 2004 by Simon Willison, posted on 18th March 2004.

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