SXSW Interactive 2012

by Brad Berkner

I was able to connect with many of the iMedia students who returned from SXSW Interactive and get a peek at their experience. I asked them what their favorite panel was and a few ideas they could share from that experience.

Lou Tufillaro IV

My favorite panel was The Science of Good Design with Ben Mcallister. He talked about how ambiguous hard science can be, and to trust intuition.

1. Agencies are less creative, trusted and mysterious than they were in the Mad Men days. Creativity has been marginalized.

2. “Scientism” is the same as “truthiness,” and is often overused. The impression of scientific data causes the audience to believe that responsibility lies elsewhere. It can help you sell an idea, but it’s a con. Real science is certain, objective and progressive. In the real world, not much is certain or predictable. We still don’t have solid, conclusive info on the cause and end of the great depression.

3. Research should inform our decisions, not make them for us. When it comes down to it, the best things to believe in are creativity, judgment and intuition.

Cat Climaco Dexel

Tech Superwomen:

Five women – CEOs or high-ranking members of their respective companies

They discussed the mentor-mentee relationship. How to go about finding a mentor and then how to cultivate a productive and positive relationship that benefits both the mentor and mentee. It was great to learn that so many people had reached out to a mentor for help and that so many people out there are willing to mentor young professionals.

Jessica Torrez Riley

I felt a lot of the panels did not necessarily offer new information as affirmation that what we are learning and thinking about in this program is forward thinking and on the right track to a successful career.

In conversations with people, the most valuable knowledge I had came from our theory courses and an ability to have opinions and insights on the newest trends like SoLoMo.

My favorite panel was called Sports Fan in 2015, it looked into the future of mobile technologies and fan culture but not so far ahead as to be unrealistic. It offered some insight into how fan interaction will become more personalized and the rise of second screen even for Fans in attendance, an interesting topic to debate how this enhancement might devalue the organic nature of watching a game.

Jordan Mohr

My favorite panel had to be HTML5 for film. It gave the chance to see how audio/visual components as well as web design flow together.

I learned that you could always be in the most unassuming of places and find great contacts. This experience has given me a lot of confidence in finding out my strengths and weaknesses in networking.

Cassie Gooding

My favorite panel was a talk with Chad Moreta, author of “App Empire.” He spoke a lot about the relationship between designers and developers, how to cultivate a relationship with both clients and your app team, and how to practically establish yourself as an app creator. He told us about tools like O-Desk, where you can find a developer for your app, and stressed that project managers are especially useful for freeing you up to be creative. He ran through practical tips like when to hire help, how much you should spend per app, and how to recognize a good idea from an unprofitable one.

Jessica Gerber

Salary Tutor: Become a Salary Negotiation Rock Star

This solo presenter summed up what he wrote in his book “Salary Tutor”, preparing to discuss your salary range with potential employers. He talked about research and creating a visual infographic showing your skills against what people in the field make. He explained why you should make more than the baseline salary. He also told us not to be afraid to negotiate and that employers expect some type of negotiation.

There was a great deal of valuable information being shared at SXSW. There seemed to be a consensus among the students that panels were extremely beneficial but interactions taking place in lines, grabbing coffee or even just enjoying sites around Austin, provided an equally amazing experience. The two things that seem to ring true about every SXSW Interactive are the wonderful connections and friends you meet along the way.


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