South By Great Ideas

A day at South by Southwest can be overwhelming, exhilarating, and offer some paradigm shifts.  A quick recap of some of best ideas  from yesterday’s presenters (I have included the Twitter hashtag so you can read the tweets from attendees at each presentation).


Ramez Naam discussed Infinite Resource (#SXInfinite) 

    • Knowledge is not depleted by usage (unlike other comodities).  It can accumulate over time which actually increases the value of knowledge.  Consider the difference between a 1950’s computer and the iPhone.  Knowledge allowed us to shrink the size of the device thousands of times, it uses thousands of times less material, is more powerful, and more people can have their own.
    • The real race for the future viability of planet earth is between consumption and innovation.

Felipe Matos, Heather Cronk, Jackie Mahendra, and Joe Sudbay presented on Waging a War with Social Media (#SXStoryPower)

    •  People on the ground are often willing to go much further in confronting a situation than the organizations who have a mission to solve the same problem.
    • Confronting the moral authority of the White House was the turning moment for their campaign against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Cheryl Contee, Claire Diaz Ortiz, Ramya Raghavan, Robert Wolfe introduced 21st Century Giving: Social Philanthropy’s Rise (#SX21stgiving)

    • YouTube just launched a livestreaming platform to its nonprofit members
    • Twitter has only 2-3 third party platforms for people to give online (TwitPay is one).  This is an area that will expand.
    • Crowdrise has a mission of making fundraising fun.  It has created crests (badges) for donors and fundraisers who reach specific levels.

Brian Seth Hurst, Dina Benadon, Lance Weiler, and Tracy Fullertone discussed Multiplatform Storytelling (#SXfrontline)

    • 10 tips to developing a story:
        • Take time to evaluate the story you want to tell.
        • Ask the hard questions: why would anyone care? Ask this five times.
        • Let go of a single point of view.
        • Consider how to show rather than tell.
        • Make it easy for your audience to become collaborators.
        • Don’t let the world get in the way of your story.
        • Consider something local before you jump to the global.
        • The number of screens doesn’t equal a better experience.  It is much harder to design with simplicity.
        • Fail quickly- you learn more what didn’t work than what did.
        • Keep it simple.  If someone cannot explain it then it will die.

Random great quotes
  • If you are overworked, just do better and higher quality work
  • Optimism is the ultimate weapon, ultimate revolutionary act because it propels people into action
  • In order for people to start a revolution, people have to experience almost hysterical optimism
  • Celebrities should add to the conversation for the causes they support but being too proactive can turn people off.
  • Each technology platform has its own turn-around time for a response (consider the difference between a text message, email, and a comment on a blog post).

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