After SXSW

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After the event, we are exhausted and invigorated. It’s hard to imagine being both at the same time, but it happens. While students are tired from the constant coverage and exposure to new ideas, they emerge invigorated to explore new topics and directions. For the project, there is a little recovery time. The final two requirements for students after SXSW is to contribute to a presentation that covers our participation and to each develop their own panel proposals for SXSW 2014. The presentation was given to faculty on April 26, and can be found below. View to see how we discussed design, coverage, our Ushahidi project and analytics. Students submitted their own panel proposals, as the final project. We discussed via Google Hangout, provided suggestions for improvement. We’ve had graduates of the project submit their own proposals and been speakers at SXSW in subsequent semesters, but this is the first time that doing so was a requirement of the class. I hope to see several of them on the SXSW 2014 schedule. When the panel picker opens in June, I hope you will vote and comment! I am very pleased with the progression of this project over the years, and Continue reading After SXSW

Covering SXSW

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There’s a lot of preparation that goes into covering SXSW. We don’t just show up and attend panels. Since the event is so large, we spend a lot of time doing previews in advance. This allows students to begin coverage, to start thinking about their schedule and to meet participants. It gets them into the habit of interviewing people, and it takes away some of the anxiety about attending. Granted, there is always anxiety about SXSW, and one can never be completely prepared, but doing this early legwork has been a great advantage. The previews are done via email, phone or in some cases recorded via Skype or Google Hangout. I encourage students to be creative in their preview coverage, finding unique angles. As early as the previous semester, we begin this activity, often having all the students in my Online Media Design class looking at Panel Picker or selected panels and doing write ups. When the SXSW team was selected, they were assigned to do three previews over the holiday break, so they would be ready once the semester began. SXSW comes up quickly in the spring, so there is little time to get things rolling if you want Continue reading Covering SXSW