Disclaimer and editorial note — this is not a rant. I don’t rant in public. This isn’t even constructive criticism. Or as Joseph Cotten misspeaks it in Citizen Kane, when trying to say “dramatic criticism,” this isn’t even crimitism. So anybody at South by Southwest (hereafter #SXSW) please don’t take this the wrong way. I love you guys and wish I were down there feeding the frenzy with the rest of you.
I’ve been on twitter this weekend, like many, and following #SXSW as are many others. Now I’ve not been very disciplined about it, haven’t used search #SXSW but figured instead that highlights would fall out of the river of news flowing from friends in attendance — lord knows they are the uber connected and the best sources and judges of what is gleaming and dull in Austin this year.
But lo, the uber connected are such heavy users that twitter becomes a forum or chat during peak times — #SXSW being a prime example. And so the tweets I’ve been gleaning this weekend have alerted me to plenty of the hallroom banter and ballroom backchannel chat, the hotel lobby overheards and happy hour merriment. But I have no idea what’s shining this year at #SXSW.
it just seems ironic that the social media gurus in attendance are (of course) primarily talking to each other on twitter this year. This says something about how we use it, and especially when those using it are actually in the same place. Twitter need not then be used to push out to the outside world, but is used by people finding and meeting people at the event itself.
When we’re in our own places, twitter helps to thread connections and span the space that separates us. When we’re together, it serves as semi-public chat channel and backstage pass. All of which just goes to show that how we use technologies to talk is determined less by the technology, and more by our sense of who we’re talking to.
I do wish I were there — to learn about what’s going on though i may have to turn to the blogosphere!