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SXSW 2011 – Keeping People Connected

Photo by Rick Kern

Jumping from panel to panel and party to party, it was so exciting to be a part of SXSW® 2011. Loads of creativity, brainpower and technology thrived while thousands of festival goers took to the streets, the Convention Center, meeting rooms and nearly every nook and cranny of downtown Austin.

When reflecting on SXSW and everything that happened over the course of the ten day festival, what really excites me is the main underlying reason why SXSW exists: to connect people with other people. As THE networking event of the year, it was exhilarating to see so many people interacting. People from all over the world and from all creative walks of life were socializing and exchanging information right and left.

In a span of about 10 minutes I, a web writer, was brushing elbows with graphic designers, movie producers and even CEOs of major publishing companies. Even for those of us who weren’t necessarily at the festival to “network,” it felt great to have interactions with so many different people, which directly related to my main takeaway from the panels I attended: make personal connections. Whether you’re creating personal content (Panel: The Future of Content is Personal) or interacting one-on-one with people benefiting from your product (Keynote: Blake Mycoskie, Founder of TOMS® Shoes), it’s so important to be able to connect with one another and relate as human beings.

In my post-SXSW euphoria, I’m really happy to be a part of a company that helps people connect, much like SXSW does. It’s also nice to know that people can make meaningful connections in so many ways and in such a short period of time. Social barriers, distance and a lack of technology can no longer prevent people from meeting and sharing globally, so let’s keep that SXSW momentum going and keep connecting!

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