Tag Archives: SXSW

Checking into Clay Shirky’s Brain: Social Media as Revolutionary

17 Mar

Clay Shirky is a much respected writer, consultant and teacher on the social and economic effects of internet technologies.

Just how highly Shirky’s knowledge on this area is appreciated was seen during his keynote session at SXSWi with not only over 500 people turning up for this but some attendees checked into the session on Foursquare not under the venue name but rather as being present in Clay Shirky’s brain!



The focus of Shirky’s session was on how social tools such as blogging software, networking sites and online collaboration platforms support group conversation and group action in a way that previously could not be achieved through traditional institutions.

Shirky used the current situation in Egypt as an active example of social

Egyptian Christians join hands to protect praying Muslims in Tahrir Square. Photograph: Nevine Zaki

media being used to support political revolution. His inclusion a powerful photograph of Egyptian Christians joining hands to protect praying Muslims in Tahrir Square, and his call for “more responsive governments” resulted in loud applause from audience members.

He highlighted that any form of media which allows distribution of information, even as far back as the evolution of the printing press has the potential to evoke political change.

Shirky discussed key ways in which the internet has advanced this revolutionary potential-

  • It allows amateurs access to the public sphere.
  • Provides easy group formation and access to each other.
  • Allows not only access to information but more importantly access to conversations.
  • Unites people in a common goal which can then be synchronized into action.

The ideas discussed during his session are explored in more detail in Shirky’s book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations (2008).

SXSW Interview: David J. Neff and The Future of Nonprofits

13 Mar

I caught up with nonprofits innovator and author, David J. Neff during SXSW to discuss his forthcoming book, The Future of Nonprofits: Innovate and Thrive in the Digital Age.  David has written the book alongside Randal C. Moss and it explores  how the future of innovation, internal entrepreneurship, fundraising and social media communications are going to radically reshape the landscape of nonprofits in the next five years.

Neff has been helping nonprofits become more innovative for over 10 years. This includes launching the American Cancer Society’s first software program , building the first ever user-generated Web Site for those affected by cancer, and starting their Social Media, Online Giving and Film departments.

Currently Neff is working on setting up his own nonprofit called Lights. Camera. Help. which aids nonprofits to focus on good through film, education and the world’s first film focused volunteer program.

I spoke to Neff about how The Future of Nonprofits came to be written, the key ways the landscape of nonprofits is going to change over the next few years, how he defines an internal entrepreneur and how nonprofits can use these people to drive development within their organisations. Listen to the interview below.

Visit The Future of Nonprofits website to learn more about the book and the authors.

Check out My Learning Pool to see how Learning Pool are aiding nonprofits and anyone involved in the civil sector to become more efficient and respond positively to increasing budget cuts through a range of engaging, online training modules.

Scheduling and Surviving SXSW

10 Mar

Like their burgers and soft drinks, when it comes to festivals Americans know how to do them big. The largest of these is undoubtedly SXSW. The music, film and interactive festival attracts roughly 12,000 registrants to its Austin home-base each year.

Alongside the great weather and renowned Texas hospitality the festival’s large draw is the diverse and jam-packed schedule which makes up each of its three parts. This year, I’m going along to the interactive section of SXSW.

Planning your schedule can be  over-whelming at first with hundreds of sessions on offer across its five days and the desire to get the most out of your money and air miles.

Given that this is  an interactive event an impressive amount of  online schedule planners and mobile apps have been developed to help registrants get to grips with the sessions and not pass out on day one. Even the most organised of attendees may find their planning levels lowered by over-indulging in the free parties and find themselveswandering aimlessly around the Austin Convention Centre in search of the session they knew they wanted to attend but can no longer remember what it was or when it was on.

I used austin2011.sched.org to plan my schedule which was great as it had not only the official sessions on offer but the unofficial parties and music events not covered on the SXSW Website.

Take a look below at some of the events I hope to attend at SXSW Interactive 2011, well if those parties don’t wear me out on day one…

Friday, 11 March

2.00pm-3.00pm Marketing Budgets Have Gone Social-Is it Working?

5.00pm-6.00pm Why Would We Think Social Media Is Revolutionary?

Saturday, 12 March

9.30am-10.30am The Future of Nonprofits: Thrive and Innovate in the Digital Age

11.00-12.00pm Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

11.30-12.30pm What the Government Can Learn From Amazon

3.30pm-4.30pm Baby’s Gotta Face For Radio: Web Based Radio?

Sunday, 13 March

11.00am-12.00pm Getting Strategic with Social Media for Social Good

12.30pm-1.30pm Bloggers Fight Back: Legal Workshop for Music Bloggers

3.30pm-4.30pm Nonprofits and Free Agents in A Networked World

Monday, 14 March

11.00am-12.00pm Edinburgh, Austin & the Future of Festivals

5.00pm-6.00pm Better Living Through Cloud Computing

Tuesday, 15 March

12.15pm-1.15pm F***cking Old Spice Guy: Race, Sex, Micro-Celebrity

3.30pm-4.30pm Rockin’ the Check-in: Location Strategies for Musicians

And the above doesn’t even include my reserve list….Alongside the playful sessions names, what I like most about the interactive schedule is that it’s not only designed for web developers and  techies but offers something for everyone involved in the online world. It also connects our growing use of the web with traditional communications such as radio and shows the increasing importance of the web on the music industry; great for this media consultant working, music loving, radio addict.

View the full SXSW Schedule here.