Tuesday, April 14, 2015

SxSW 2015: the sessions that got away

SxSW is always crammed pack with so much great stuff, I have a hard time deciding what to attend. Sometimes, the crowds decide for me. I was locked out of more than one session at the last festival.

I'm looking forward to sharing some the take-aways from the sessions I did attend, but for perspective on the scope of SxSW, here a list of the session I wanted to see, but didn't get to...

  • Simple Ways to Massively Increase Your Content #content123
  • Neuroplasticity and Tech: Why Brands Have to Change #neurobrand
  • New Media Ethics: Journalism in the Age of GIFs #newethics
  • The Art and Science of Shareability #shareable
  • Do You Know the ROI of WOM? Do You Want To? #ROIofWOM
  • The Emperor’s New Wearables #SXstyle
  • How to Rock SXSW in 4 Hours #sxsw #timferriss
  • NASA New Initiatives in Imagery for Public Use
  • Content Marketing vs Don Draper: The End Of Ads #MPost
  • Visual Storytelling: The Power of Design + Data #TDSXSW
  • UX and The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle #Heisenberg
  • Behind the Social at PBS' Largest Content Provider #WGBHSocial
  • How SciFi Drives Marketing In the Exponential Age #sxsw #innovate
  • Brand and Deliver: Creating Custom Branded Content #sxsw #branded
  • Beyond BFFs: Using Texting to Promote Empathy #T2C
  • Picturing Your Big Ideas
  • The Quantified Us
  • How the Google App Finds Answers Before You Search
  • Digital Disruption: Do or Die
  • Paid Editing of Wikipedia: Getting Past "Gotcha"
  • Storytelling For Dummies: Create a Lasting Brand
  • The Road to Character
  • Art and Experience: A Future for Creativity
  • Are You in a Social Media Experiment?
  • Mobile Beyond Marketing: The Era of UnAdvertising
  • Personalization for the People
  • Harvard Business Review On: How to Hire Superstars
  • I Made 180 Websites in 180 Days
  • Wearable Drones: High-Flying Fashion
  • This Is Your Brain On Visual Data
  • Identity In the Future Of Embeddables and Wearables
  • Think Outside the Font: How Typefaces Influence
  • How CNN and The New York Times Moderate Comments
  • Facebook, Twitter and The Future of Free Speech
  • Image Creation and Sharing: Practice vs Policy
  • The Medium Is the Deliverable
  • Princess Reema’s Mission to Empower Saudi Women
  • Are Brands Sabotaging Their Own Content?
  • Managing a Shit Storm and Restoring Your Brand
  • Beyond Marketing: How Curation Will Work for You

Friday, April 3, 2015

My First Uber

SxSW is all about new things and serendipity. Interesting conversations with complete strangers yield surprising new connections and discoveries. On the last day, I "discovered" Uber.

Of course, I'd heard of Uber, but I'd never had a reason or even the opportunity to try it. A random chat with the guys waiting for the shuttle found its way to the topic of Uber. Our fellow shuttler was a big fan and said he'd found himself regularly skipping the shuttle wait and just getting an Uber ride.

He was singing the praises of Uber, demoing the app, touting all its great features, and then suggested, "Hey, let's just take it. It's on me." What did we have to lose?

The app showed five Uber drivers near us. Our self-appointed Uber ambassador clicked a button and our ride was on the way. We saw the driver's name and car description along with an ETA. Three minutes later (no lie!) our ride was there.

The car was spotless and our driver seemed way safer than any cabbie I've ridden with. The final tab was $13.50. We hopped out, then rated the driver and paid through the app. No tipping and no card or cash needed. Bonus: similar cab rides were running folks $30.

My initial understanding of Uber basically being AirBnB for rides was spot on, and my first impression was very favorable. I'll definitely be downloading the app and looking for good opportunities to try it again, but only when I have my husband or another trusted rider in tow.