SXSWi 2012: Trends & Panels

Devon Smith
Aug 30, 2011 · 5 min read

Voting for SXSW 2012 ends this Friday, and I’ve been racing to scan through all 3, 278 submissions to try to find the gems, to find friends who are also proposing, to find some clue into the future of tech. I collected a bit of data during last year’s panelpicker process, but never got around to using it, so…tada! Last year was the first time that Interactive eclipsed Music, and there is much consternation every year that South-by has jumped the shark, has become too much about marketing, too many startups trying to launch. But this year the total number of panel submissions is up 40%, and the Marketing category continues to dominate — 11% of entries last year fell into the Marketing bucket, this year it’s 17%. You can also check out this rad data viz of common words & themes in panelpicker descriptions.

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With the massive increase in number of proposals, and decrease in categories, it’s totally overwhelming to browse the panelpicker this year, IMHO, even with the seemingly random, “You Might Also Like” sidebar. So, in the spirit of the zillion other SXSWi 2012 panelpicker recommendation posts out there…In no particular order:

Panels I’m Involved In:

Friends, colleagues, & people/orgs I admire/adore:

Panels I’m Most Likely To Actually Attend:

And a few awards

There are mountains of panels on arts & artists I discovered in my browsing. So many in fact, I predict next year there will be a dedicated category. A longer post delving into the following list will (hopefully! If I can get my act together before voting ends Friday!) follow on 2amt.

The Arts

Not to mention a ton of other lists of great panels you should check out.

Did I miss anything/anyone? Any of you planning on going to SXSW this year? Rock the Vote!

Quick note: I have NO IDEA why wordpress broke my header images. Ignore. Now off to investigate.

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