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[liberationtech] My SXSW exposé in the Washington Post!

Shava Nerad shava23 at
Fri Mar 15 03:17:35 PDT 2013,31617/

The Onion scooped you.

I think I saw this guy at Burning Man...;)

Srsly, good job, but you know, Twitter had their coming out party there in
2007 at the first Interactive and I spoke there - most of the panels were
on marketing or the game industry.

But my ex-fiance performed at a steampunk benefit for EFF that made them a
lot of money and probably a lot of new adherents they'd never have reached.

I spoke at the seventh most popular panel of Interactive that year:
"Blogging Where Speech isn't Free" - among stellar companions.  The room
was full and likely over half the people in that room flew to Texas on
their company's marketing budgets.  Perhaps for them this was renewal?

There are different ways to look at it - waste, or opportunity, or a
combination of these (keeps you sane and in perspective, I suspect ).

Interactive is that new though - I don't think it's been a counterculture
thing at root ever.  How would you fund it?  Foundation grants?  That's

In this economy Austin is probably up against the wall funding their big
party though.  I'm not surprised they are dropping standards to trade-show
tawdry.  I suspect it's a survival compromise against maintaining scale.

They are braced for flak if they are smart, and ready to sit it out.

Ideally they will never become just a trade show, and stop democratically
selecting panel topics and doing the other cool things SXSW/I rightly
prides themselves on - but this kind of behavior could transform their
voting demographic, hmmmm?  The dangers of democracy.  That would have been
a nice point in the article.


Shava Nerad
shava23 at
On Mar 15, 2013 4:53 AM, "Hamdan Azhar" <hamdan.azhar at> wrote:

> This past weekend, I attended South by Southwest Interactive in Austin. I
> wrote an article exposing corporate dominance of the event and the conflict
> between that reality and the counter-culture aspirations of the event's
> attendees. It was published in The Washington Post!
> Enjoy :)
> Regards,
> Hamdan
> P.S. Follow me on Facebook <> and
> Twitter <>, even Instagram!
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