Panel Panic: A Day in the Life of SXSWi

Panel Panic: A Day in the Life of SXSWi (photo)

Posted by on

With four to five or more events happening at one time, at all times, choosing which direction to take can be a daunting task at SXSW Interactive, the portion of the festival devoted to all thing internet. There are plenty of tools to choose from to keep track of what’s available — the main SXSW.com website, Plancast, Sched, and SitBy.us. If you’re the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type and want to follow the crowd, you can always check which panel your friends are at by logging into Foursquare or Gowalla, or do a Twitter search to see which panels are trending.

Personally, I prefer to go in with a basic idea of what I want to cover at a bare minimum, and that includes more than just panels. I want to have a list of some places I must eat at that I know will be nearby, which events and parties I need to attend and what times I need to be near the convention center to check out speakers and panels.

Here’s a good outline to get your started. I’ve got all day Friday planned out for you, follow along or choose your own adventure.

9am to 10am: AOL Seed Lounge

So called “content sweatshops” are a controversial topic right now. Is AOL Seed the enemy, their corporate Borg-like complex churning out an endless stream of articles dictated by algorithms that are supposed to know what generates clickthroughs? Or are they our friend, giving so many freelancers, who often are forced to write for free just to gain attention for paying gigs, actual consistent for-pay writing assignments. It would be worth your while to stop by and find out for yourself and come to your own conclusion.

11am to 12pm, Live performance at 6pm: The IFC Crossroads House

The Crossroads house has free breakfast, wifi and live performances, with a lineup of acts that include The Walkmen, Broken Social Scene, She and Him and Drive By Truckers. If you’re only here for the Interactive, and you’re more into music than BBQ, skip the Tweet House and get here at 6pm on Friday to check out a live set by The Black Angels.

12pm to 1pm: Stubb’s BBQ / La Casa del Fuego

I’m giving you my top two options here near the convention center for lunch. It’s up to you to decide if you can handle the rest of the afternoon after feasting on BBQ at Stubbs or if you would rather grab a great street taco that will hit the spot but not do you in for the rest of the day. I suggest going the Casa del Fuego route, order up one pork taco, one chicken taco, and a can of Dr. Pepper.

03122010_panelpanic2.jpg1:30pm: The Young and The Digital

Check out what should be an interesting panel discussing how social media is being driven and shaped by the under-30 set, how to leverage them as an audience, and what they deem as “authentic.”

2:00pm to 3:00pm: How To Rawk SXSW

A good bit of advice on how to balance parties, panels, and everything else. If you’re a newbie to SWSW, leave the Young and Digital early to head over.

2:00pm to 3:00pm: Upstarts! Young Entrepreneurs are Rocking the Business World

If you’re a SXSW vet, skip the Rawk and check out this panel discussing the culture of young entrepreneurism in tech.

3:30pm – 4:30pm: Battledecks

A hysterical competition that mocks the “new new thing” groupthink that sometimes prevails at SXSW. Contestants compete against each other to come up with a narrative on the spot to a random set of ridiculous power-points.

5:00pm – 6:00pm: How To Run A Startup Without A Tech Co-Founder

A panel shows you how to “fake it until you make it.” We all have great ideas, but not all of us have the know-how to make it happen. Here’s a roadmap.

5:30pm – 7:30pm: Tailgate BBQ at the Tweet House

This is invite only, so click the link to RSVP.

Can’t get in? Some of the better parties and events on Friday night:

Tech Set Party (6pm) This kick-off parties is of the biggest at SXSWi.

Ustream Presents “Streaming in your City with Pete Wentz and Gym Class Heroes” (8pm) The former presents the latter in a live performance that will be streamed worldwide

Anthony De Rosa is the cofounder of Neighborhoodr.com. His personal tumblr soupsoup.tumblr.com is, according to Compete, in the top 25 of over 2.3 million tumblogs and among the top 200 blogs in the world listed on Technorati.

[Additional photo: SXSW Interactive Web Awards 2009 emcee Baratunde Thurston – Credit: Matty Greene]


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.