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Panel Panic: A Day in the Life of SXSWi

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

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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 website, Plancast, Sched, and 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 His personal tumblr 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]


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:


The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.


They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!


Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.


Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.



Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”


IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?

Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!

Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.

Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 


IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.