Besides all the winning and partying that takes place each year in Stratlandia, there’s a time-honored tradition of every entrepreneur, social media maven and blogger in the world collectively trying to sieze SXSW Interactive, at the same time, as their own private opportunity to create a buzz about whatever new app/book/site they are trying to promote. What you end up with is a noisy festival filled with very noisy people desperately trying to make a whole lot of noise. It’s glorious.
While the Hypeboards are all still set to zero and it’s far too early to predict who will win this year’s SXSW Battle of the Buzz, here are my expert predictions on a few things that will be making a lot of noise in Austin this year.
Group Texting — Last year it was all about the “Location Based” social networking apps like Foursquare and Gowalla, but this year the competition seems hottest in the “text message chat room on your phone” space that allows for text messaging between several people simultaneously (frontrunners are GroupMe, FastSociety and Beluga). Which service will most effectively allow you to navigate a late-night ‘menage a sext’? Standby, because 10 people will text you at the same time to let you know.
New Foursquare — Just because they were last year’s big buzz-winner doesn’t mean Foursquare is ready to totter off into tech-irrelevancy just yet. This week they unveiled a dramatic new update to their mobile experience that will give users even more ways to creatively express themselves with updates on where they’re eating, drinking, and shopping. Sounds like they might become the Mayor of Not Going Anywhere, Buzz-wise.
iPad 2 — Every gadget-fetishizing geek in the world will be in a fairly small city with
one two Apple Stores on the release day of a major new upgrade to the wildly popular iPad. Should be a very cool scene and we’re certain that no one will spaz out about it and turn Austin into a frenzied bloodbath of iPad haves and have-nots.
More Apps To Trick You Into Thinking Spending Money Is Fun — Just getting deals through sites like Groupon and LivingSocial is so last year. Now that hot new strat is early-adopting apps and sites like Shopkick that turn shopping in a totally fun game to play with your friends. There’s definitely no hidden agenda or marketing trickery at work here, it’s just super chill to let everyone know everything you’re buying everywhere you go!
Me — Look, nobody knows how to make noise like me. It’s just another one of the many things of which I am a master. So if you really want the noisiest SXSWi experience possible, stay plugged into all my buzzwaves here at IFC, and in the social media stratosphere on Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and beyond.