The Next Best Thing To Being There: How To follow SXSW Online


This week marks the start of one of the years biggest interactive conferences: South By South West Interactive in Austin, TX. While this will be 5 days of none stop discussions on all things related to interactive communications, social media and the future of the web, not everyone can make it to Austin.  In this difficult economic year many people will not have the time or the resources to make it. Because of this I have put together a list of the best ways to follow all of the SXSW action online.

1.Twitter Search

This first one is a no brainer. Twitter has been a staple of SXSW for the past two years and don’t expect for that to change this year. Twitter Search will be a never ending stream of interesting information coming from Austin. I suggest using Tweetdeck, Tweet Grid, Twitterfall and open searches for #SXSW and #SXSWi and watch knowledge start dropping.


2. SXSW FriendFeed Room

If you are looking for a one stop shop for all forms of media surrounding SXSW and you want it all in one browser page than I recommend you take a look at the SXSW 2009 FriendFeed room which has many contributors and pulls in Twitter search feeds as well as other relevant info related to SXSW.


3. Talks Social News

So this one is a shamelss plug, but I had to do it. Wayne Sutton and I will be posting lots of pictures and videos as well as doing daily podcast episodes from Austin on our podcast website If you want SXSW information then we have you covered with our own unique take on the conference.


4. Google Blog Search

This may seem like a simple one, but if blogs are you thing, I recommend setting up an RSS feed for “SXSW” blog search results in Google Blogsearch which should deliver any SXSW related posts straight to your feed reader. For extra credit try multiple search terms like “SXSWi” and “South By South West Interactive” and blend them into one RSS feed using Yahoo Pipes.


5. Twitter Local

One Twitter related service that flies under the radar is Twitter Local.  Download the Twitter Local desktop application and then enter “Austin, Texas” and it will delver you a constant stream of tweets from every one in Austin including the 12,000 people at SXSW!



Alltop is an aggregation site started by entrepreneur and author Guy Kawasaki. The site has pages dedicated to aggregating information on a variety of subjects including SXSW. The Alltop SXSW page offer Twitter search results, tags, Google News and many other sources of information all on one browser page.


Sure their are other ways to track SXSW, but to me these are the best ways to aggregate information related to SXSW and it is almost as good as being there. If you happen to be reading this and are attending SXSW please travel safely and I look forward to meeting you there.

P.S. If you would like to meet at SXSWi sending me a reply or a direct message on Twitter is probably the best way to connect!

2 Responses to “The Next Best Thing To Being There: How To follow SXSW Online”

  1. Thanks for posting this! There is a related discussion going on at FriendFeed on how to build a conference-specific social media portal.

    Eric Berlin at BlogWerds is fleshing out a site that attempts this for SXSW.

  2. Very cool idea. I will check it out!

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