SXSW Interactive – Quick Recap of Days 2 & 3

Well, I’m still in Austin and just wrapped up day three of the panel portion of #sxswi. These last couple of days have been packed full of some of the most passionate, useful information I have encountered in a very, very long time.

It is incredibly refreshing to see that so many of the people I have heard speak are sincerely committed to creating real communities and solving complex problems through interactive mediums. I have to admit I was really overwhelmed with the realization that I was sharing a collective space (granted it was a huge space, but at least we were in the same geographic location) with some of the most innovative minds in the world.

Rather than spend hours typing out 20 boring overviews of the panels I attended, I’m going to leave you all with some of the most salient key points from just a couple of these panels.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share more info on specific panels I found really useful and worth discussing in greater detail.

I’ll also provide you with links and twitter names, so you can learn more about these projects on your own time!

1. Scott Heiferman –

Scott hosted an inspiring panel called ‘How to Spark a Movement in the 21st Century’.

Key points for consideration:

  • A movement is not a campaign, not a trend, not awareness or even an action. It’s a feeling – its momentum – it begins and ends with big change.
  • What you want is accidents, serendipity. You want to see leaders emerge, lead your followers to lead andwatch what happens after they connect and share stories.
  • Be everywhere, be engaged and connect with other like-minded people locally.
  • Use online to get offline
  • Get followers and fans to get behind a movement. Get them connected globally and then get them to meet locally.
  • Set up situations that create opportunities for individuals to take responsibility and engage in leadership. Empower your community.

2. Ze Frank – & @zefrank

I learned about who Ze Frank was through another channel I follow on YouTube – VlogBrothers.  I honestly had no idea he was as inspiring, compassionate and thoughtful as he was during this panel. His transparency and realness were incredibly endearing and reminded all of us, I’m sure, that we are not alone in feeling anxious and scared about sharing our thoughts and ideas with the rest of the world.

One great point Ze brought up was in reference to how we need to be a little more patient and forgiving of ourselves when it comes to creative ideas.  He mentioned that we don’t know where the ideas come from, so we have to be patient and let them reveal themselves.  “Recognize that there is an element of creativity that requires patience. You have to be patient with yourself.

Really, this song says more than I ever could about the real inspiration of Ze’s panel discussion: Songs You Already Know: Scared

Here’s a photo of Ze as a unicorn.

Ze Frank SXSWi 2010 - Photo Courtesy of Iman Saqr

Ze Frank SXSWi 2010 - Photo Courtesy of Iman Saqr

Recap: SXSW Interactive – Day One

BrigitteZ reporting somewhat live from Austin, Texas.

For the next nine days, I have the awesome privilege of learning and experiencing all that SXSW 2010 has to offer.  For the last couple of years, I’ve been able to flex my writing/photographing skills at the music leg of SXSW.  It was pretty darn cool getting to see new bands I’ve grown to adore (Mumford & Sons) and veteran bands that I only ever dreamed of seeing live, let alone covering (South).

And while I’ll still be checking out all that SXSW 2010 has to offer, I’m most excited about getting to attend SXSW Interactive.  Today was my first day here and boy have I learned a lot!

I opted to check out the Interactive Book Readings later in the afternoon. I think I made the right choice because I learned so much in such a short amount of time.

First Reading: Gretchen Rubin – Author of The Happiness Project

I just recently finished this book and it was such a cool experience to be able to engage with the author of a book I loved.  Check out my post over at Girlyfight to learn more about some of the highlights from that reading. She also mentioned a book I’m really interested in checking out: Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner.

Second Reading: Darren Rowse – Author of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

It comes as no surprise  as to why Darren Rowse is such a successful blogger and author. He provides useful content in a way that is easy to understand and easy to implement. It was obvious that he was making a real impact on the audience because halfway through his talk, the convention center was evacuated for some unknown reason and no one wanted to leave the room. Thankfully, the hiccup was a minor one and he was able to finish his presentation.

He discussed four helpful tips for successful blogging:

1. Be prepared to work at least one to two years building the foundation of your blog. You need to get accustomed to the fact that a successful blog requires a long term commitment.

2. Good Content – I’ve heard this tip from every book I’ve read, webinar I’ve watched and content I’ve explored. Make sure that what you write is the most useful, helpful content possible. Make sure to target your audience early on and write the kind of content that best suites their needs.

3. Promotion – Good content is great and necessary, but much will be lost if you aren’t actively promoting your knowledge. Ask yourself two question: 1. Who is the reader you are reaching out to? 2. Where are those readers already hanging out online? Figure that out and go to them. Engage them and build relationships.

4. Community – Actively engaging in all these steps will help you build a community that you communicate with and nurture. Capture the details of your readers and that will help you grow over time.

Useful Site I was not familiar with: Lifehacker

Third Reading: Douglas Chernack and Michael Bender – Authors of Awkward Family Photos

Though I didn’t take away anything terribly useful away from this presentation, I just wanted to share the website. Awkward Family Photos is one of the funniest websites I have ever seen. It’s simply a site that posts hilarious family photos that have been submitted by people from around the world. They guys have recently finished transforming the blog into a book and I’m sure that will be just as amusing.

Stay tuned for more SXSW recaps over the next several days and make sure to hit us up on Twitter if you’re around Austin.

SXSW Bound!

Just a quick update.

One-third of the YNH team is headed to Austin in the morning to experience SXSW Interactive for the first time. I (BrigitteZ) am really looking forward to so many of the panels this year. I honestly don’t even know where to begin.  Make sure to check the YNH Blog and our YNH Twitter for updates.

Hope to see some of you there!

Free Press Summer Fest – Press Release


Thursday, Mar. 9, 2010

The Flaming Lips To Headline Free Press Summer Fest 2010

Free Press Houston and offer another incredible lineup of national acts for festival goers

HOUSTON, TEXAS – Are you headed to SXSW this year? If you haven’t heard yet, Houston has snagged itself one of the most explosive weekend summer music fest’s in the state – the one, the only Free Press Summer Fest. Free Press Houston and Concerts have put together a fantastic lineup of national acts that include The Flaming Lips, Ra Ra Riot, Stars, Girl Talk and many, many more. We want to tell you more about it. If you’re one of the lucky ones attending SXSW, we’d love to make your acquaintance!

Your Name [Here] Media representative Brigitte Zabak will be in Austin for the duration of SXSW and will be on hand to answer any questions you might have. She can also provide you with the information you’ll need to apply for press credentials.

Come see Brigitte at SXSW and get all of the information – we don’t want to have to tell you “I told you so.” You should head out to Eleanor Tinsley Park and hang out with 30,000 of your not-so-closest friends instead.

Contact Brigitte via email or Twitter to meet up and learn more.

After the unprecedented success of Houston’s first outdoor music festival, Free Press Houston and Concerts are proud to announce the Free Press Summer Fest 2010. Last summer’s event showcased everything from local indie rockers to national touring bands like Of Montreal and Broken Social Scene. This music and arts festival will be held June 5th and 6th at Buffalo Bayou’s Eleanor Tinsley Park and will feature more than 50+ national and local musical performers. Confirmed to headline this year is the Grammy Award winning band The Flaming Lips. Other national acts on this year’s lineup include: Stars, Ra Ra Riot, Uh Huh Her, Girl Talk, Medeski, Martin &Wood and Slim Thug. The festival is expanding its horizons to include a more diverse array of both national and regional acts. And though the overall lineup is incorporating a wider geographic range – Houston’s finest musicians will continue to play a vital role in creating and maintaining the unique spirit of the Summer Fest.

For more information, please visit and


Brigitte Zabak