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.

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