SXSW is one of the biggest conference in the world related to
interactive/technology, film and music; located in Austin, Texas! A lot of
the top Web 2.0 startups are always first featured at SXSW before going
viral such as Twitter, Gowalla, Foursquare, etc. SXSW Interactive (the tech
part) will take March 11 - 15.
Last year I asked a lot of people to help out and submit semantic web
related panels to SXSW. We were able to submit 13 panels and
unfortunately... all of them got rejected. I know that several people were
very disappointed (specially me!)... but I think that we should keep trying.
There is a huge need of doing outreach about semantic web technologies to
the broader web community in general (web designer, web developers, seo
marketers, social media people, etc). Therefore and reaching out to this
community to help out again and submit panels.
We (Semantic Web Austin), were able to get inside info related to submitting
panels to SXSW this year. Here is what we know:
Q: It would be great to get some guidance to pass onto the semantic web
community regarding panel submissions. Last year, the Semantic Web Austin
group coordinated the submission of 13 panels – drawing on speakers and
topics from the global community but none of the panels were selected. They
again want to submit panels for this year but can’t decide if they should
submit 30 panels to reflect the growing interest in the space (and play the
numbers game) or submit 3 with only the highest quality speakers and
A: My advice is that numbers are in important. So, the more proposals, the
more chances one (or more) get it. Also, please remember that for 2011, each
person can only send in 1 panel proposal -- not sure how that impacts this
figure of 30.
Q: Last year’s panels were fairly technical, so they could do the same again
or focus on more business topics.
A: I would NOT steer away from technical stuff. There's definitely more and
more interest / demand for technical stuff at SXSW.
Other points to remember
1) Internally, we're definitely much more geared to solo (and dual)
presentations for 2011. This means that if two somewhat similar proposals
get roughly the same vote totals, etc . . . then SXSW staff will lean to the
solo or dual session. Just too many things that can go wrong when you try to
pull together a panel of 4 or 5 people (one person doesn't prepare, etc)
2) We definitely need / want more advanced level stuff for 2011. Same logic
as above. If two somewhat similar proposals get roughly same vote totals etc
. . . then SXSW will lean to the advanced-level proposal.
Knowing this now, we need to submit a massive amount of panels and talks to
SXSW BY NEXT FRIDAY! WE HAVE ONE WEEK! All we need is a short abstract!
If you are interested in submitting something to SXSW, I encourage you to
join the Semantic Web Austin mailing list:
This way we can coordinate who submits what.
I'm already nominating that
- Stephane Corlosquet and Lin Clark submit a talk on Drupal 7 and RDFa
- Jay Meyers submit a talk on Best Buy, SEO and RDFa
This is a very tight community and I'm sure we can get together and pull
this off. If you have any questions, please let me know!