1. The art of the mash up, via Downton Abbey
The Mashup is a big part of life on the internet today. Creating the perfect Mashup requires creative skills and an irreverent creative eye. The team from College Humor talked about the synergies between visual content and music, and the techniques behind such pieces as their excellent Fresh Prince of Downton Abbey–CollegeHumor.com.
2. Shaq chooses the next big thing in social
The bigman himself put in an appearance at his first SXSW this year. The NBA vet has long been a force on Twitter, with a whopping 6.8 million followers. Also a shrewd business man, he bought a lucrative stake in Google before its IPO in 2004 & currently sits on the advisory board for Tout, a social media startup that lets users make and share 15-second videos. At South By, he launched a “Pitch Shaq” contest. He invited registered attendees to submit 15-second elevator pitches about their startups.
The winner was promised a personal audience with Shaq and possibly an infusion of his cash. Shaq said he had viewed more than 150 pitches and had chosen two winners: Beam, which makes a mobile video conferencing device that rolls around on wheels like a Segway; and Speakerfy, a social-sound app that lets you wirelessly sync music between different Apple mobile devices.
3. Sports gets social
Sports teams really were prevalent at SXSW 2013, talking on a wide range of topics from activating the new fan experience, the importance of compelling content all with sharing learnings across the different teams in mind. This ranged from discussions about the differences between soccer and football in social, the presence of UK teams such as Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to the MLB sharing its command center for digital content, which it uses to produce 250-300 pieces of content nightly.
4. Music is a’ coming
One of the core strengths of the SXSW experience is the concentrated intersection of the creative industries, from Music to Film to Interactive and beyond. As Interactive draws to a close the vibe of SXSW definitely shifts, with many more bearded faces arriving in Austin and the launch of installations such as The Spotify House. This opened its doors on Day 4 of SXSWi offering everything from Spotify Sessions, local food truck flavors, ping pong, giveaways + more. The Flavorpill + #FEED collaboration at the AMOA Arthouse was also notable – offering daily spin classes, yoga, and a juice bar in the mornings, then DJs and live music from the afternoon onwards.
5. The Computer Whisperer – Stephen Wolfram
Arguably one of the smartest men on the planet – Stephen Wolfram – talked about the future for his Wolfram Alpha computation knowledge engine, as well as demonstrated his upcoming Programming Cloud. He also indicated he was developing a mobile platform for engineering and mathematical applications.
Did you know Wolfram Alpha contains more than 10 trillion pieces of data cultivated from primary sources, along with tens of thousands of algorithms and equations?
Solving complex math problems is a particular strength: simply type one into the search bar, and the system produces an answer. Wolfram described its development and how he thought that it would require building something “like a brain.” In the future, Wolfram Alpha will become more anticipatory of peoples’ queries.