I started off at a panel on Important Startup Decisions, mostly because it featured Joel Spolksy, one of the best writers on software development, or indeed on any subject, on the Internet today. Joel worked for me very briefly a million years ago at Microsoft, and we caught up a little after the panel, where we traded books. I then sat in on the end of Tagging 2.0 with Dave. I'm hoping to add tagging to Unshelved strips after the initial port to Rails is complete.
Dave and I gathered with our fellow panelists Kevin, John, and Nicole to make sure we were all on the same page, then we watched the Kottke/Armstrong Conversation together. Heather was terribly charming, but I fear Kottke came across as a trifle unsympathetic, perhaps because most of the bloggers in that room wouldn't consider being anything but ecstatic over earning $45,000 in advance donations for a year's worth of blogging.
At this point it was time for me to return to the Hilton to lie down and rest the old back. I read Joel's book cover-to-cover (I'd already read many of the individual articles at his site) and then Dave and I had dinner and plotted to destroy the earth and all its inhabitants. A good day.
I arrived late and sat in on the Does Your Blog have a Business panel. Mine does, thanks. One of the panelists started Clip-n-Seal, which I'd never heard of but which is too cool. Go buy a billion - good products deserve to succeed. Dave and I had lunch with Eyder Peralta, the very interesting Pop Culture reporter for the Houston Chronicle. He later wrote this blog posting which somewhat exaggerates how popular Gene and I are at library conferences.
We returned to watch the Craig Newmark/Jimmy Wales interview, which was mostly notable for how decorously both Craig and Jimmy handle their fame and their respective responsibilities. Afterwards everyone milled around for a while. Amanda Congdon is even more attractive in person.
The highlight of the conference, of course, was our panel. Which you'd think I had more to say about. We basically core-dumped almost everything we know. I was your basic smart-ass, and Dave, John, Kevin, and especially Nicole were awfully good to put up with me. I thought the chemistry was great - we all do very different things, and John was about the best choice as "token blogger" that I could imagine. Dave and I handed out books to everyone who asked a question (more people picked mine =ahem=), handed out by our lovely assistant Brittanie. Note to self: need more lovely assistants.
Afterwards I ate a couple of profoundly hot tacos, talked to more conference-goers, and retired back to the Hilton for more back-resting.
South by Southwest Interactive is a neat thing, and Austin is a cool town. I think I'll have to come back. I'm already planning what panels I can put together.