A tyical day at SXSW Interactive 2011 using social media / by Mike Takahashi


At SXSW Interactive, it really occurred to me how much social media can influence our daily lives. So I thought it would be fun to show what a typical day can look like. One of the fun things about SXSW Interactive is the amount of free food offered by tech companies that take over food trucks, stands and restaurants all over Austin to promote themselves. Knowing how to find them is the trick and luckily there's a whole suite of tools right inside your mobile phone.

8:00 AM - Wake up and find out if there’s any free breakfast. Let's use the Twitter app and search for “free breakfast sxsw.” The search function searches every single tweet happening in real-time, and by adding the keyword "sxsw" I'm able to narrow down the results.

Screenshot of Twitter

We’re in business! Looks like GoToMeeting is the place to be this morning.

Screenshot of Twitter feed

8:45 AM - After a quick bite, let’s login to the SXSW app and see what my schedule looks like for the morning.

Screenshot of SXSW schedule

9:00 AM - First panel of the morning starts.

11:30 AM - Getting hungry now. I wonder who’s offering free lunch today? Let’s do another quick search on Twitter for “free lunch sxsw.” By now, I'm sure you're seeing a pattern here...

Sweet. There's a FedEx food truck giving away free Banh Mi! They're getting all fancy on us at SXSW!

Screenshot of Twitter

12:30 PM - Fully energized again, it’s time to go back and check out a few more panels before the day ends.

5:30 PM - Dinner time. I think I feel like trying a restaurant this time. No freebies this round. Second Bar looked like a pretty cool place when I walked by yesterday. Let’s look it up on Yelp and see what the reviews have to say.

Screenshot of Yelp

Not bad. Looks like it's a new place and it has pretty good reviews so far. So how do I get there from the Austin Convention Center? I’ll use Google Maps to get directions and enable the GPS function on my phone to find my current location.

Screenshot of Google Maps

It'll take me about 8 minutes to walk there.

8 minutes later - Let's check-in to Second Bar using Foursquare to see if they're offering any specials.

Screenshot of Foursquare

Doesn’t look like there's anything today, oh well.

I wonder what I should get? Let’s take a look at tips left from other people who have checked-in here before.

Screenshot of Foursquare

3 people say try the truffle oil fries. Mmmm, that sounds like it would be amazing with a burger. The waiter also suggests I try the Ginger beer from Australia, it's amazing.  Ginger Beer?!

30 minutes later - The waiter was right. The Ginger beer was amazing.  I should leave a tip on Foursquare about this.

Screenshot of Foursquare

Desert time. I could get some here, but wait...I remember that Firefox mobile is giving away free ice cream sandwiches from Coolhaus. It's on!

Screenshot of Twitter

8:00 PM - Now what should I do? I can try the explore tab on Foursquare to see what spots are trending right now... As you can see, it just keeps going and going.

A few years ago before social media apps like Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp existed, it would have been a completely different story. Today, the landscape is changing the way we behave and discover things using social media. The next wave will be even more exciting with personalization. What if the menu for Second Bar popped up on my phone when I entered and also told me things my friends liked and recommended. Pretty powerful.