Quantcast

What’s Trending at SXSW 2015?

sxsw 2015Despite the drone-free skies at SXSW 2015, there is still plenty flying around Austin this weekend. While this isn’t a statistically valid analysis of what’s trending at SXSW 2015, here’s my rundown of the trends, activations and platforms that have been making the most noise in Austin so far. It’s an exciting time to work at the intersection of marketing, technology and communications.

Trends

Big Data – well, “big data” is here to stay in our marketing vocabulary. By far, the most common buzzword I have heard at SXSW so far has been “big data”. The longest lines for sessions have been for topics revolving around big data. Every vendor seems to now be in the big data business, and it’s clear everyone wants a piece of the “making sense out of data” pie. By and large, I think this is a great thing. For too long, we’ve made business decisions with limited and dated research – or hunches. The better we get at using accurate (and if possible, real-time data), the better informed and productive these decisions will be. The challenge for most organizations will be selling the value of big data internally, as it’s costly to fund the tools and people required to be successful.

ibeacon sxswProximity – while there have been a few failed attempts at leveraging proximity-based mobile applications at past SXSW events (Highlight or Banjo come to mind), practical applications of proximity-based messaging technology – most-notably through the use of iBeacons – have utility. SXSW is using iBeacons at the conference this year to alert users of its app to interesting things going on at the conference. When you carry your mobile device around with you, you’re essentially telling people where you are. Privacy concerns aside, this is the future of location-based marketing – pushing content to users in the moment is one step closer to realizing those scenes out of Minority Report. I’m most-excited about seeing the adaptation of iBeacons for driving proximity-based engagement in retail and event applications.

egg minder internet of thingsInternet of Things – EVERYTHING is going to be connected to the Internet in the next couple of years. That’s the general theme of the dozens of Internet of Things sessions at SXSW. There are too many products out there in the Internet of Things – or IoT – sector to mention in this post. Just know that every for every product you own that plugs into the wall (or recharges), somebody is working on one that connects to the Internet. Honestly, there are a lot of products that you don’t currently need that will connect to the Internet too – like a device you can put your eggs in that will tell you if they’re still fresh. Don’t put all your IoT eggs in one basket, I guess?

There are surely some follow-up trends of note to be on the lookout for when it comes to the IoT. First, there are some considerable privacy and security issues that will emerge (opportunities for smart entrepreneurs to capitalize on). When everything is connected to the Internet, it brings with it the same risks and vulnerabilities of any other device on your network. Than there is the issue of overwhelming your home network with too many devices competing for a connection – there are limits here that will need to be addressed. Finally, it makes sense that we’ll see common aggregators emerge that enable you to manage all of your Internet things from a single interface. My guess is Google will emerge as a leader here, as it’s in line with indexing all of the world’s information – and yeah, back to that big data thing… there’s a lot of data behind all of our things being connected. Anybody making a product today needs to consider how that product will connect to the Internet – that’s a mega-trend if I’ve ever seen one.

uber sxswGetting From Point A to B – personal transportation is an interesting trend I’ve noticed at SXSW. From the Ubers and Lyfts of the world, to tap-and-go Smart Cars you can see all over Austin, to similar applications for hailing taxis and pedicabs, it’s clear that smartphones with their GPS and mobile payments capabilities have made it easier than ever to find a ride than ever. Look for developments in ride-sharing to be a trend in coming months, as Uber recently announced its plans to enable you to team up with other users to get where you’re going.

Read more about the brand activations and platforms making a splash at SXSW 2015. [Read more…]

Why Do I Attend SXSW?

why attend sxsw 2015When I tell people I’m headed to Austin for SXSW, I tend to hear the same responses. I either hear, “cool, let’s connect there” – which is less common – or I hear one of the following responses:

  • We were thinking about launching our [insert thing] there, but decided not to because there’s too much noise
  • I hear SXSW has gotten too big and it’s not what it used to be
  • I knew this guy or girl that went and didn’t get a lot of value
  • I went back in [insert year], and it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be
  • Or some other excuse why SXSW isn’t worth the time or money

For me, SXSW is just like everything else in life. You get what out what you put into it. You can either be one of the people above making excuses, or you can take the approach of most people attending this week and make opportunities. Sure, you can come to SXSW and party the entire time, but you’ll just wake up in strange places, have a killer headache and have nothing to show for it but some digits and a bigger-than-expected expense report.

If on the other hand you invest some time and energy into planning out the content you want to experience, and the people you want to connect with, you can get far more value out of the conference than the investment of time and money you put into it. [Read more…]

The Top 12 Journalistics Posts of 2012

Our top posts for the year post has become a tradition at Journalistics. While some might think an annual rehash of posts is a weak attempt at squeezing one more blog post into the year, well, we’d have to agree with you. Regardless, it’s a great way to showcase the most popular content from the year for new readers – and it’s a great opportunity to get your feedback on the types of content you’d like to see more of in 2013. As you review our top 12 posts from 2012, we hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to comment on the post – either offering your feedback on posts from this year, or chiming in on what you’d like to see from Journalistics in 2013. [Read more…]

Top 5 Newspaper and Magazine iPad Apps

The iPad was supposed to be the demise of the print industry. Magazines and newspapers aren’t going down without a fight. Like technology, the good ones learned to adapt. The better ones learned to anticipate it before it was even created. While most of the major publications have developed an iPad version to keep afloat, there are a few who’ve stuck out from the rest that deserve a mention of their own.

[Read more…]

Top 25 U.S. Newspapers Online

Most newspaper rankings are usually based on circulation numbers from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). It makes sense to rank newspapers by circulation, since the more papers that ship, the more people a paper reaches and the more influence it has. That seems a little outdated. What if you took the top 25 newspapers – at least as far as the ABC is concerned – and ranked them by different criteria.

Over the course of the next couple of posts, I’ll take a look at the top 25 papers by a different set of online criteria: website traffic, Google PageRank, Twitter Followers and Facebook Friends. [Read more…]

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) Joins Vocus Family

Vocus kicked off its 2010 User’s Conference with a huge announcement of interest to PR professionals and journalists alike: Vocus has acquired Help A Reporter Out (HARO). HARO has built an impressive base of users over the past two years, becoming one of the most popular PR services. HARO’s success is largely due to its foundation as a journalist-friendly PR service.

From day one, HARO founder Peter Shankman (@skydiver) has gone to great lengths to protect journalists from the persistent problem of PR spam – the sending of off-topic pitches to journalists. By being strict about the rules of engagement for pitching journalists through HARO, the service has also become one of the most popular tools used by journalists in the news gathering process.

While I suspect a lot of long-time HARO purists will worry about how the service will change once it becomes part of the Vocus offering, both sides know users don’t want that. According to Peter Shankman, “Nothing will change.” He’s joining the Vocus team and will be working with the company on further extending the value of HARO to users, as part of the Vocus family – while preserving the integrity of HARO, and finding ways to make it even better. [Read more…]