Media convergence is not just a term, it’s more like a long sought-after, Holy Grail-like ideal at times like these. Everything is and must be cross-platform and every content must converge on any personal device.
The popular, TT-status SXSW is not just a crossroad, is a must-attend event. For those of you who are not familiar with the acronym, it stands for South by Southwest, the annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, Texas.
The fourth edition of SXSW Accelerator took place March 12-14 under an unusual downpour for most days. A live audience, as well as a panel of experts had the privilege to witness the advancements in social media, mobile applications, web entertainment and so on. The section that draws more attention is the Startup Accelerator, similar to many innovators get-togethers and conferences. As the staff describes it: “Product demonstrations by the most ambitious talents in the world with the most creative new ideas to change it.”
Over the past four years since its first edition, SXSW was the launch pad for two of the most famous Internet and mobile players, Twitter and Foursquare. Apparently this year no app resulted in outscoring competitors and stand out from the crowd of developers and wannabe Lowensohn. Sorry, Highlight.
As usual, the main objective, networking, was fully met: connections were made and careers launched. In the aftermath of this bandwagon, resorting back to life without free food and drink, all that’s left after this year’s edition is a collection of instant pics.
Not a schocker that these events are a huge cash machine for those who put them up. But they usually turn out to let the usual supects emerge under mainstream limelights.
Looking on our side of the pond, European companies’ presence is well under-represented in Austin, Texas. The main reason as to why that might be is not sheer U.S. nationalism. The U.S. market is a difficult one to break into for somebody whose entrepreneurial background was built overseas.
Still, worth a try, no?