Geek Spring Break!

Mar 23, 2009

I spent the last week at SXSW. Commonly referred to as Geek Spring Break (I couldnt find the wet laptop contests though…), SXSW is a great event for Lijit every year.

This year I spoke on a panel entitled Beyond Aggregation: Finding the Web’s Best Content. I was lucky enough to join a panel with old and new friends: Marshall Kirkpatrick (ReadWriteWeb), Louis Gray (, Melanie Backer (AideRSS/PostRank) and Gabe Rivera (TechMeme) and speak in front of a standing room only crowd (it must have been the ICanHasCheezBurger Happy Cat Plushy I was giving away).

The panel went exceedingly well, with some great questions from the audience.

At SXSW, I did more that just speak on that panel. I also was interviewed by several different bloggers and websites. Here is my interview with Grant Robertson of DownloadSquad. You might notice that I am whispering (we were in the press room) and smiling (there was a really funny massage therapist next to me).

The full post is here:

SXSW 2009 : Finding relevancy in the blog haystack with Lijit from Download Squad on Vimeo.

I got to meet with brands and other bloggers and continue to learn about ways that we can continue to provide real value to our publishers…

(MICAH! You said it was Geek Spring Break! I want the juicy stuff!)


SXSW is also about the parties, of which there were about a million. I enjoyed the iMeem party (probably because of the Salt Like BBQ that was served, saving me a 20 minute drive) and we helped sponsor the Colorado Interactive Party at the Pure Volume House, which is always a highlight every year (about 5,000 people came through it).

SXSW is the largest conference in our space. It allows all us geeks to get together, eat a little BBQ and talk about all kinds of things. My favorite picture of SXSW (that I took) is this one:

Which was taken at J. Kelly’s (An amazing BBQ place near my hotel), and includes Richard Moross (CEO of Moo/UK), Harper Reed and Dylan Richard (CTO Threadless/Chicago), Scott Belsky (CEO Behance/NYC), Jared Goralnick (CEO of AwayFind/DC). At this meal, Blaine Cook (who built Twitter’s framework/Ireland), Sarah Townsend (Social Vibe/LA), Mark Dillon (Founder & CTO, Phonetag), and, of course me.

Where else would we ever have met and talked over a meal?

Thats the real magic of SXSW. 10,000 geeks in one area do more than bring down AT&T network or party into the night. We talk about great ideas and interesting partnerships. New ideas are birthed at SXSW (see FourSquare and Contxts) and great ideas are given a further push to become even better (cant wait for the new stuff Lijit is bringing out in April).

So thats the juicy stuff. We geeks came to Austin, ate some BBQ and found some more interesting ways to work together. Some of us left with our laptops adorned with new laptop stickers, but we all left with new friends and business relationships.

See you in 2010!

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