I recently returned from my second year at the Interactive track of South by Southwest, often affectionately referred to as the “Spring Break for Geeks.” SXSWi 2011 brought us exciting panels and events by thought leaders, innovators and presentations who represent the brightest minds in emerging technology. It is here where new digital works, mobile apps, video games and innovative ideas get rolled out to those of us who are always looking for the next “big thing”. As we converged on Austin Texas March 11 – 20, my first impression of SXSWi 2011 was how much it has grown from last year. With more venues and attendees than ever, this was a Geek Diva, Gadget Girl dream. One of the hottest trends, by far, what the incorporation of Group Texting and I’m excited to see where this technology is going. Another highlight for me was getting a chance to interview some of the power brokers and power users that I only see or communicate with online.
I got a chance to talk to Dennis Crowley, CEO and Founder of Foursquare at the Pepsi Max Foursquare Playground.
I also caught up with Pete Cashmore, CEO Mashable, which by the way was named the most buzzed about brand during SXSWi in a study by Ad Age and I also got a chance to talk to Romany Malco who hosted Geek Games at the Mashable House.
But the real highlight for me, as always, is geeking out with the Geek Divas. I got a chance to speak with a couple of of the veteran SXSWi attendees, Lynne d Johnson, Senior Social Media Strategist at R/GA and SXSWi panelist Shireen Mitchell, founder of the no-profit Digital Sisters/Sistas. I also spoke with first timer Beverly Jackson, Director of Marketing and Social Media for The Recording Academy/The GRAMMY Awards along with returning attendee and marketing professional, Shannon Mouton about the diversity, or lack thereof at SXSWi 2011.
Here is what they had to say about Blacks in Tech and Women in Tech at SXSWi 2011.