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Trends at SXSW Interactive

Cisco Media Solutions Group is at the SXSW conference as our colleague Scott Brown blogged about right here. Before we got to the expo hall booth 322 and got ready for the Killers Lasers Papers showcase Thursday 3/17 at SXSW Music, we tried to get to as many SXSW Interactive panels and events as we could.

I looked back to my blog post on SXSW Interactive 2010. I wrote in 2010, SXSW Interactive attendance was up 40% from 2009. Well can imagine it’s up another 40% in 2011 -- I haven’t seen the latest statistics yet. Long lines dominated my first day attending panels at SXSW Interactive.

Also, the conference is much more spread out this year -- with interactive panels spread out in hotels and other venues across Austin. No matter how hard you try, it’s not easy to get to all the panels you want to see. When it come to media and entertainment -- SXSW Interactive has plenty of panels to offer about how digital and social media are changing experiences with content. The two trends I noticed right away for SXSW 2011 are:

1. Mobile applications seem to have the share of attention at interactive -- and many of them are focused on ‘getting together’ around interests -- nightlife events, food, photos, fashion.

2. Content creators are focused on extending their brands across digital platforms and in the real world -- this trend was highlighted by the term I kept hearing at the conference -- transmedia.  You can follow the term on Twitter via the hash tag to learn more -- #transmedia.

While I was at the blogger lounge sucking up all the bandwidth I could get, Cisco colleague Jeff Marusak was out in the field taking notes. He attended some panels on how to mine social media for customer insights and we’ll share some takeaways from those panels in this post.

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