Bugs Bunny: Listen, Dracula… Have you ever had the feeling you were being watched? Like the eyes of strange things are upon you? Look, out there in the audience… Gossamer: People! Aieeeeeeeeeee! — From Hare Raising Hare, featuring Gossamer the Monster!
One side effect of attending SXSW—and I apologize to people who are sick of hearing about it, but it was one of those life path altering types of experiences, so you’re going to have to put up with this for a while—was that I became aware that there are lots of people saying and doing lots of very cool things. For the first time, I’ve actually started using an RSS reader (Bloglines) so I can keep tabs on several blogs where interesting conversations are going on. They fall under the following categories:
- Community & Individual Empowerment — blogs that talk about or explore issues surrounding the nature of being yourself and being heard. The BlogHer panelists and moderators, in addition to the Creating Passionate Users and Cluetrain-related communities I’ve added to my reader. I’ve been in a fervor all week, percolating a manifesto of my own to drive my next phase of whatever the hell it is I am doing. The cool thing (from a certain perspective, anyway) is that I’m no longer that concerned about what it is specifically. I know it’s the right thing for me to do. Yeah! And it seems to be going around.
Web Design & Development — I am totally sold on the semantic web and standards-based markup. Makes sense, because I like to make sense of things and I tend to be picky about words and proper categorization. The funny thing is the only panel I attended on anything remotely webby was Web Standards and SEO, primarily because I was curious who “Eric Meyer” was because people kept talking about him in hushed tones, and in the process of finding out who he was I got the idea that The Semantic Web is a Good Thing. Also, apparently I can not meet great people who happen to be great web designers, and not want to emulate their standards.
Tool Makers — I started going through some of the business cards from SXSW last night, visiting websites, and holy crap there are people doing awesome things I’ve never heard of until now. I’ve subscribed to a few of the blogs to keep more up-to-date on what they’re up to. People are busy! I got to get my schwerve on!
Personal Blogs — Naturally, everyone at SXSW seemed to have a blog. The unexpected thing was that every card I have points to an excellent blog or website. Having met some of these people in person, and stumbled upon more while joining in the frenzy of sxswbowling tagging on Flickr, I have the tremendous desire to keep tabs on what’s going on with them, because they’re cool. The general rule of thumb is that if I got your card, I’m now subscribed to your blog. Fortunately people are too busy to write a whole lot :-)
p>So yeah, this is all wonderful, but now that I’m determined to be part of a community, I’m having a bad case of bashful blogger; the words just aren’t, er, “flowing” with their normal, um, “ease”. I was going somewhere with this, but I think I’ll just stop here. “Small steps…”