SXSW Day 3: Rachel Maddow, Cory Booker, Leap Motion, Mashable and Twitter Parties

By Tuesday, March 12, 2013 1 , Permalink

Rachel Maddow

The featured session for SXSW Interactive Day 3 was A Conversation with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. The conversation started on a serious tone, Rachel talked about her new book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. She talked about how the U.S. became a nation that frequently sends its military to war in remote areas of the world, however, does so without encompassing civilians families. Thus creates a separation between military families who experience the war, and civilian families who don’t. Then the session opened up for audience Q&A with #AskMaddow, questions ranged from gay marriage, gun control, partisan politics, uses of social media to what is her least favorite buzz word and favorite beer.

Who does Maddow want to interview most? She reads the dedication page from her new book: “To vice-president Dick Cheney, please let me interview you.”
An audience asked if she could use the “f-word”, and she said: “filibuster.”
Her thoughts on SXSW?: “It’s a cross between a political convention and Lollapalooza.”
Would she run for president?: “I’m not even president of my own house.”
When asked about her favorite beer, Maddow compared it to asking which is your favorite child or favorite song.

Cory Booker

The Newark, New Jersey City Mayor with 1.3M+ Twitter followers talked about how the government uses social media to communicate with its constituents. He believes the Federal Government needs to rethink its social strategy: “It’s just using it as an announcement system, like you used to listen to in class: ‘The cafeteria will be serving roast beef, and I will be at this place or that place’,” Booker told Reuters after an appearance at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. “But that’s not interaction, that’s not collaboration.” The Mayor talked about using Twitter as a form of hope and distrupting the Government with online video. More highlights here.

Leap Motion

Leap Motion exhibited their desktop controller that tracks all 10 of your fingers movements. Demoed uses for gaming, drawing and molding on your desktop. This reminds me of Xbox Kinect and Samsung Smart TV, except more accurate and responsive. The device is available for pre-order at $79.99 per unit. Here’s a video by Mashable:

Afternoon & Evening Gatherings

I attended a session on Responsive Design, From Every Angle to discuss every screen experiences and that we should think “mobile always instead of mobile first”, we should design for the whole package, not just a single platform. I then met with David-Michel Davies, Founder of the Webby Awards, he talked to me about their soon-to-launch website redesign and the upcoming Webby Awards in May. Then met with John Andrews, CEO of the Collective Bias, who talked to me about their influencer social shopper network.

Dinner was at Moonshine, Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures invited a table of startup types: Miriam Leia Bekkouche, Innovation Officer at the Canadian Consulate General, Sam Hysell from The Lean Startup, Shane Reustle, an Engineer who jumped on the Startup Bus and moved to Austin, and a few others.

Dinner at Moonshine:

Amazing akward stretch with the Collective Bias crew:


Later that night I learned that Sunday night (day 3) was the major party night for SXSWi, apparently true with Mashable’s SXSW MashBash, Twitter #FEED Party, a Foursquare party and a Tumblr party all on the same night.

Kevin Winston, Founder @DigitalLA and I at Mashbash Step & Repeat

Pete Cashmore, Sarah Hill with the Veterans United Network crew


1 Comment
  • Steve V.
    March 14, 2013

    Thnx for doing the awkward stretch with us…you’re a Gr8 sport!

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