Fresh off the boat (OK, plane) from SXSW, Poke MD Nick Farnhill gave us the rundown of his views on the best of the fest…
A general theme I picked up across the week: be passionate about what you do, because now is a pretty amazing time. But with a caveat – all of us who have access to technology and who are using it to create new services, ways of communicating and products have a very real responsibility not to abuse the position we’re in.
Here are five of my favourite presentations – they’re not available as streams, but here are some links to alternative stuff that comes close.
Jennifer Pahlka | Coding for America
A really inspiring keynote on social coding: a call to arms to get involved in local Government and make a difference. The key? Creating lean start-ups that work within big bureaucracy – daunting but rewarding.
AMEX Tweet / Synch / Save
American Express has launched an interesting play with Twitter, which lets US card members turn customised Twitter hashtags into savings. A really nice tech integration that shows how serious AMEX is about their social platforms and developing them beyond brand work.
Several panels discussed the power of serendipity, and design techniques that increase chances of serendipitous occasions (which maybe defeats what serendipity really is…). One of the best-executed products I saw was Highlights, an iOS-based application that brings people together in the most serendipitous of ways based on their location and data from their Facebook graph.
E-Chromi, Alarm Poos
These were presented to us in a bar by a researcher who explained how poos could be genetically designed to alert us early of illness, and disease. Simple.
Peer-to-peer start-ups were a very hot ticket, thanks to the convergence of tech and increasing consumer confidence in online interactions - AirBnB, TaskRabbit, thredUP and Zip Cars for example. I particularly enjoyed a talk by Leah Busque, the founder of TaskRabbit.
[Crowd photo via dumbledad; other photos via Nick Farnhill]