Consulting, Publishing, Engineering

Tech Comm, Usability, Publishing, and More – all at South by Southwest

I truly believe that we in the Tech Comm field have spent way too much time and effort talking to ourselves. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the STC Annual Summit, where the point is to network with other tech comm professionals. But if we want to grow as a profession, if we want to expand our influence, we need to get out to the events for people who NEED tech comm professionals. Like South by Southwest (SXSW)!

SXSW started as a music festival in Austin, TX, and eventually grew big enough to split into three separate events (Music, Film, and Interactive). The SXSW Interactive Festival alone drew about 14,000 people last year, and it was a blast! I’ve written before about the innovative things I’ve seen at these events, but the topic today is the Panel Picker. The Panel Picker is an online listing of ALL the proposals submitted to all the SXSW festivals for next March in Austin Texas. Each proposal gets a page where people can vote (a simple thumbs up or thumbs down) on which sessions look good, and also can comment on the sessions. Anyone can vote (it requires a quick and free registration to the site) and the popular voting results make up about 30% of the score that determines who gets to be a SXSW panelist. As of today, the South by Southwest (SXSW) Panel Picker 2011 is open for voting!

Since each person was limited this year to only one proposal per festival, there are”only” 2347 panels in the Panel Picker. Luckily, you can sort them by category and search by keyword or submitter name or company. In even better news, we’re starting to see lots of my STC colleagues submitting panel ideas! PLEASE take a few minutes to check them out, comment as necessary, and give them a big thumbs up! Links go directly to the individual panel pages; you must be registered and signed in if you want to vote or leave a comment.

First up is my own session (well, it is my blog, after all!):
Brenda Huettner, “Communicating with Everyone: Improving Accessibility of Information Products”

Here’s some sessions I know will be GREAT – if I missed any, send me a note and I’ll update the list!

Karen Bachmann, “Usability requirements: Translating user research into successful products”
Rahel Bailie, “Stop Fiddling on the Roof: Good Riddance, Tradition”
Dana Chisnell, “Voting: The 233-Year-Old Design Problem”
Richard Hamilton, “XML, POD, and Wikis for Small Publishers”
John Hedtke, “Co-authoring Without Homicide”
Larry Kunz, “Your New Life as a Content Curator”
JUST ADDED Alexander Robinson and Vanessa WilburnDocs are Not Band-Aids for Poor Design
Jared Spool, “Anatomy of a Design Decision”

Finally, remember I said it was one proposal PER FESTIVAL? Well, though I’m not an actor myself, I do have actor friends who are willing to be on a panel with me as part of the SXSW Film Festival. If you’re in a voting kind of mood, feel free to check out

Brenda Huettner, “Beyond MySpace: Building Buzz Across Multiple Social Media”

VOTING ENDS August 27th – that’s only 2 weeks away! Don’t put it off, vote now!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.