HomeMAKING A RUCKUSDispatches from Austin – Day 1

Dispatches from Austin – Day 1

We’re in Austin for SXSW Interactive – check out our learnings from Day 1 of the conference.

Our SXSW experience kicked off with Interactive director Hugh Forrest giving his advice on how to get the most out of Southby. His tips – make a plan, be ready to abandon that plan and meet everyone you can. 

Forrest was followed by the always-intense Gary Vanerchuk (@garyvee), whose colourful language and frantic pace amped up the crowd. Vanerchuk’s big tips for getting the most out of your conference experience: stop trying to sell yourself and add value to the conversation. Be human (amidst a flurry of F-bombs).


Next on the agenda was a fascinating presentation titled Evil By Design by Chris Nodder (@uxgrump). The concept is simple, how can we use tactics and ploys that may on surface seem dishonest or deceptive to pull people in and get them to engage.


Some of the examples he used were Waze’s crowd sourcing model – rewarding users with “points” for driving around and verifying their map data. And Volkswagen’s Speed Lottery – wherein speeders were punished with fines. The money collected was then dispersed to the non-speeders. Simple gamification scenarios that worked to great effect.

We wrapped the day with a panel discussion with notable Youtuber’s and content creators Grace Helbig, Tyler Oakley and Ze Frank. Their discussion managed to be both hilarious and insightful as they talked around how they built their audience, how they managed audience expectations and even worked with brands on sponsored content.


The big takeaways here were be true to yourself and create content you love (be on brand). And don’t focus your energy on building your following and instead, cater to your existing audience and give them content they care about.

Check back tomorrow for a recap of Day 2 and follow along on Twitter @madearuckus

Posted by
Gary Edgar
on 10/03/2014