The News From SXSW? We Love You.

There’s some big news floating around here in Austin at the SXSW Interactive Festival.

It’s not about products, applications or the newly anointed web celebrities swarming the place (although there is a fair amount of Ooo-ing and Ah-ing over them as well).

The big thing on people’s minds?

You.

…You, the user.
…You, the consumer.
…You, the person reading this post.
(And, for that matter, Me, the person writing it.)

It’s as if the whole industry reached a tipping point of channel, message and medium saturation, collectively took a step back and remembered, “oh yeah…. there are PEOPLE out there using all this stuff.”

Perhaps with interactive engagement becoming more ubiquitous, people are realizing that it’s becoming less and less relevant to have conversations about “us” and “them” and the technical “hows” of our interaction.

Perhaps the far more interesting topics are, “you” and “me” and the “whys?”

So instead of tech talk, the buzzwords I keep hearing at this conference are “experience,” “service,” “feedback” and the biggie…“happiness.”

(That’s right, we’re talking about happiness at an interactive conference.)

The whole thing is terribly inspiring, but also a wee bit utopian.

Because while people are engaging in these deep discussions about creating and “curating” (a very big buzzword here) user experiences, there are still a whole lotta people walking around here also wondering “how can I make some money doing this stuff?”

Perhaps the two are not mutually exclusive. But if they’re not, then I’d sure like to hear a presentation about that.

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