Welcome to Austin. As I stepped off the plane and after following the walking escalators and signs toward “ground transportation” I got my first whiff of Texas air and stared dauntingly at the taxi line at least a hundred people long.
After a long flight you might think standing in line would be the last thing you want to do, but it was exciting. All these people were here for SXSW and, like a good party (ahem, I mean interactive conference), the more the merrier.
I started off my SXSW experience aboard our kick-**bleep** bus serving coffee and breakfast burritos. Our bus was quickly recognized roaming the streets with horns on the front and a real cow **bleep** on back (we are in Texas after all). People flocked to us when they realized we were giving out free food and even left their place in line to grab some grub. We took full advantage of the bus, giving people free rides and not to mention keeping ourselves dry from the sub-par weather.
The second day of SXSW was the day I met Shaquille O’Neil- met is a loose term but I was super close to him- and our bus got pulled over by the police. Let’s talk about the bus first. Apparently, we were too cool on the school bus driving around feeding the hungry, so the Austin police pulled us over, ticketed us and told us it could no longer roam the streets of Austin. But through the Twitterverse our bus lived on and peoples’ attempts to #freethebus were heard round SX. Unfortunately, it was never freed, but next year we will be back and better than ever.
Now, if you don’t know me, and most of you don’t, I love Shaq. It all started when I was little and has become a somewhat obscure obsession. If you want to learn more about how it all started, watch my video below!
On my final day at SXSW we spent a lot of time interviewing people on new tech trends and how brands are harnessing the power of communities and fans to elevate their brands. We also got the chance to get one degree closer to Kevin Bacon. I believe all you readers are now two degrees away from KB so you’re welcome!
All in all, SXSW was awesome. It’s amazing what can happen when you bring people together that share common interests and put them all within a couple square miles of each other. The energy and knowledge coursing through the streets of Austin was palpable. I learned more about the future of technology and the impact of social than I could have anywhere else. SXSW really did grab social #bythehorns. See y’all next year!
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