Seeing as SXSW Interactive is dedicated to building the World of the Future, let's assume for a moment that the event itself - specifically, the Austin Convention Center and surrounding area of downtown Austin - actually was that future. What would it be like?
A few observations:
- In a virtual world, the physical would still matter. Meeting authors and thinkers in person would still be an invaluable experience.
- The best-laid plans would still go awry: sessions would fill up, rain would slow you down.
- Serendipity would still exist: a stroll through the trade show area took me back to Antofagasta in more ways than one.
- Meaning would still exist, but perhaps only in the aggregate. One tweet is a fart in the wind. Thousands of tweets is a barometer of an industry.
- It would be crowded.
- Free rides would always be appreciated.
- Until it's available as an app, you would still line up for food.
- Vine did to video what Twitter did to text.
- Everyone would be pleasant until the shuttle ran late.
- All men would wear beards.
- You would be your own company. You would have access to everything they do. You would compete on analytics and win on value.
- Accomplishments would trump credentials.
- You would be an asset in someone else's friend portfolio. You'd know your value to people you value.
- Social success would be the result of Authenticity + Emotion + Analytics.