I won’t go to SXSW

Today SXSW starts – it’s the tech world’s Lollapalooza. The tech world’s Woodstock. The tech world’s US Festival.

And to be honest, I don’t really care. I hate SXSW.

If you are going, I hope you have fun – I am not trying to hate on you. It’s the idea of the get-together itself that I object to, and I have to say why. (After all, I need a post, and this is the biggest tech news this moment.)

I know I’m supposed to want to go, because everyone else does. The fact of the matter is nothing important ever really comes out of SXSW. The announcements that happen there would happen anyway. Without SXSW, Facebook or Google or anyone could announce something new just fine.

See you at SXSW, Broo! Now where the heck are my dungus clothes?

See you at SXSW, Broo! Now where the heck are my dungus clothes?

In fact, conferences are basically useless since most of the attendees will fill their own blogs with recaps of what they heard. In some cases, people UStream the panel itself with their phones, just so they can say they did. If anything is said of real import, it will be in an article on CNET.com. If anything is said that’s particularly inflammatory or interesting, it will be uploaded to YouTube.

And if anyone really valued the experience of “being there” for these things over reading them on a blog or watching them on YouTube, they wouldn’t be geeks worthy of a SXSW. How’s that for irony!

The real reason for SXSW is for the tech geek elite to get together and schmooze. It’s a chance for marketers to assault the tech geek crowd, and for tech geeks to party – both concepts being mildly revolting.

Sometimes these two things come together, like when a “celebrity” geek publishes a book, (those things on paper that are outdated by the time they reach store shelves, so they never sell – surely you’ve heard of them, right?) they’ll have a “party” celebrating their accomplishment, in the hopes people will talk about the author, and by extension the book – even if only to explain why there was a party.

The value of schmoozing has always been lost on me, frankly. In my day-to-day life, I’d pay real money just to not have to talk to anyone. I don’t see the value, though, of paying to go to Texas and say I got to hang out with… hey, who is this year’s tech celebrity, anyway? Ah, who cares.

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2 comments

  1. And the tech shite is small potatoes compared to the bloated ridiculousness that is the music portion. Our streets swell with the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore it. They think its a righteous event. And when the noise dissipates, the vomit is washed away, and the trash is removed, we are left with full city coffers and another year of shitty bars that would not be able to stay open were it not for SXSW. But if you ever do wanna see it, my couch is available. Lord knows you won’t get a decent hotel room within the city limits.

    1. Thank you, brotha man – I do want to get out to Austin again, but it won’t be for this. Tech geeks are annoying enough – being trapped in the middle of their Dionysian orgy of social media and smart phones would finally push me over the edge. What are the Summers like? I’ll come out then sometime.

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