Okay, maybe a bit of Fear-Of-Missing-Out is inevitable during SXSW madness. But I’ve been plenty busy already, even without a badge. And the week is only looking to get busier.
Last Wednesday I went to an Uncollege meetup at El Chilito. I will admit to going primarily because my Bureau of Angst Management collaborator was one of the organizers. I hadn’t really looked into the whole uncollege philosophy, and while there is definite overlaps between it and the questions I am interested in, it is not, in itself, a thing that I have particularly strong feelings about one way or another.
However, it was really good meetup, with fabulous conversations and lots of interesting ideas being floated. Since it was a small group that turned out, we really got a chance to all partake in one central conversation, and had several minds turning over questions important to each of us. Jo Welch had some fabulous ideas about the importance of education facilitators as opposed to traditional teachers/instruction. And Lisa Betts-LaCroix hipped us to David Blake‘s Degreed project, which we all agreed was brilliant and well-needed. We ended the night when it got too cold to be at an outdoor taco shop any longer, but it was hard to separate, as we were all still in an intense discussion as to the ideal size learning community. What size opens doors and opportunities as opposed to being too large to be useful? I’ve seen similar discussions in the social marketing world about the size of one’s network, and it was interesting to see it debated in terms of education and knowledge resources.
Thursday night, I went to the BASHH for the first time in over a year, and remembered why it was one of my favorite regular events in Austin. So many cool and interesting people, and just a grand opportunity to go and talk to strangers. My best chance-encounter of the evening was with Cameron Paxton of Raise Your Vis. We had a good conversation about his ideal clients, which then turned into a FABULOUS conversation about what SEO is, and how awful it is when people Do It Wrong, and how that ruins it (and by “it” I mean EVERYTHING– the whole internet) for everyone, those who would buy and those who would sell online alike.
Fact about Cameron: he wants to move to Estonia. When he achieves this mission, he will probably blog about it here. You know you want to know about Estonia. I know I do.
Also had a good conversation with a teacher from Leander about fancy cars, funny license plates, and those Redbox rickshaws that are popping up all over town for SXSW visitors needing a ride. I think every time I’ve seen one so far this week, I have been with people who have commented on it. They’re definitely getting noticed. I think people are sad, though, that it’s not actually a service to deliver movies to your door like pizza.
Last night I went into the downtown madness, but not for anything SXSW related. Instead, I went to see a friend perform in the Maestro show at the Hideout Theatre. Aside from a tragic groin-region injury sustained by one of the players, a fabulous time was had by all. The highlight of the evening was most certainly Jayme Ramsay (of Hideout’s fabulous show Strange Worlds fame) doing a one-woman performance of a human-flesh-loving, mother’s-love-seeking Winnie the Pooh.
And the madness has only just begun…