Last of the SXSW Sessions

12 sessions later… an ambitious, and productive, trip into SXSW: 

Pandora and TechCrunch Dissect Music & Tech #PandoraSXSW  

o Chief of Technology Officer Tim Conrad said they want Pandora to be like air – available when you need it

o The greatest companies are built when you solve problems that matter

o To answer what most excites Conrad about where Pandora can go, Conrad highlighted the ability of groups to come together for shared experiences – listening together in the car, in the home, in the bar 

The Big Power Shift in Media #powershift 

o CEO of BuzzFeed Jonah Peretti discussed changes in media

o He addressed the question most people ask – how can you share breaking news from the White House AND cute puppies and still seem credible?

Peretti explained it as allowing the person to participate in all types of events that keep them human

o With websites, most people are not obtaining content through the homepage – they’re getting it through Facebook, recommendations from friends, etc. 

o To ensure success, brands must have a story/position and know what content they will create. Once they tell their story (in a few ways), they must look at which channels are working best – measure how much engagement is taking place and how much earned media is secured 

o Social is a way of thinking

Have a heart

Content is about identity

Capture the moment

Cute animals deserve respect

Humor is inherently social – when you’re laughing with people you feel closer to them

Nostalgia and human rights/social good are as well

Don’t share posts people would be embarrassed to share

Spend 50% of time coming up with ideas and 50% on how you’re going to share it

o When creating content for consumers, you must do more than interrupt them – you must create content that interests them and motivates them to share

Matthew Inman Keynote #askinman 

o Inman is the creator of The Oatmeal and popular comics like “How to tell if your cat is trying to kill you” 

o He championed two successful crowdfunding campaigns in 2012, including “Operation BearLove Good. Cancer Bad” where he turned a lawsuit on its head by raising over $200,000 for charity instead of paying $20K in damages to a rival website. In addition, he generated over $1M in nine days to try to buy the laboratory formerly owned by Nikola Tesla 

o On his site he doesn’t write just because time has passed/just to fill space – he writes when there is something to say

o Crowdfunding tips:

Be wary of perks – logistically it can be a nightmare (i.e. 30,000 donors and at minimum, everyone receives a t-shirt…)

Keep campaign short and sweet – the majority of funding will happen within the first few days when interest is high 

Inman’s campaigns weren’t about the perks/products – they were about writing a wrong 

o He closed by saluting the audience, aka the geeks, thanking them for what they do 

Change the Ratio: Conversations with Rachel Sklar #sxswomen @rachelsklar @cmwalla @merici @kathleendwarner @kayjaypartay

o The moderator admitted that this discussion of top tech leaders were pulled together late in the game acknowledging that although the panel all included white women they did try to secure a more diverse panel. This definitely stood out attendees as an African American woman and Asian woman spoke on how they felt underrepresented. The moderator turns the question back to them about making improvements and taking note of their feedback. When compiling a panel think all the way through to audience reactions and questions – thinking about the endgame will help define your strategy.  

o Top thoughts from the discussion: 

Taking great risks can be really uncomfortable, but you have to after what you’re passionate about. 

Be a storyteller – understand your message so that you can be an influencer. 

Advice for young girls:

Teach her to code and make sure she knows/hears regularly that she can do anything. 

Open up conversations about money – negotiations, asking for it, using it, etc. 

Celebrate their failures. Encourage them to try and fail. 



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