SXSW: March 14 2017

This is the last day of SXSW Interactive. Wow, that went quickly! Now we will be turning our attention to Music, and fortunately the weather has improved since we’ll be outdoors more. Bill continued seeing movies today. I attended some informative Interactive discussions, mostly on topics unfamiliar to me, plus one film screening. I wandered around the Trade Show floor again…always so much to see there! We visited a Music venue in the evening and popped into the We DC show at the Moody Theater, but decided we were too tired and headed home.

Lo-Fi Museum Moments in a Digital World

Three panelists from Gensler design company, Brooklyn Museum, and Art Institute of Chicago discussed the museum experience. There are varying reasons for visiting museums—social, discovery, entertainment, and aspiration—which determine engagement models. One of these women declared: “I am as interested in looking at people looking at works of art as I am at looking at works of art.” Through surveys, museum visitors indicated that they prefer a balance of digital and non-digital experiences. In museums, visitors now expect wifi access, charging stations, self-check-in kiosks, touch-screen monitors, and turn-by-turn interactive maps. The Art Institute has a new Mobile Experience app and Brooklyn Museum has a live chat capability with their art historians.

Make Your Ideas Matter

Katie Roof (TechCrunch writer), Mike Maples (Floodgate investor), and Scott Cook (Intuit founder) discussed startup investing. How to find ideas? Get out of the office and spend time observing where people have pain. Both talked about their initial investments in products such as Twitter and Snapchat, saying that they were really investing in the people and not the products. Successful founders are passionate about their idea and knowledgeable about the customer they want to serve. They agreed that secrets are around us all the time. Cook observed that, in order to learn, your focus should always be on the unexpected: “Savor the surprises.” Maples is involved with Lyft and almost cried when talking about why Lyft (and Uber) left Austin. At the end of the session, Cook gave away 30 free Intuit gift cards…a popular gesture for tech geeks!

Yasmin Green

Yasmin Green is Director of Research and Development for Jigsaw. Her team is developing software to make people safer online. They interviewed ISIS fighters and designed the Redirect Method to discourage prospective people from joining. She was joined onstage by two creators of “fake news”, Jestin Coller and Jeffrey Marty. Coller said that he started the National Report website as a joke. Three days before the election, he built another fake site called The Denver Guardian and wrote a fake article about an FBI agent who died in a murder-suicide. He made six figures from advertising and had over 500,000 views. Marty has a fake website for a fake Rep. Steven Smith from Georgia. He said that he hasn’t made any money from this. He even create a fake persona for the guy’s fake son, and someone else created a fake chief of staff. Both men talked about how they used social media platforms to promote their fake news and to gain followers.

A Conversation with Buzz Aldrin and Jeffrey Kluger

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin was interviewed by Time editor/writer Jeffrey Kruger, who wrote the book Apollo 13. The session started with a clip from a VR film that Aldrin is promoting at SXSW. He is also promoting NASA’s mission to Mars. Kluger noted that NASA’s 2017 budget of $21 billion will be their highest ever.

Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo

Continuing on the NASA theme, Bill and I saw this documentary about the men who staffed Mission Control during the Apollo missions. The film interspersed historic footage with current day interviews. Two men from the film were in the audience, but not Flight Director Chris Kraft. When asked about The Apollo 13 movie, the two said that the Mission Control scenes were not particularly accurate, but certainly captured the mood.

Miss Lavelle White and the L Men

For our first 2017 Music event, we watched 87-year-old Lavelle White and her band at Cooper’s BBQ on Congress Avenue.

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