On the eve of SXSW, Information Evolution’s U.S.-based team gathered at our Austin office for an informal meetup and photo. Pictured are, from left to right, Chuck Greene, Beatty Wilson, Matt Manning, Scott Smith, Deborah Dunlap, Shyamali Ghosh, and Kevin Dodds, the tough but non-adversarial cowpokes to our gracious and more numerous Indian team.
It was our last meeting before SXSW 2012. Some of us spent nine days holed up at the office, commuting on back roads to avoid the excruciating traffic. Others took every free minute to go out and see the fun. I myself attended the Interactive Show, and spent five solidly packed days hearing the latest on big data (see my previous post) and the semantic web, as well as getting different points of view on less technical topics such as how patterns and motifs should be and essential part of every marketing effort, how to handle potential PR nightmares, and even how to perfect an elevator pitch. SXSW been described in many ways over the years, but an analogy to the old wild west is not off-target. SXSW brings a gold rush-style boomtown to Austin for this week every year (this is where Twitter was launched after all) and increasingly the cutting edge technology firms on the digital frontier have the potential to make fortunes by mining the large amounts of data they collect. To monetize their data “ore,” however, they often need a “processor” or “refiner” to distill their raw materials into something marketable. That’s where IEI’s cowboys and Indians can ride to the rescue.