South by Southwest Austin TX 3/11-3/21/10

I cleaned and washed the van and hit the road around 7 with some okra and steak provided by Darlas friend, Brian.

It was a 4 hour drive to Austin’s South by Southwest festival but it goes fast when watching movies. When I reached the edge of Austin I was sleepy so I drove some side street to take a nap. I could see a WalMart lot from the road but I could not find a way to get to it so I got back on the highway.

Once downtown, I found a great free parking spot on the edge of 6th street and crawled in back to sleep around 4am.

3/12/10
Once the sun rose I changed and walked around downtown before checking in at the convention center. I was doing yoga while waiting for the doors to open and a traveling yogi said hello. Kelly had just returned from studying in India.

I got caught up on my writing while waiting for the panels and seminars. The day focused on making money with blogs and the effects of online relationships. The biz day ended with Mark Cuban bashing Boxee through a fire drill. I asked Mark if he would review our business model and give me a personal reply to my email? I think he was offended when I explained I had emailed without a response a couple times in the past so he blew my question off by telling me that he would forward it to his foundation to review and then he quickly turned his attention to another person. If you don’t have something to say about Cable Ratings or the Mavs your odds are small he will give you much attention.

That night I went out to get my first taste of Austin night life. I started with a Ustream party with unlimited free booze and live musician. I then went to the premier for The White Stripes. The film followed the brother and sister as they toured Canada. I enjoyed the look into their time outside the concert halls. The theatre was covered in old carvings so I enjoyed the atmosphere as much as the film. It was here that I met Colorado Billy and Florida Kelly whom I would cross paths with many times. They met in Florida and Kelly took time away to travel to several festivals with Billy.

I finished the night at the Mowhawk club where there were painters, graphic arts, girls in costumes dancing in front of light screens and siwinging on hoops all surrounded by a rave atmosphere.

It was near 2:30 when I returned to the van and when it was still there I knew I found a good camp spot.

3/13/10
The next morning I realized that I missed the Premier for the film, Kick Ass with Nicolas Cage. I learned to review the days calendar first thing in the morning before making plans. I then went to a yoga gathering and then went to the film checkin to get vip passes to my film choice of the day which was Reel Injun. The VIP Express Pass allowed me to enter theatres first to pick my seat choice and also guaranteed my entry. The most popular films would fill up and you had to gamble on standing in line for hours without a pass or a ticket purchased in advance. Then I lounged in the Microsoft Phone lounge and ate free bagles and fruit and caught up on my emails and planned my seminars for the day.

The first session was based on living efficiently while being paid for blogging. I settled beside a wonderful lady named Angela Leavitt from Arizona. Angela was interested in learning about how I live on $250 a month anywhere in the world I choose while relying on electronic income sources so I added her to our network. I also added Brian Fairbanks (Nerve.com Writer) and Colleen Kane (ColleenKane.com) who survive on blog income.

I then went back to Microsoft to claim a free Sub sandwich for lunch and check the schedule for the afternoon. The next session covered social change through social media. Mark Horvath (InvisiblePeople.tv) provided several tools to use to initiate change for healthy causes.

The 2pm hour was filled with a lecture by Social Media expert, Danah Boyd. (Danah.org) The 3:30 session was a round table talk with Dan Mall (Big Spaceship), Gina Bolton (Crush and Lovely), Brendan Dawes (mN), Shane Mielke (2advanced Studios) and Dan Oliver (.net Mag) about how WordPress is affecting Web Design.

After the work was done I headed off to the theatre. Reel Injun did a good job of pointing out how hollywood portrayed Natives as the victims of genocide until the 50s and then switched them to the bad guy roll ever since.

I finished the night at Devilles with some DJ competition that failed to keep my interest. It did allow me to get some typing done however.

3/14/10 Sunday

After another hastle free night in the van, I did a sit up/push up and weights workout then I went and got passes to Pelada and my MS breakfast. I organized my schedule for the day which would include attending a FREE BAR party sponsored by Mashable at Buffalo Billiards.

The days seminars started with the Yelp effect with Addie Broyles (Austin Statesman) and Jennie Chen (MiSoHungryNow.com). The next session was a Zero Waste presentation by Steven Mandzik (FB profile) and Amy Senger (1×57.com). For the 2pm break I walked around the Trade Show floor and lounged in the NOLA boothe with my Sponsors. I went around and collected free drinks, munchies and found some free hot dogs for lunch. There was a $5000 giveaway by Microsoft to the person who got the most unique QR code scans and cash paying blog asignments by AOL Seed. My HTC6800 was too outdated to run the BEE TAG program needed to participate in the QR code competition so I focused on attending as many seminars as possible.

The 3:30p was focused on creating a fan following with Scott Kirsner (Cinema Tech) and Gary Hustwit (Objectified) then finished the day with improving social media with live streaming video presented by Brad Hunstable (U-Stream).

After my final seminar I went to Pelada. It was amazing! This group of soccer players raised money and went from country to country to play pickup games. It focused on meeting new people and making friendships to aid in their survival in the distant areas. The main couple was Gwendolyn Oxenham and Ryan White. Their friends and film crew included Luke Boughen and Rebekah Fergusson. My favorite parts of their story included them playing in a midweast prison game, a verbally heated Jureusalim game between Jews and Muslims, Gwen breaking Iranian law by playing in a male game and some amazing freestyle juggling players in Japan.

After the movie I asked them why they skipped central America and how they picked the places they did. They explained that they went places they had strong connections or had people invite them because they had a tiny budget.

After the show they invited us to a club to socialize. I talked to Gwen’s father and siser for quite some time. Gwen had played for Duke starting in ’02 when I was on my way out of the Huskers organization so she was not on the team that came to Lincoln when I was there. They all remembered our player who was accidentally shot at a party because the Huskers traveled to Duke shortly after that weekend. We also talked about our career ending injuries and our struggle to try-out for pro teams before admitting it was time to move on to coaching and lower levels of play.

One of their friends was from Omaha and also recruited by Creighton so we talked about that a while and then Ryan and I talked about playing at the Manhattan Blvd. field games by Sung’s house in L.A.

Outside that bar I met a marketing director ( ) who organized the free Taco twitter bus with Microsoft. I helped her move sand bags for their sign and got some free tacos and then ended my night listening to music at a Blues Club. Upon returning I still had no ticket on the van so I stayed put another night.

3/15 Monday

During breakfast I picked the film “Lemmy” but it was out of VIP passes so I choose “A Different Path” about 4 people dedicated to traveling free of oil for the night’s entertainment. I took the first half the day to reach out to people by walking around and wearing my “Use Less Oil, Ask Me How!” t-shirt. I gave our mySpace info out to a few people and then went back to the convention center.

For 11a, I went to a video conference on Video FX for Indie films. It was educational to see how R Zane Rutledge (Zane Films) used special programs to accomplish cool effects. I went to the MS booth for my free lunch sandwhich and then listened to Evan Williams (Twitter CEO) talk about the future of Twitter.

The film “A Different Path” focused on 4 men who switched to riding bikes, kiayakes and walking. It felt good to see people making committments to

The final session for the day was focused on preventing suicide and I enjoyed participating with stories from our network. Christopher Gandin Le (Emotion Technology), Earnest Mazique (Emotion Technology), Amanda Lehner (Ad Council), Daniel Reidenberg (SAVE) and Amy Wright.

For the evening I went to a free dinner party and then there was the premier for the movie “Lemmy” about the Motorhead guitarist/singer. I waited in line because I missed out on the VIP passes but I was too far back. The theatre filled up before my turn in line so I went to a couple clubs with live music playing until close at 2am. There were after hour clubs open until 4am as well but I was too tired to check them out.

When I got back to the van a hotel worker asked me to move the van because their employees liked to park there. I obliged him and pulled up to the next block.

3/16 Tuesday

I was not excited about the mornings sessions so on this day so I took our donation box and sat on a corner writing messages on T-Shirts and drawing flyers while handing out our information. I also went around writing simple green and truth messages on the streets with chalk on my way to the theatre for an 11:30a show about privacy. The movies for the day would be Erasing David and Trash Humpers.

The film was called “Erasing David” (David Bond UK) and (Director Ashley Jones GreenLions.com). David was fed up with companies gathering information and distributing it without his permission in England so he asks 2 detectives to try to track him through Europe for a week. The film’s purpose is to show how much data is floating on us and to show how you are being tracked in daily life with that data and how it is used to enforce rule over your freedoms.

Director Ashley Jones and David are now in our network and we enjoy updates on how each of us lives with minimum privacy invasion.

I went and got my free sub sandwhich, fruit and Sierra Mist for lunch and then sat in on a talk about how independent content can save the media. Evan Shapiro (IFC TV) Marc Lieberman (the Onion) Jake Dobkin (Gothamist.com) Joeseph Gordon-Levitt (hitRECord.org). In the age where only phone and cable industries are financially growing while music, film and print are evolving into more of a traditional free art; independent news sources are becomming main stream.

The internet is saving our world. It allows us to enjoy most of our wants and needs FREELY. I survive with little to no communication bills and reroute that expenditure into our charity fund. Thanks to big money providing free wifi access points and the ability to download any media I want to study/read/watch/listen to, and the ability to talk to family with skype, and read updates on the world and organize gathering movements AND AND AND…. WE are learning that inflation and evolution and materialism and industrial/technoligical revolution is not a healthy path for our civilization. You don’t mess with nature.

An economic depression is the best thing that could happen right now because it forces us back to sustainability. We now look to move back into rural areas and plant our own food and create our own energy and revolt against corporations that try to force us to do things we do not want to do. We stop supporting bribed politicians. This is what INDEPENDENT MEDIA CONTENT is all about!

At 2pm it was time to listen to Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek. He talked about Spotify’s entry into the US market and all of his hurdles in the UK.  At 3:30p it was time to meet the members of the band DEVO. They are famous for the song Whip It and also for music videos filmed in a focus group environment. They showed a video presentation that used all the people in the room as a focus group to help name one of their upcoming songs. They use a comical method that everyone enjoyed. (ie. We laughed A LOT)

From 5-7pm I went back out on the park square corner and did t-shirt drawings to raise more funds for our cause to help people in need. I met a few more interesting people and then dropped off my stuff in the van and changed clothes to go to the clubs. I started with another movie called Trash Humpers. It was an Asian film done in a very offensive style. It was perverted and just plain ridiculous but for some this type of film has a cult like following.

This film was at a theatre close to the capital which is in the 10-13th streets. That gave me a reason to explore some new areas. I visited with some people sleeping on the streets and a few other nice people. I saw a nice lady battling MS with a sign asking for help on the back of her scooter. I stopped and talked to her and another nice girl (Janani Kasturi) at the bus stop for half an hour. Angela was from Ohio but her muscle pain was to intense to live in a cold climate so she moved to Austin recently. She couldn’t find anyone to help her so she left her things with her mom and boarded a buss.

When Angela arrived in Austin, she had a room in a wheel chair accessible apartment rented but she had to figure out everything else as far as personal needs and assistant care. After being registered with the Texas Human Services department for nearly 3 months, she still had not been provided care workers.

Angela was excited that a church group she found on Craigslist was sending people over to help her finally the next day. (other girl) had just met Angela about an hour before I did at a coffee shop where Janani worked.

There was a SxSW Interactive closing party with live artists painting to music and a couple ladies modeling gothic attire. I was not too excited about the music but spent a while writing before moving on to my New Orleans friends party. I finished the night at the Interactive closing party with my New Orleans friends who know how to throw a party.  I danced with tons of beautiful people to 4 hours of Jazz. We closed the night with the parade around the bar and then after hugging all 30+ of my sponsors they boarded their bus back to New Orleans.

The mayhem on the street was getting bigger each night. Sixth street was blocked off from this day on for 3 blocks and then after 10pm, another 9 blocks were blocked from cars. Pedal cabs started increasing in numbers as well as vendors. It was interesting watching the festival grow each day as more and more musicians arrived.

3/17 Wednesday

I started my day drawing on shirts on the corner to raise some money and then headed over to the arena to see what goodies were being set up for the music seminars.

The only free food I could find during the music conference was popcorn so I had to start eating food from the van. I went back and gathered a bunch of trail mix and figs and then made an attempt to sit in on some seminars. Most of the seminars were guarded so I could not sneak in so I started walking the streets to listen to the live music.

It was exciting to be on 6th street as the festival grew hour by hour with the stage additions. Live music playing in one bar after the next with more music on every corner.

At 4 I went to the film doc “Weird Word of Blowfly” telling the story about Clarence Reid who is the founder of rap. Clarence struggled through the most difficult of free speech wars to get his music heard. He sold all of his copywrights and now struggles to survive in debt. I hope everyone watches this film.

The next film was “Get Low” with Duvall and Bill Murray. It was about a Hermit planning his funeral party even though few people would attend.

From that film I rushed to a free dinner party and then got front row for the Motorhead concert. It was not my favorite music but it was enoyable.

As soon as the concert was finished I went the vampire movie called “Suck” with Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins and Iggy Pop. It was an adaption of the Queen of the Damned script focusing just on the events around a all vampire music group.

3/18 Thursday

I noticed some bike cops when I woke up so I waited for them to pass before getting out of the back of the van. Once they had passed it was time to explore the music options for the day.

I started with a great french lady singing in a hotel lobby so I could write and relax out of the heat. There were so many different types of bands that I only listened to a few bands and then move on.

At 2 I went to a film called “Barbershop Punk” which was about internet free speech and censorship. I was wearing my “Stop Corp Government” shirt and the lady walking behind me complimented me and started a conversation.

The film documented Robb Topolski as he recorded the censorship by Comcast on their internet portals. He started MetaLabs.com to provide tools for all to use to document their own censorship infringements. Robb also testifies to congress to help the FCC understand why Internet Freedom is protected by the constitution. Unfortunately his message was over ruled by big money and the FCC ruled in favor for internet censorship in May 2010.

This ruling would have never happened if the corporate contribution limits were not lifted by the supreme court in January 2010.

The evening movie was the story of Joan Jett called “The Runaways”. There were some well known people in attendance that were involved in the film including Dakota Faning, Cherie the first lead singer, their first manager and the actress who played Joan Jett. The film was great and I enjoyed meeting them all in person.

After the show I walked around the capital and explored the austin downtown park areas. As I was chatting with a few bench sleepers I noticed a girl with a sign on the back of her mobile chair asking for help.

3/19 Friday (writing in progress)

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Comments
  1. I lately came across your blog and have been reading along. I imagine I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say, except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice site. I will keep visiting your site very frequently.

  2. South by Southwest 2010 Austin TX…

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