Tech Market Analysis


The Magic Midnight Mind Meld


Posted on Mar 22, 2011 | 54 comments

The most common questions I’ve gotten over the past week have been a variant of:

Was SXSW worth it?
Was it just one big party?
Should I go next year?
Why do your eyes still look so bloodshot?

(And I’ve learned a new term, I arrived home with SxSARS).

As you may know I outlined my rules for maximum impact at events / conferences before SXSW began. If you didn’t read it, it’s here.

I hold true to form and follow my own advice. I didn’t sit through any panels (other than the day where I was the emcee and judge for the BizSpark Accelerator program). I booked several high-profile meetings in advance. I had scheduled dinners every night with small groups of people. I stayed out late. Strike that. LAAATE. Every night. I focused on relationships, connections, human bond, idea generation, testing products and also I generally tried to be available for others.

SXSW was magic. I can’t imagine having been at a better event. I was listening to NPR on my drive in yesterday morning. They were talking about the music portion of the show. A band was saying, “I can’t believe that at one event you could get access to the band managers of Lady Gaga, FooFighters, etc. Every night you are just hanging out with big name bands and the teams around them that brought them to their peak.”

I couldn’t have said it any better replacing music with tech. Want to hang out with Dennis Crowley? He was there in the Pepsi pavillion playing actual FourSquare with anybody who wanted. Want meet one of his key investors, USV partner Albert Wenger? He was there, too. Just hanging out.

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I’ve written before about my love for Disqus. I’m not an investor – I just love the product.

So now Facebook has a new commenting system. They’ve been around for a while and when they first announced this initiative I knew the day would come when people would start saying, “should I replace Disqus?” I started telling people privately that I thought Google should buy Disqus for the same reasons Facebook wants to own commenting in the first place. Commenting on topical blogs is a form of topical social networking in the same way that Quora is. It’s a highly engaged audience and the content generated from many of the blogs (not all) are highly valuable.

TechCrunch switched from Disqus to Facebook. This had generated a ton of posts both for and against. I’m too busy this week to find all the links for you but a quick Google or TechCrunch search should reveal many.

So should I switch? Me thinks, not. Here’s why:

1.

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After the weekend kerfuffle over AngelList I was reading Brad Feld’s post on Signal vs. Noise. It’s apropos because there is so much noise these days with email, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, web shows, etc. that it’s sometimes hard to know when to pay attention and when to keep your head down.

Mostly during the day I’m in meetings or doing work. I’m sitting at my computer now at 9.00pm writing this – which is an hour earlier than I normally write (there are about 8 women at my kitchen table having a book club (aka excuse to drink wine & gossip so I’m locked in another room writing.

I don’t get too bogged down in the noise during the day. If I check Twitter it’s usually because I’m waiting for a meeting to start and I never write posts during the day. My secret noise pleasure is to scan TechMeme throughout the day. I enjoy that.

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