The most amusing panel description in the upcoming SXSW Interactive:
Each year, the Web Standards Project holds its annual meeting at SXSW as so many WaSPs are in attendance. Last year, Microsoft Robert Scoble walked by the meeting and was told by Group Lead Molly E. Holzschlag that the meeting was closed and we’d need to catch up with him later. A bit snubbed by the exchange, Robert blogged about the incident, which in turn not only lead to the beginnings of a peace treaty between WaSP and Microsoft, but the formation of a working Task Force that’s born much fruit. The turn of events was so compelling that WaSP decided to open the annual meeting to the public, allowing any interested party to observe our annual process and participate during an open exchange at the end of the session. Special commentary on WaSP, its history, and its activities will be made by its co-founder, Jeffrey Zeldman, as well as Group Lead Holzschlag and many other activity coordinators within the influential grass roots organization.
The full descriptions are here. Now I’m guessing that the annual meetings are dullsville (maybe I’m completely offbase!), but it’s good to have a little controversy to stir things up.
Here’s my guess about panels which will be sparsely attended but very interesting:
How to Develop for (Convergent) Personal Devices
Designing for Global and Local Social Play
Sink or Swim: The Five Most Important Startup Decisions
Public Square or Private Club: Does Exclusivity Strengthen or Dilute?
Actually, I looked over the other choices, and they all sound relatively interesting. My experience has been that the techie panels never really work as well as the chatfests or the political boxing rings because the techies don’t really know the level of the audience they’re addressing. Besides, the things that interest them might not be what interests the audience.
Another problem with technical discussions in that the things that make developers so great may not necessarily make them great speakers. Sometimes, in fact, they make lousy speakers. Truthfully, though, you probably won’t learn much technical at a geek conference like that. Instead, you’ll learn the things successful web entrepreneurs are struggling with and their tentative answers. That’s useful enough for me.