The Obligatory “On My Way to SXSW” Post

The blogbuzz is spreading, everyone is announcing their impending departures for SXSW ’05 and asking many of the same questions: who else is going, where are you staying, which BBQ joint is best. I, too, am departing for Austin for the first time later this week. I actually fly in on Thursday because I booked my ticket before the panels schedule had been released, so how was I to know Friday (the official first day of the conference) was wide open.

I’ve never attended a conference of this caliber before, and I’m not quite sure what to expect. I’m mainly going for the opportunity to meet some of the folks whose books and blogs I’ve been reading for two years or more, and therein lies the rub — I’m not good at meeting people. Oh sure, if we happen to be in the same place at the same time and a subject of common interest comes up I can dive right in and chat up a storm. But I’m a geek, bearing all the angst and social awkwardness that stereotype implies. I fear rejection and humiliation. I don’t know how to actually initiate conversations with strangers. My ice is not easily broken.

So just to ease myself into the swing and get things rolling, here are my opening lines, all at once.

Hi Dave, congratulations to you and Molly on the book, it looks awesome. Hi there Dan, I really enjoyed your book as well. And Doug, when are you going to write a book, eh? Keith! Dude! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got planned for May 1st. Hey it’s MJ! Love the diaper bag, even though I voted on the red one. Yo, Jon, they totally need to send you one of those shiny balls. So Shaun, I don’t suppose you have any idea why shortstat isn’t working in my new upgrade to Wp1.5? Maybe Matt can help us figure it out. Hey Cameron, how does it feel to be responsible for an entire design movement? And Jeffrey, I just wanted to thank you for all your efforts in spreading the word about web standards. We owe you a lot.

That’s only a partial list of the truly impressive selection of speakers and attendees that I’d like to meet. I do know of a few people I’ve met previously who will be going, namely Scott , Nicole, the aforementioned Photomatt, and just spotted this post by Glenda, all of whom I met at the mini-meetup a while back, so it’ll be nice to see those folks again. I’m looking forward to it.


  1. For the record, I’m told the best bbq in Austin is The Salt Lick. There’s also a place called The County Line that comes highly recommended, but I hear you need to make a reservation.

    I think I’m fairly well prepared. My greatest source of indecision is picking an extra book to take along, something to start after I finish the one I’m halfway through now… two hour layover in Dallas. Joy.

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