‘Vancouver’s Got A Posse’ at South By Soutwest Interactive 2011


Once again that time of year has sprung upon us. If you haven’t noticed a strange influx of SXSW chatter on the internet, then you are one of the lucky ones. Geeks all around the world clamored for three strenuous weeks to pull together amazing and awe-inspiring proposals for potential panels during the 2011 SXSW Festival that takes place in Austin, TX every spring. This festival is a pure landscape of geek heaven with a 4 day Interactive portion of the festival geared specifically towards technology, geekery and all things ‘internet’.


So a few weeks ago panel proposal submissions were due so the main SXSW committee could review them all in a deep selection process for their Panel Picker. The radical thing about SXSW is that despite the immense size and overall geek importance of this conference/festival, it still gives audience access to helping to decide the final programming schedule. The Panel Picker is a voting system that allows people to cast votes for favorite panels and leave comments for proposal submissions. This system of voting constitutes a rough 30% of the overall vote for each panel which may not seem a lot but can be a major break for certain proposals.


Every year the city of Vancouver has a strong representation at the SXSW Festival, particularly the Interactive section. These four days of networking, workshops and presentations seem to vibe well with the West Coast Canadian crowd. Our big little city of Vancouver seems to be on the map of players in the technology scene year after year. With this large amount of Canadians present at the SXSW Festival it is no likely wonder that we would also stake a notable claim into the Panel Picker selections process as well.


I wanted to pull together a up-to-date list of panel proposals from Vancouverites that have been selected for the Panel Picker process. There are some pretty awesome panels proposed this year, roughly around 2500 hundred panels. With the voting process open until August 27th, it is nice to have some handy guides to sort through the endless pages of geekery proposed for 2011. The cool feature of the Panel Picker is that you can vote as many times as you want for as many different panels as your heart’s desire.

Panels for the Interactive portion of the 2011 SXSW Panel Picker

To start off the list I wanted to tell you about my Interactive panel that got accepted –
Kris Krug, on the other side of the lens
(photo by Robert Scoble)
Kris KrügKiller iPhone Photography: Tips from the New School

For many years I have been teaching workshops about photography tips for aspiring and professional photographers. These workshops revolve around skill sharing that is useful in our constantly changing world of digital photography and the internet. This presentation would be the next level to these such workshops and would be dealing with the camera that everyone carries around with them, their phone. This technology has become such a common aspect of your daily lives that it is great to have tips on how to become better photographers with the camera that is always in our hand. I just recently co-authored a book on this same topic called Killer Photos with Your iPhone, which will be available to buy after my workshop. 🙂

and from fiercekitty herself:

@fiercekitty - SXSW 2010 - Austin, Texas
Danielle SippleThe Internet’s New Peek-a-Boo: Sex Positivity

Sex is often the first element to be separated from anything involving technology, in basic discussions and conferences. The reality is that sex is everywhere and the internet is revolutionizing the idea of sex positivity in a digitized format. From sex positive campaigns, to sex positive online identities, the internet is evolving into a sexual landscape that is welcoming to everyone. This panel presentation will include discussions with panelists who are pioneering digital artforms, campaigns and revolutions that create an understanding of sex positivity.

Onto the rest of the list…

Magical Mystery Bus - Gnomedex 2008
Dave OlsonArt and Technology are Old Pals

Dave Olson’s love of art inspired life documentation mixed with the nuances of geekry is infectious. His presentation style of artifact discovery mixed with accessible messages for every creative and non-creative in the audience are always crowd-winning and awe-inspiring. This year Dave will discuss the prolific history that art and creativity have had with the evolution of technology. This panel is sure to not be missed for if you have had attended his Fuck Stats – Make Art presentation at SXSW 2009, you know for a fact what a wild and inspiring ride Dave weaves in his masterful art of storytelling and public presentation.

John BiehlerCreate Time Lapse Movies Without a Flux Capacitor

John Biehler is a really awesome Vancouver photographer who has created a great skill at producing time-lapse films with his photography stills camera. This panel presentation would be a skill-set learning session where John teaches the tips and tricks to producing stellar time-lapse movies. I’m hoping he will also be including examples of his own work especially some of them from the Vancouver Winter Olympics!

Grace CarterDas Stiletto: Discovering Ladykind in the Social Web

There is a notable separation of the sexes in internet land. Whether it comes from marketing aspects or misrepresented information, there is often a disjunct when trying to reach out to a more female-oriented audience, especially in the social applications area of the internet. This insightful presentation by Grace Carter and Nadia Nascimento will be an informative journey down the marketing pathway of attracting female audiences. Both of these stellar ladies have years of experience in creating dynamic social application campaigns that are welcoming and geared towards women. Their knowledge is clearly valuable and not to be missed. Plus they will be serving tea. 🙂

Jason SandersSocial Media Therapy: Therapy for the Socialist

Have you ever wanted to vent loudly to someone about the Twitter glitch that makes DMs go public? Or perhaps you have lost one too many insightful pieces of writing through a social media hiccup-refresh page? This panel will be the place in which you can safely and respectfully vent your concerns. Jason Sanders is a tech geek from Vancouver who understands the issues that everyone has with social media because he is not exempt from them. This could turn into a major smile-cracking bitchfest or an insightful discussion on how to handle the unnecessary stress of wayward social media. Either way, sounds fun to me.

Ryan Holmes
Ryan HolmesBig in Japan: Outreaching to a Unique Market

Have you ever wondered what the web market might be in a foreign country, say perhaps Japan for instance? Despite our best guesses, the developed technology in other countries varies differently than North America’s system. User interfaces, mobile services and internet connectivity sometimes have growth and power beyond our own product’s ability. CEO of Invoke Media and Hootsuite Ryan Holmes will be sharing his knowledge in a panel discussion about the particular technology market that is based in Japan. If your company or product will be making the journey out to Japan, this is a panel to not be missed!

Michael FergussonSocial Games: Manipulating Your Brain Chemistry, For Good

I know most of us have either been annoyed by the onslaught of social games on networking sites like Facebook. This way of gaming can be considered a time suck and general waste but Vancouver game developer Michael Fergusson is here to tell the tale that there can be more to social gaming. Fergusson will be discussing the lost elements of present social games that when included, could be socially benefial on a scale that transcends annoyance. For gamers new and old this presentation is sure to be knowledgable in the next step that gaming can aspire to for a more uplifting social experience.

updated: Nadia AlySocial Media Business Etiquette: Do’s & Don’ts

The world of social media is a developing landscape and sometimes we as media-makers don’t have the best handbook on how to navigate it. This panel discussion would be a safe space to learn from the successes and mistakes of other users’ experiences. More of a skill-sharing from some of the best in the field, this presentation will be lead by Vancouver social media strategist Nadia Aly. Just her knowledge alone of tips and tricks in social media will make this presentation a valuable skill sharing session, for newbies or professionals.

Panels for the Music portion of the 2011 SXSW Panel Picker (yes the Music portion has panels! who knew?)

Bear Attack: kk+ Vs. Rony's Photo Booth
Kris Krüg – Building Your Own Community Through Photography

Building community is a huge element in any artist’s career. When an audience is engaged into a collective community, the response to an artist/musician can be monumental and game-changing. This presentation will be practical knowledge on how to create engaged fans through the accessible medium of photography. Whether it is photo contests, collective photo pools on social networks or direct engagement with you audience through their photography, there is a vital pulse that every artist/musician can tap into as a means of connecting directly to their fans. Despite this panel being in the music portion of the festival, the knowledge I will present will be variably usable for any artist in most creative mediums.

Dave Olson & David Crow - SXSW 2009, Austin TX
Dave Olson – Rock n Roll Photography

Photography is an integral part of the music industry. This artform allows artists and bands to create visual personalities on and off stage which translates to relatable/memorable identities to their audience. The symbiotic relationship of photographer to musician can be a beneficial partnership. This panel discussion will offer perspectives from well known music photographers who have been capturing memories of musicians on and off stage for decades. A time down memory lane full of highlighting visuals from past SXSW included, this panel is sure to to be the highlight of many creative music geeks out there.


So this is merely a guide and information resource to all things Vancouver for the 2011 SXSW Panel Picker. Make sure to check out the panels, vote for your favorites and leave funny/interesting/inspiring/hysterical comments in the section below each panel! If you have been left out of this list and you are a current Vancouverite with a proposal in the Panel Picker, please leave a comment and I will update the list!

And the SXSW madness begins…

4 thoughts on “‘Vancouver’s Got A Posse’ at South By Soutwest Interactive 2011”

  1. Stellar job! And (naturally) I love the photos — really captures the fun and hi-jinks of SXSWs-past, plus some great mugshots of great friends.

  2. so awesome to see so many people from van on the list! very exciting…excited for your too Nadia – maybe we can hook up down there…I hear there is going to be a movember party this year 😉

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