Welcome to the 42nd episode of the Mediatwits podcast, this time with Mark Glaser and the Rachel Sklar as co-hosts. Sklar is a writer and social entrepreneur, and is filling in for Rafat Ali. This week is a special episode dedicated to all things South by Southwest (SXSW), the media confab covering technology, music and film down in Austin, Texas. We have a great lineup of guests, who all attended SXSW, including Reuters’ Felix Salmon, Collaboration Central’s Amanda Hirsch, Salon’s Irin Carmon and The Verge’s Laura June. Carmon wrote a piece about the increase in participation by women and people of color at the show, but how much further it still has to go to reach better diversity of voices.
Has SXSW peaked? Jumped the shark? One stunt that got a lot of attention was the “Homeless Hotspots,” homeless people who carried hotspots with them and asked for donations in order to give people Internet access. Laura June wrote that this was the “best, worst, smartest, dumbest part of SXSW.” Plus, there was a lot of hype around “ambient apps” such as Highlight and Sonar which tell you which of your friends are near you. And the big rumor of the show was that CNN might buy social media blog Mashable for $200 million, a story broken by Felix Salmon. It hasn’t happened… yet.
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Here are some highlighted topics from the show:
0:45: Co-host Rachel Sklar reporting from Austin
1:30: SXSW was packed, lots of lines, but still worthwhile?
4:00: Rachel: convergence of film, music, interactive, money
4:30: Rundown of topics on the show
Diversity at SXSW
5:55: Special roundtable, with guests Irin Carmon, Laura June, Amanda Hirsch and Felix Salmon
7:30: Carmon: SXSW has democratic process for choosing panels, but not always inclusive
10:30: Rachel put on a comedy show with female comedians to “change the ratio”
13:00: Hirsch: Not everyone speaks in startup/tech lingo
CNN buying Mashable?
14:00: Could the cable network buy tech site for $200 million?
15:50: Salmon: Mashable is kind of bland, middle-of-the-road
17:50: June: Not surprising that CNN would want to buy Mashable
18:45: BBH Labs takes heat for publicity stunt, but was it justified?
20:10: June: There’s a case to be made for it serving its purpose
22:40: Rachel: BBH could have done something to help homeless long-term
Ambient apps the next big thing?
25:10: Apps such as Highlight, Sonar were a hit, but could cause privacy concerns
26:10: June: Most people using it were male; I disdain apps that broadcast my location
27:00: Rachel saw more traction with Sonar than Highlight
29:20: Hirsch: I didn’t hear about the ambient apps at all
Special Series: SXSW 2012 at MediaShift
White male nerd culture’s last stand at Salon
South by Southwest: Is CNN buying Mashable? at Reuters
Speculation Split on CNN Buying Mashable at Computerworld
SXSW In A Nutshell: Homeless People As Hotspots at ReadWriteWeb
SXSW Interactive: The Comedown at NY Times
Don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about SXSW:
Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+