SXSW Interactive or O'Reilly Emerging Technology?
November 11, 2004 2:27 PM   Subscribe

For a web designer/developer, which conference would you recommend: SXSW Interactive or O'Reilly Emerging Technology? I have never been to either and have funding to go to one of them. My interests at work right now include corporate use of wikis blogs, and rss; content management,; and, of course, having a good time.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I went to SXSW last year and loved it. I enjoyed meeting all kinds of people I'd heard of online, talking to them, and the various presentations and panels. More than that, there was just an air of excitement to the whole thing that I haven't seen at a computer show for a long time.

I came away with about 100 ideas for new sites and changes to my existing sites, most of which I've done nothing with, but at least it was inspiring.

I don't know about SXSW 2005, but the 2004 show would have covered your interests well. There were lots of discussions of blogs, wikis, and content management.

I haven't been to ETech but it sounds interesting too. It's a shame it overlaps the schedule for SXSW 2005. My impression is that it leans more to the business side while SXSW (partially because it overlaps with Music and Film conferences) leaned toward the creative, artsy side. SXSW is also focused on the Web while ETech seems to have a more general tech focus. But take that with a grain of salt and listen to someone who's been to both instead.

I suspect SXSW would win in the "having a good time" department, considering there were nearly as many after-show parties on the schedule last year as panels.
posted by mmoncur at 3:44 PM on November 11, 2004

I went to ETech last year and it was f'ing awesome. I've never been to SXSW but wouldn't pass up the opportunity if I could get myself there for a reasonable price though. I'll tell you this though. I'm planning on going to ETech this year even if I cannot quite afford it. It really really really was worth it. For web-design SXSW might be better, but for web development I'd go for ETech. It was amazing there, truly. So many cool projects, so many smart people. Great times.

posted by pwb503 at 3:53 PM on November 11, 2004

I've been to both. SXSW is cheaper, has better parties, and draws a more diverse crowd.
posted by jjg at 4:46 PM on November 11, 2004

They're kind of two different beasts. I'd say SXSW is more down-to-earth and accomodating. You'll find hundreds of people that build little websites and lots of panels about aspects of the same. An average panel at SXSW might be "How can you optimize your CSS."

Etech tends to be ubergeeky where most people there are software developers or entrepanuers, and the talks are more geared towards that. An average panel might be "Plunging the depths of the Semantic Web, a three-pronged approach to describing the world in RDF, along with other XML formats."
posted by mathowie at 5:05 PM on November 11, 2004

I've been to many SXSWs -- granted, more for music than web -- but I can always say that it was fun, worth the expense, and some sort of new business always seems to come out of it that pays the bill in the end.
posted by spilon at 7:24 PM on November 11, 2004

I went to SXSW, more to meet the interesting people I'd been cooresponding with than to learn. I also got to see some movies from the FILM aspect of SXSW was an added bonus. I can't say that I learned a whole lot about web designing, but it did energize me for a little while, and made me realize that all those "A-list" people are just normal, albiet charismatic, folk.

But all-in-all, I don't think it was worth the money, despite the fact that I wrote it off on my taxes.
posted by crunchland at 2:21 AM on November 12, 2004

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