Each March, for the past six years, I’ve attended the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin and have always wondered why there were no panels on faith or spirituality. The Internet has made a huge impact on how people interact with each other and this area in particular has always fascinated me. Will “cyberchurches” replace megachurches? Can people worship together when they’ve never physically met? How is the web changing how we talk to each other about faith? I decided I’d like to find out, so I’ve proposed to moderate a panel at next year’s conference.
About 200 other people have made panel proposals, too. Which is where you come in. Check out the handy-dandy Panel Picker and nominate the ten best ideas. It’s ok if you don’t think mine is one of them. But if you’re intrigued, and are going to be there (hey, even if you’re not going to be there), do me a favour and throw me a vote. My proposal is under the “Community” and “Miscellaneous” categories, and is entitled “Ghost in the Machine: Spirituality Online.”
Your input on the panel is welcome as well.
I clicked on a strange Google Ad today. Nice to see that Campus Crusade for Christ is using the World Cup as an evangelistic opportunity. Jesus And The World Cup is basically an evangelistic tract laid out in the green and gold of Brazil’s team colours. Is this a hint as to whom God favours?
My favourite quote from the page: “If soccer is your source of happiness, then your life can go up and down.”
I’ve been back from SXSW Interactive for more than two weeks and yet I still haven’t posted my thoughts. The reason? Well, I wrote something that was very negative and I’ve been sitting on it. I’m going to post it now, unchanged, but I will add that my malaise seems to have been shared by a number of people. And it appears to be affecting a number of conferences, not just SXSW. I heard a lot of complaints that ETech wasn’t so great this year, for instance. And tech conferences seem to be sprouting up all over the place like weeds. All part of the new “Web 2.0” bubble, I suppose.
But before I post my depressing screed, I will say that I managed to have a pretty good time nonetheless. It’s just too bad that I only get to see some of these amazing people just once a year. For evidence of my merrymaking, check out my photos on Flickr. I’ve posted my photos from 2001 and 2002 on there as well. Ah, nostalgia!
Read on if you dare…
Continue reading “SXSW 2006: Blog Bubble Bursts”
James Invites You! (image by Kristin)
I can’t believe how fast SXSW has crept up on me. In less than two weeks, I’ll be in sunny Austin for the sixth year in a row. I remember how excited I was back in the fall of 2000 when I had already decided to attend my first time. I blogged for months and months and Nikolai joked that he’d have to create a new Bloggie Award for “Most Blogging About SXSW”. I’m older and more jaded now, not the hot up-and-comer that I was back in the pioneer days, but I’m still crazy excited to be going. Meeting up with old friends and making new ones, staying out very very late and talking geek talk. It’s going to be a much-needed shot of warmth, both meteorological and sociological. For a second year, I’ll be rooming with my buddy Neil Lee, even though he told me I snored last year.
I got home yesterday afternoon around 3:30, sleep-deprived and smiling. I wish there were time to post a full post-SXSW report but after catching up on my sleep, becoming reacquainted with my wife, and returning to a flurry of work, it may have to wait. I am writing a piece for Digital Web about the conference, which should appear in the next few weeks, so that may have to suffice.
I’ve also started posting some photos to Flickr. Try searching for the tag “sxsw05” or looking for the name “jmcnally“. I’ll put some more up as I have time.
To everyone I met or re-met at this year’s conference, a big shout-out! Thank you for making me laugh and making me think, in almost equal measure.