Wow. That's the only word I have for the conference that was South by Southwest Interactive. That was definitely the largest group of geeks I've ever had the pleasure of meeting at once. And such a varied assortment too.
After the daily dose of panel discussions, the parties were booked till 2am. I made sure to quit about midnight the first couple days, but the last couple, I closed the place down. Something about knowing I'm about to lose my geeks makes me stay as long as possible to talk. The only real problem was, the music was always so loud, and I had to talk over it. Each day, I woke up a little more hoarse. Wednesday (our travel day home), I woke up with no voice. Well, maybe 15% of one. More like a croak. Good thing it was over.
The food was good, the sessions were good, and everyone was amazingly friendly. There are a few Flickr streams of the event. Just to name a few people I met (in the order they pop into my brain) — Heather Armstrong (Dooce.com), Shawn Inman (haveamint.com), Mike Davidson (Newsvine, sIFR), Jason Santa Maria (Happy Cog Studios), Derek Featherstone (furtherahead.com, boxofchocolates.ca), Ian Lloyd (accessify.com), Andy Clarke (All That Malarkey, Stuff and Nonsense), Andy Budd (Clearleft Ltd), Jon Hicks (hicksdesign.com), Porter Glendenning (AOL), Ethan Marcotte (Vertua Studios), Dave Shea (Zen Garden, mezzoblue.com), Drew McLellan (web application developer and author), Dori Smith (wise women, writer), Jeffrey Zeldman (Happy Cog Stuedios), John Allsopp and Maxine Sherrin (Westciv), Mark Trammell (ufl.edu), Faruk Ates (Web Kaizen), Rob Weychert (robweychert.com), Denise Jacobs (trainer), Jonathon Snook (snook.ca), Shawn Henry (W3C), Kevin Smith (Centricle), Harry Heymann (Google), Eris Stassi (Eris Free, Apple), several Blue Flavor and Adaptive Path people — OMG — there's a ton more I can't think of right now — I'm half brain-dead at this point.
I also got to see old friends like Molly Holzschlag, Eric Meyer, Tantek Celic and Amber (iamthedj.com), Scott Fegette, Jen Taylor, Bob Regan, Heidi Voltmer and several other Adobe friends. You couldn't ask for a better group of folks to lose your voice with. I'm definitely planning a return trip for next year. Hope to see you there.