SXSW Interactive 2008 endorsements: Go Team Portugal!

The annual geek popularity contest is underway as SXSW has opened up the voting in their SXSWi 2008 Panel Picker.

This year I was wise enough not to overcommit by proposing a panel myself, but I do have some horses in the race. I’m presently working on the UT Austin – Portugal CoLab, a large project bringing together various UT departments with their counterparts at universities in Portugal (about which I’ll blog more another time). As part of that project I’ve had the pleasure of helping a number of Portuguese digital media researchers craft proposals for SXSW. The Portuguese are excited about Austin and I’m excited about these panels: I think they bring much-needed international perspectives to Interactive, which in contrast to Music and Film has always been very US-centric. I hope you’ll consider giving them your votes.

Beyond Thumbs and Cursors: Innovative Physical Interfaces

Digitally Communicating Dance

Musical Freedom Just Down the Road

‘Redrum in the Rue Morgue’: Collaboration in International Communities

Virtual Scandals and Sacrilege: Who’s grieFing Now?

I’m particularly proud that the griefing panel is the first to my knowledge to use the phrase “feces-spewing obscenity” in a proposal abstract. :-)

Beyond the Portuguese invasion I find myself voting most enthusiastically for topics that relate to geography: mapping, hyperlocal communities, localization, and location-based gaming. I want to vote against anything with a “2.0″ or god forbid “3.0″ in the description, but alas, there is no negative voting. Hugh Forrest confirms that not voting is the same as giving 0 stars and that 1 star beats 0 stars. I think I see his point (why should I be able to interfere with someone else’s expression of interest in a topic?), but dammit, I want the pleasure of a good backlash!

Finally, a fanboy shout out to the personalities I most want to see on stage this year:

Christian Crumlish on Online Identity and Design Patterns

George Kelly on Roll Over Gutenberg, Tell McLuhan The News

Charlene McBride on Mr. Cranky Customer: The Forgotten Persona

Glenda Sims on Global Design: Web Sites for the World

Rashmi Sinha on True Stories from Social Media Sites

Apologies to anybody I overlooked in the 683 proposals. See you in March!