|SXSWi 2011 Begins: Marissa Mayer VP of Consumer Products for Google on the mic.
Since yesterday, thousands of people ranging from entrepreneurs with their URL'd t-shirts to buttoned-up executives to troll-like bloggers have shown up at the badge pick-up area all excited by the prospect of interfacing with a large swath of the tech industry.
Everywhere at the Austin Convention Center, SXSW'ers are bumping into each other with or without the help of their mobile device, catching up on the latest tech happenings. Heads are already spinning with meta-data, pockets are filling up with business cards, and smartphones are getting "(re)launched-at-SxSW" apps.
Besides Apple's pop-up store, Spotify and their 1 million paying users have of course been quite the talk. On the topic of music recommendation technology, rumor has it that Lipton and Pandora will release a mobile app for SxSW concert goers. In a nutshell, make your selection of shows to attend next week and supposedly the Lipton/Pandora app will provide you with additional and relevant choices of bands to check out.
What about the Interactive Panels?
Location-based services have indeed been quite the focus. With Foursquare releasing a piece of news everyday, it was timely for Marissa Mayer VP of Google's consumer products of Google to share some important pieces of information during her appearance as a featured guest:
40% of Google Maps usage is Mobile and Mayer's favorite product besides Google is her Swiss watch from 12 years ago.
Nothing really new. Although some may get inspired and turn their experience of Google 3D XML Navigation into landscape shots for a music video…
Questions from the audience piqued the attendees' interest. "How do you decide when a product is ready," one person asked.
According to Marissa Mayer, "It's an Art not a Science... A lot of it has to do with polish and finesse. Should it be released as an experiment or a complete product?" quoting the example of Instant as a product that required a lot more attention and thorough testing.
But isn't there more to life than panels?
Like most veterans will tell you, most of the action and interesting meetups happen outside of the panel sessions. Yet thanks to SitBy.us, one can see which particular session (and parties) his or her Twitter friends are planning on attending, which also comes handy if you can't spend your valuable time to go through thousands of panel choices.