How To Pick a SXSW Panel


It’s that time of year again when all your friends start pleading for SXSW panel votes.
They need your vote since voting counts for 30% of the overall vote for each panel being chosen to be at SXSW. I know 30% doesn’t sound like a lot, but it certainly does help.

First things first, a SXSW Panel Picker Primer . With three simple tips:

1. Get registered – In order to vote, you have to register. This means you must go to THIS LINK and sign up. It’s simple. Just your name and an email address – but it is a two-step process. You fill that form out, hit “submit” and then they send you an email with a verification code that you must click in order to activate your account and be able to vote.

2. No it doesn’t carry over 
– If you registered last year that doesn’t matter. The system does not save profiles year to year so even if you voted/registered last year you must still register this year to vote.

3. It’s not just about volume – yes, getting tons of “thumbs up” votes is important. It is equally if not more important to get *quality* votes. What does that mean? It means you need to (and encourage others to) post comments on the submission indicating WHY you think it’s a great addition to the program. Things like – you’ve seen the speaker before, you are interested in the content etc… IMPORTANT TO NOTE: the commenting system on the SXSW site is run by a company called Disqus (pronounced – Discuss). In order to post a comment you need to log in via one of the myriad social network options there. Easiest is probably Facebook though the Twitter integration is solid too.

Instructions above thanks to the lovely Cathy Brooks.

If you need help deciding, here are my favorite panels: (Of course, I’ll start with my own)
Hey A-hole, Stop Calling Yourself a Guru

Panel: Amy HigginsEvan Hamilton, & Erin Robbins O’Brien

And here are a few of my  favorites that I have voted for so far:

Shut Up & Breathe: Meditation & Storytelling FTW! This panel is presented by the rhythmic and lovely Cathy Brooks. Watch her video below to see what I mean:

From Crowdsourced Film to Social Movement

Curation + Crowdsourcing + Creation = Love

PR for Startups

Three’s Not a Crowd for Startup Founding Teams

Distribution or Death: How Publishers Can Survive

The End of Trolls? New Ideas of Online Identity

Exit Fragmentation, Here Comes The New Social

Tactics of App Distribution Hackers & Cartels

Real Talk: The Social Customer Shift

DIY App Publishing and the SXSW Community Cookbook

A few more to add to the list…

The X Factor: Women Innovators

Connective Consciousness: Influencer Back Channels

The Future of Porn

The Alchemy Economy: A $300B Craving for Change

Open Sourcing Accelerator for Social Impact

Chicks Making Out: Monetizing Niche Content

How to Find the Co-Founder of Your Dreams

Super Fly Super Fans. Super Success Stories.

Solving the Pandora Problem.

Social Discovery or Online Dating, Who Will Win?

Social Surgery: Live Streaming the Operating Room

Edited August 22nd.

Check out these awesome Community Manager focused panels (of course in addition to my own listed above):

People and things: Why visual social networks work

Panel: Matthew Knell, Katy Kelley, Katie Richman, & Katie Morse

Are Community Managers the New Influencers?

Panel: Christina Hug, Saul Colt, Justin Isaf, & Tine Thygesen

Community Management: Beyond the News Feed

Panel: Spencer Rinkus, Peter Slutsky, Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, & Laura Gluhanich

When Sh*t Hits the Fan: An Online Crisis Drill

Panel: David Krejci, Aaron Miller, & Lauren Melcher

Myth Busting: Creating a Viral Video

Panel: Bettina Hein, Eduardo Tobon, & John Duffield

Tricks of the Trade: Grow Unity in Your Community

Panel: Kat Mandelstein, Jessica Murray, Joyce Davis, Michael Bepko

Edited August 28th
Open Sourcing Accelerators for Social Impact

Panel: Diane Bisgeier and Pascal Finette

Feel free to add yours in the comments below.

Amy Higgins

Social mediaholic. Incurable content creator. Hardcore bacon nerd. Opera aficionado. Presently @TopRank Marketing Formerly @Zendesk @Concur @GoogleLocalSF

2 thoughts on “How To Pick a SXSW Panel

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