We are all globally connected… #sxswi #japan sxswace

12 Mar

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As we gathered for the start of SXSW many heads were down. Writing, checking, connecting with the outside world. Checking the devastating news coming from across the Pacific in Japan. At the start of the conference it was annoiunced that a SXSW donation site had been set up. Here is the link

And the political and social temperature was echoed through the sessions I attended duting that afternoon. First up Tim O’Reilly – who first talked about the web 2.0 and about how it was about the ability to upload and for people to move from a purely push model to one where real connection and intereacton can take place in this new world. Where he stated and I think this is great – ‘the technology exists to make easy things simple and hard things possible…

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He was followed by Marissa Mayer from Google looking at new GPS and data visualistaion. And she introduced Google Hotpot – a  location based exchange and sharing tool about places that intergrates into google maps. Next up was Clay Shirky, the author of Here comes everybody and the Cognitive Surplus. Again, similiar to the mood last week at TED this temperature had been raised as he focused on the story that social media played in the recent North African revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. And how these primarily youth led movements, using the new technologies had connection back to the great movements of the past, civil rights, the fall of the Berlin wall, that again showed that the ‘Power of the People is greater than the people in Power. Again echoing the talk from Wael Ghonim at TED  – It  was a rallying cry and an inspiring talk and really makes us look at all the opportunities we have to connect and make a difference.

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All of this has fired a new and growing passion to connect and use social media for social change. And as I past the festival stand of merchandise, I walked straight past and out into the sunshine to continue these conversations with the team from the UK. To focus on the transformative abilities that these technologies offer. So less about what they are, but what we say and do with them now.

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I am off to the live connection between the Roundhouse London and the Austin Convention Centre – So if you are in London I will give you a wave and we will connect across the Atlantic, as we are also continuing to think about our friends and colleagues in Japan…

 

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