Crowdsourcing Your Mental Health at #SXSW

Crowdsource Your Mental Health at SXSW

We were extremely proud to have one of our team members selected to lead a panel discussion at this year’s annual SXSW Interactive festival! Schipulite Sarah M. Worthy and former Schipulite Data Analyst Dr. Dharol Stevens, PhD. led a Core Conversation on the topic of “How to Crowdsource Your Mental Health for Free.”

The audience was made up of an array of medical professionals, those looking for better ways to find health information online, and those curious about the topic as it relates to the growing trend of Health 2.0. The panel was a great discussion with lots of feedback and participation. Below are my highlights:

Why Crowdsourcing for Mental Health?

Crowdsourcing is where many people are doing a little bit of the work instead of one person doing all the work.

Over 50% of people in the US can’t afford afford mental health treatment. Mental health issues are complicated and much of  the treatment is trial and error. Unlike other medical conditions, mental health symptoms do not necessarily have only one answer that a doctor (even a very experienced doctor) can diagnose with a single test or symptom.

For Mental Health issues specifically, crowdsourcing can help piece together the puzzle of what is really going on for symptoms that are difficult to diagnose. The idea is that crowdsourcing is a tool you can use to be more informed and aware when you visit a doctor.

The Power of Crowdsourcing

SXSW Part 2 058Crowdsourcing’s power is in its specifics. Reading other people’s very specific accounts can hopefully ring true to your unique situation as well.

The benefits of these personal experiences include:

  • Reading other people’s stories lets you know you’re not alone
  • Seeing stories of those going through treatment may set expectations for what treatment entails
  • Stories of people who have overcome health issues gives hope that the symptoms will eventually end
  • Reading other people’s accounts can also help you define symptoms you didn’t otherwise know how to articulate, or things you didn’t know were a symptom you should be paying attention to
  • These accounts give access to peer support which can be incredibly powerful for those going through any kind of medical treatment
  • When you visit your doctor, you can ask more informed questions to get to treatment faster

Tools for Anonymous Online Searching

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 4.02.23 PM

Many people hesitate to do searches around mental health online because they are worried about the privacy issues involved. If your family or peers cause these concerns, here are some resources to try for anonymous searching online:

  1. Incognito mode in the Chrome browser when browsing the web
  2. Tor – For IP address anonymity online
  3. Duck Duck Go – Anonymous Search Engine with Privacy at its core

Validating Medical Information Online – The Downside to Crowdsourcing

The danger of crowdsourcing is that 50% of health sites have incorrect information. You can combat this by arming yourself with tools to evaluate information online and look for trusted sources.

Tips for Validating Online Medical Information

  1. Verify that it is written by an expert
  2. Make sure it is current & cites valid sources
  3. Look for certifications and disclaimers

Valid Sources for Medical Information Online

  1. Look for .gov or .edu sites
  2. Anything linked from the resource pubmed will be credible
  3. If you find studies cross linked you can look for them on scholar.google.com – Sometimes it will appear as though you have to pay for detailed study information, but any government journal is required to release its studies for free after 2 years
  4. Health on the Net is a great resource as well – this organization’s goal is to publish credible medical information

“It’s never been easier to cross reference information online” – Dr. Dharol Stevens

mental health apps to try

Mental Health Apps to Help Focus

  • Mood Tracker tracks your mood over time and shows patterns like how your mood is related to stress, amount of sleep, etc.
  • Focus Booster uses the Pomodoro technique to break down work into 25 minute chunks of uninterrupted time
  • Lifetopix is an app of organization tools help you stay organized and focused
  • Self Control blacklists programs or websites you block for a certain period of time so you can focus

Tips for Finding a Doctor

“If you take one thing away from this, it is that the Internet is not your doctor. You still need a doctor.” – Sarah M. Worthy

The internet will never replace a medical professional. Hopefully it will arm you with the tools to start the conversation.

Tips for Finding a Doctor

  • Unfortunately the best way to find a doctor is still word of mouth
  • Like treatment, know that finding a doctor you like will be effort – it may take some trial and error
  • If you don’t like the person you are working with it’s ok to look for another doctor (your gut feeling is probably right)

Apps to  for Locating a Doctor

(Note that this list was crowdsourced from the audience)

Keep the Conversation Going! More on This Topic:

SXSW Eco Panel – Behind E-Waste – Recycling Electronics

E-Waste dumping - photo by Curtis PalmerThe success of SXSW’s March event each year has brought a year-round calendar of mind-expanding events like the 2nd annual SXSW Eco conference a few weeks ago. SXSW Eco brings participants together to focus on areas of Sustainability. The popular SXSW format, panel discussions and meetings over the three days, allowed experts to share their ideas, successes and challenges with audience participants. I was able to attend a variety of sessions including one important to both Schipul and our clients who use technology to support their business or non-profit.

The Good, Green & Shocking Truths

Panel Summary: Many factors such as planned obsolescence, consumer trends, and updated technology contribute to e-waste becoming one of the largest societal waste segments. Exactly how recyclable are our electronics, and what are the most responsible methods of disposal?

Moderator:

Maia Corbitt – Executive Director at State Of Texas Alliance For Recycling

Panel members speaking:
Clive Hess, President of  CompuCycle
Dag Adamson, CEO of LifeSpan Technology
Terry Levy, VP Sales for ARCOA

The panelists discussed the history of electronics recycling in Texas and the ways their organizations, alongside our state’s legislature, have gradually increased the ease of recycling for businesses.  The panel shared the different local electronics recycling programs and explained which programs were legitimately using state approved certifications and processes so that Houston business owners could confidently select a certified recycling center.

History of Electronics Recycling in Houston

15 years ago in Texas, most waste was being shipped overseas, and low grade metals were one of the main waste products.  Within the last ten years, we’ve seen this change as more businesses are seeing the value of sustainability programs.  Granted, some of this was instigated by policy change.  For example, Texas passed the 2008 Computer Take Back Law making computer manufacturers responsible for providing recycling to residents and small businesses.

In 2011, there was only one certified center in Houston and now there are 5 certified centers indicating a move towards easier and more responsible waste management.  The increase in facilities comes from businesses who provide recycling services moving towards end of life asset management for businesses, including refurbishing and re-use as much as possible, and encouraging recycling when re-use is not possible.  Combined with policy changes, taking out the hazardous materials and doing the right thing has become a profitable business focus. Recyclers also recover more value when possible for the business or consumer than they did in the past.

E-Waste Sustainability in Houston Today

Yesterday’s technology included much more solid metals waste and was larger (think old Desktops). Today’s recycling stream allows removal of metals and proper disposal. Current electronics are smaller and more efficient in their production. This already eliminates some of the bulk of recycling. Both of these are results of policy changes bringing a change in practices and new business opportunities.

Clive Hess, President of CompuCycle – Houston’s first R2 recycling center, brings success stories that share how CompuCycle has expanded their services to include data management and data sanitization, and provide better opportunities for Houston businesses to incorporate sustainability programs.  At CompuCycle, many recyclers now securely erase, sanitize and provide warranties on products they resell. No products are sold as-is, but only with a warranty and if it can’t be sold with a warranty, then it is recycled.

CompuCycle also participates in the unique recycling challenge called the WhatIf? campaign where you can donate your eWaste and they will hire and train individuals to recycle the components. This creates jobs and training for a local non-profit organization. The plan is to continue beyond the campaign as a sustainable endeavor, but they ‘need your junk’ to be successful.

Seek Out R2 Certified Recyclers

Most companies are not quite educated yet on R2 certification and the panel shed some light on how to evaluate and find the right certification options for your business. There’s still a long way to go for the recycling industry to be a recognized standards bearer and the EPA encourages companies to find out if the recycler you’re considering is certified by an accredited, independent certification auditor such as the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board.

The panelists agreed that Education will become key for Chief Sustainability Officers in companies and for your Chief recycler in your home.  The people who fill these roles will want to seek updates and stay informed with both the changes within the recycling services corporate world as well as with Federal and State policy changes. Some rrecycling businesses are only registered and will include this as part of their marketing materials, but doesn’t mean they are certified for recycling responsibly.

Our future should include policies that put pressure on electronic manufacturers to build upgradeable devices and longer life cycle products to reduce waste. But, this will require individuals to let their lawmakers know how to write these policies. Lawmakers listen to their constituency and particularly parents.

Want to Help Improve E-Waste?

Manufacturer’s need collection goals and the public needs easy locations to drop-off.

  1. Require retailers to provide information about recycling to consumers.
  2. Require state agencies to recycle assets via certified vendors.
  3. Recommendations that state computer Take Back laws include ALL electronics including TV’s and other waste.
  4. Find local R2 Certified Recycling facilities in your area.

Concerned about the future of materials in your landfills near your children? Let your State Representative know your concerns.  The EPA’s website also has a list of Recycling Resources where you can go to stay up to date on changes in policies and find tools to help individuals and businesses develop and implement sustainability programs at home and in your office.

Silver Lining for Urban MiningUrban mining and rare earth metals can be found locally instead of offshoring with other countries. Opportunities exist for job creation and has even been part of the lawmakers focus in Colorado for underserved markets. A de-manufacturing site provides jobs for disabled or underserved markets, and a refurbishing site can provide high-tech jobs for engineers. Recycling E-waste is a reverse supply chain position taking one part and producing many parts from the whole. The recycling industry is a consumer driven market. Imagine what happens if everyone started sending all electronics to recycling? It would be an influx of materials. A typical middle-income household has four or more devices per person in their home. Game consoles, cell phones, old iPods, CRT screens, printer, etc.

Business is good for current recycling facilities. What happens when there is no longer a market for glass or other low grade materials? There are electronic parts that have value such as copper, gold and metals, but it is getting harder to handle materials such as glass, lead and plastic. Panelists were quick to suggest as invention increases, there is opportunity with the challenges. Glass is now used in aggregates for road construction to help the roads last longer with addition of silica to increase life span. Reground ABS plastics lower the cost of many manufactured items. There will be a greater need to find opportunities like these for our increased e-waste.

Take Action Recycling your Electronics

Find a certified recycler near you, and find your representative. Have eWaste? Let us know and we can help you find the means to recycle responsibly!

Your SXSW 2012 Interactive Top 10 Tips for Survival

SXSW Interactive is one of, if not THE biggest, interactive marketing and web conference, and is a valuable resource for our team here at Schipul.  SXSW Interactive offers education and the latest and greatest for all things related to web marketing and digital advertising.

I’m excited to be able to give back to my profession this year as a presenter on a panel: Spacepoints – Space Outreach at Ludicrous Speed! If you’re going to be in Austin in March for SXSW 2012, come check out my panel or just hang out with the team from Schipul attending.  {shameless plug!}

SXSW has a Guide for First Timers that can give you some tips on navigating the conference.  Their guide can get you to the sessions, but when I attend SXSW, I am also looking to connect with other Interactive Agencies to build relationships and identify the latest technology innovations and software tools to help our clients improve their online marketing results.  This results in a 24/7 week-long agenda of AM networking breakfast, blogger’s lounge, panels, afternoon networking, party, party, party, 4 hours of sleep, repeat.  Over the past few years, I’ve developed my own tips for surviving the extended-version of SXSW Interactive.

Here are my Top 10 Tips for Doing SXSW Interactive Hardcore:

1) Say Yes to the Free Caffeine; Say No to the Free Booze.

You’ll find that every party will have plenty of free sugar free red bull, monster energy drinks, vodka or some other kind of alcohol to mix.  Then my Caffeine Hero: Starbucks always comes to the rescue the next morning with plenty of free coffee.  Skip the booze if you want to make it through the entire week, and stock your hotel with fresh fruit and healthy snacks because you’ll be hard pressed to find any food, let alone free food at SXSW.

2) Keep Your Smartphone Charger on You at All Times.

You will be on the go running from panel to panel during the day, and then party to party each night. Carry your phone charger with you, take a spare that you keep in your hotel room (in case you lose your first one), and if you have the option – get a spare battery too. If you see an outlet near you – don’t be ashamed to plugin and juice up your phone. Tweeting, foursquaring, and texting is power-intensive and you don’t want to have a dead battery at 2am when you are trying to find directions back to your hotel.

3) Bookmark http://austin2012.sched.org/ and use it to create your personalized SXSW schedule before you get to Austin.

SXSW’s event schedule on their website is pretty good – however I’ve been using sched.org’s unofficial SXSW guide to find EVERY party, panel, and must attend event possible.  The best places to connect with people at SXSW aren’t always “official” parties.

Sched also offers a new feature this year that enables you to sync your Eventbrite RSVPs and the platform is available for all the major mobile platforms: iphone, Droid and Blackberry. When you get to Austin, you’ll love how easy sched makes it to find your next session on the go.

4) Pack a Swimsuit.

Austin weather is fickle, and it may be 60 degrees in early March or 90. Regardless – all the hotels have swimming pools and hot tubs and if you are doing it right, you’ll be invited to at least one pool party.  I don’t recommend skinny dipping at SXSW – everyone has a camera in their smartphone and you what happens at SXSW definitely does NOT stay at SXSW.  So take your favorite swim trunks or bikini when you pack for Austin.

5) Pack a Cowboy Hat and Cowboy Boots.

There will be at least 2 parties with a Texas country theme. If you don’t have western attire – no worries, Austin has some great shops where you can purchase what you need.  I’ve gotten great Cowgirl boots at Allen’s Boots and the HatBox has Cowboy hats in every style plus tons of other fun and funky headwear.

6) Pack a Backpack and Leave Your Briefcase at Home.

Have I already mentioned you’ll be on the move for a week? Take a compact backpack with a laptop-padded section for your trip and spare your back and shoulders the strain of running around all day carrying your briefcase. You don’t have to take your laptop or tablet PC – but you’ll definitely want to have something with you for taking notes in the sessions, even if you prefer traditional pen and paper.  If you are going to any of the developer or design sessions then your laptop will be heavily used. Bloggers will find the Bloggers lounge a great resource for power and snacks while updating your audience with all the latest happenings online too.

7) Talk to Strangers.

The panels are great for professional development but it’s the people at the conference that are the core of the experience so don’t be shy – say Hi to everyone you meet. SXSW Interactive hosts the largest single gathering of “Connectors” you’ll ever find so strike up a conversation and get connected with new people who will help you grow your business, launch your start-up, or make an introduction to that big prospect or thought leader.

8) Take More Business Cards Than You Think You’ll Need – and Stickers Too!

I probably go through 200-300 mini-moos each SXSW. I order cards JUST for SXSW that have my contact information while at the conference. I include a headshot so people recognize me throughout the week, my mobile so people can text me about any “pop-up” parties, my email address for following up later, and this year my panel information so people will know when and where I’ll be presenting. I recommend moo.com’s mini-moos if you are going to order cards just for the event. Here’s my cards for this year:

9)  Make Time to Visit the Exhibitions, Showcases, and Lounges.

One of the best places to find out about innovations in online technology is SXSW’s Interactive.  The only place I personally can imagine being cooler for a tech-geek like me is the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.  SXSW has several different Trade Shows and Showcase Lounges featuring an array of products and services that your business may want to utilize for growing online and offline next year.  You definitely want to make your rounds to the SXSW Start-up Village Showcase featuring new technology start-ups, plus you can snag some really fun Swag!

10) Don’t Try to Do Everything.

You can’t.  I tried one year and came back with no voice left and a dazed and confused fog that took 2 more weeks to dissipate.  Until cloning techniques advance, I’ll have to settle with missing about 2/3rds of everything because so much is going on all at once.

Schedule at least 4 to 6 hours of sleep each night.  Make time in your schedule to get away from the convention center to walk around the lake one morning or take a couple of hours one afternoon and take a nap in your hotel.  SXSW, when done right, is both grueling and an amazing experience.  Definitely dive right into the throng of digital tech madness, but be sure to turn off your phone every so often…

And remember: Don’t Drink the Free Booze!

Support some great SXSWi 2012 panels!

SXSW 2012 promotion

SXSWi reigns as the Geek Supreme Conference for marketers, technologists and entrepreneurs alike.  The Schipul team attends and speaks regularly at this great event – boy do we love the energy, fun and creativity that is found walking through the streets of Austin in March every year!

In the spirit of awesome content and even more awesome SXSWi attendees, we have created another SXSW Proposed Panel Page (say that five times fast) to help support Schipul and friends’ favorite SXSWi 2012 panels to vote on!

Let us help you promote your SXSWi panel submission!

Did you submit a panel or see a few that you want to spread the word about?  Leave us a comment on this post with the link and reason why you think it rocks – we’ll add it to our community proposal page!

Can’t wait until March 2012?   Be sure to check out this handy ‘First-Timer’s Guide to SXSW’ and take a look at some of our adventures we have had with our favorite geeks and companies throughout the years.  Like pretty pictures instead, we can do that 🙂

Looking forward to bumping into you in line at a party and Tweeting at you in a packed conference room full of amazing minds next year!

How to support your favorite SXSWi panels

SXSW panel picker process

Unlike most conferences, SXSWi has a very interesting panel selection process.  Your vote and comments count for 30%, the SXSW Advisory Board mindtrust counts for 40% and SXSW staff weigh in with the final 30% – all designed to help deliver some of the most intriguing and diverse content of any event.

How often do you get to have your voice heard as an attendee?  Dig through the main PanelPicker 2012 interface and explore proposals by category, tag, title and more.  Once you’re logged in, you can give panels a thumbs up or down, then leave your comments on each individual page.

Comments are a great way to recommend a speaker you have seen before, leave feedback (hopefully constructive!) on the topic or just express your general excitement – which is also a great feeling for wannabe panelists.  Don’t forget to Tweet, Facebook, Google + and email topics you think SXSWi 2012 just shouldn’t be without.  A little promotion can go a long way for any speaker’s success.

And finally – comment with a link to your favorite SXSWi 2012 panels so we can add them to our list!  Voting and commenting ends on September 2nd, so don’t delay – we want to see what panels inspire you.  Thanks!

SXSWi 2011 – The Extended Version

We all like a little closure. Last week Scooter dropped her South by Southwest Interactive takeaways. Today we’ve compiled favorite takeaways from other SXSWi Schipulites to share with you.

SXSWi 2011 Takeaways

From Melissa

Photo via www.fastcompany.com (SXSWi 2011 Scvngr feature)

The highlight of SXSW 2011 for me was definitely SCVNGR CEO Seth Priebatsch’s keynote address.  Priebatsch explained how the developing “game layer” in the virtual world can be applied to solve problems in the physical world by taking advantage of principles of game play, including rules, rewards, and levels.  He even concluded the talk with a short game involving the audience to illustrate how game play can motivate people to work together to accomplish communal goals, regardless of locale of the players.

Not only did the talk itself cover a lot of real world problems (such as the inherent problems with school model) and present some interesting solutions, but Priebatcsch’s energy and enthusiasm was unmatched and inspiring. Listen to the audio of Seth Priebatsch’s Keynote Address

The high-profile presence of Gowalla and their SXSW-focused game of checking-in and collecting stamps throughout the conference was a lot of fun, too!

Also, I attended a panel session called Time Traveling: Interfaces for Geotemporal Visualization. The panel discussed how much data we are creating and storing in online systems, such as Google Maps, now that so many more people have access.

It’s easy to show either time or space/geography in visualizations, but combining them together makes visualizing the data a lot trickier.   It’s a new challenge and new opportunity to create and use tools to learn about history, current events, and trends and also presents new ways for storytelling on the web.

One of the panelists, Nick Rabinowitz, who works mainly as an information consultant with a focus on non-profit organizations, created a JavaScript library called Timemap.js that can be used to display geotemporal data in tons of ways, including progressing loading as you scroll through time.  He and his brother, panel moderator, Assistant Professor and Director of University of Texas’ Institute of Classical Archaeology Adam Rabinowitz, also created GEODIA, a system that visualizes the temporal, geographic and material aspects of ancient Mediterranean civilizations.

From David

We went to SXSWi with a strict goal to promote Schipul as a leader in the Drupal community, and while we promoted our Drupal Monster video, we had a wonderful time engaging the SXSW crowd with a content management system some were new to.

As part of our strategy, we printed out Moocards with a simple link on them, and we handed them out guerrilla-style.

Drupal Monster Moocards

We got more of a response from DrupalCon the week before SXSWi. But that’s to be expected since the video is Drupal-related. That being said, our promotion at SXSWi kept the snowball rolling. Watch the Drupal Monster video.

From Derek

Groupon SXSWi 2011

The panel that made a lasting impression on me was by Aaron With from Groupon called “Strange Business: Corporate Creativity that Doesn’t Suck.” It was about a lot of things they do that most people see as wasting endless amounts of time and money for no reason. They do fun, interesting things that have no plan at first then actually end up having value at some point (try unsubscribing and you’ll see). My favorite quote was Aaron describing one of their activities: “We made it for no good reason then it ended up having a business benefit.”

At Schipul, we don’t go to the extremes Groupon does, but it’s good to see the idea reinforced by a large company. Our company realizes the potential of “wasting time” even when it may mean lack of productivity at that specific period of time. The Drupal Monster video or Plasma Car races are perfect examples. Listen to the audio version of this panel

Random Photo Time!

While in Austin, we took every opportunity to live it up: nerd-style. That means Lyndia and I cuddled the xtranormals (you may remember them from @urbanhoustonian’s video); I met Dule Hill from psych (USA) and The West Wing (NBC) ; and between panels, the Schipulites enjoyed the beautiful weather on patios with free wireless internet access.

xtranormal cuddlies at SXSWi 2011
Lyndia and I cuddled the xtranormals.

 

Me to Dule Hill: Dude. You're hot.

 

 We're mapping out the parties that have free beer. Priorities. Nerdery.

Looking ahead

We had a few SXSWi first-timers in our group (including me). Since the conference we’ve had opportunities to apply much of what we’ve learned in small doses. Between now and the next SXSWi, it’ll be interesting to see how we, and how others, expand on information from panels.

If you missed it, I’ve updated my takeaways with audio links to the panels. Check them out here. And please feel free to share your takeaways and links with us. We’d love to hear from you!

SXSWi Catch-Up: Sex, BestBuy & Gaming

We’re still wreaking havoc in Austin! Here’s a an overview of what I’ve been up to –sending a little SXSWi report to give you a peek at what’s going on here. We’ll take a more comprehensive look at these panels and others we attended when it’s all said and done.

SXSW Newcomer

This is my first time at SXSW. I knew it would be impossible to do everything so I set a few goals to help get the most out of the experience. One of my goals is to attend panels that cover topics that interest me as a woman, a web marketer, a writer and a minority in America.  I have to admit, I’m pleased with my panel selections so far.

The Yoga Panel

SXSWi free hug guy

No. This guy wasn’t the instructor, but he totally was giving out free hugs.

About the yoga though: It was interesting to see yoga offered as a panel. And it was an actual yoga class that any beginner could get through easily. It was a good experience for advanced yoga folks, too. The panel was surprisingly popular and we had to modify a few of the poses for the sake of space. Ari Stiles was a great instructor who made light of the crowded room and kept us all at ease. I left feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day. If you missed Saturday Yoga, no worries. Tuesday Yoga will help you close out the conference feeling peaceful.

#sxswyoga

The Sex Part

SXSWi panel by Bedsider on re-branding birth control

Listen to the Bedsider SXSWi 2011 presentation

Bedsider.org is funny, human and interesting enough that it got women to share their personal experiences with sex and protection on camera. They’re also a free support network for birth control. It sounds boring. I know. But it’s so not.

One of the major take aways from the panel Re-Branding Birth Control: Behavior Change through Design, was simply that it’s easier to have sex than to talk about how to have sex responsibly. Jennifer Maer and Lawrence Swiader did a beautiful job of illustrating how Bedsider has a conversation about sex and protection in a way that women can relate to: through girl talk.

Despite sex ed classes, religious teachings and Maury baby daddy episodes, young adults who say they don’t want to have kids yet also say they use birth control inconsistently. To that, the Bedsider team says awareness isn’t enough, and that part of the solution is to have the right tools and an agile approach to educating young adults about safe sex. Bedsider is a community supporting women who use birth control and rewarding them for getting it right. And they’re doing it all by design and conscious content creation.

If you’re into sex (no joke), check out this evening’s panel on Subtle Sexuality on TV.

#bedsider

Latino Link: Marketing to Spanish Speakers Using Digital Platforms

SXSWi panel on marketing to spanish speaking consumers on the web

Ana Grace and Joe Kutchera facilitated a brilliant discussion on including Spanish speaking consumers in online marketing campaigns. Ana is leading the charge at BestBuy. She presented a case study on BestBuy’s Spanish language website that gave attendees an idea of how to approach this form of online inclusion. Some of the challenges the company overcame included deciding which version of Spanish to use (they went with universal Spanish), and whether or not to highlight special content to try to appeal to their Spanish speaking customers.

The major takeaway from this panel is that in the BestBuy case study, they learned consumers didn’t want different or “customized” content on the Spanish language site. Their target audience wanted the content to be identical to the content on the English language site. Also, it was an integrated campaign that relied a lot on the support of off line (in-store) components. The offline components included helping customers identify Spanish-speaking customer service reps that could help them in the store.

#latism

Keynote by SCVNGR founder Seth Priebatsch

Seth Priebatsch Simulcast at SXSWi

Listen to the audio of Seth Priebatsch’s Keynote Address

Seth Priebatsch (founder of SCVNGR mobile check-in app) delivered a compelling keynote presentation.  The main conference room was jam-packed so we watched the simulcast from a nearby conference room.

Priebatsch proposed a theory that suggests that we can solve some pretty big problems if we apply key elements of gaming to real life. He demonstrated the premise of his theory by getting the audience involved in a little bit of play time.

Each person in the audience had a card with two colors – one color on each side of the card. (Only in the live presentation, not the simulcast ones). The cards were placed randomly. The colors varied on each card and the room was filled to capacity. The challenge: get each person on a row the same color card. The prize: SCVNGR would donate $10k to The National Wildlife Federation.

It was a fairly difficult task. And it was timed –they got about 2.5 minutes to win the game. Players couldn’t get up from their seats (though I saw some people standing). The audience did well and completed the challenge with almost one minute to spare.

Seth Priesbatsch keynote at SXSWi

#GameLayer

Branding Panel: Congratulations! Your Brand is about be Obsolete

SXSWi panel #savebrands Congratulations! Your Brand is about to be obsolete.

Listen to the audio of  Congratulations! Your Brand is about to be Obsolete

This panel rocked my socks off. I was hesitant to go because, straight up, I didn’t want to get duped into watching a power point slide show about extinct brands and what they should’ve done. This panel was not that at all. The panel played to a packed house.

SXSWi panel on keeping brands from becoming obsolete

Andrea Ring and William Charnock of R/GA presented the audience with what would be a tough sell to the client of a marketing or branding agency:

Dear client,

Hey! Things couldn’t be better. You’re at the top of the game right now. Your brand is doing well –you’re the hottest thing going right now. In a word: you’re winning. Now let’s change everything completely. Don’t worry.

Thank me later.

Your Branding Agency

Scary. Charnock and Ring painted a clear picture of why changing while a brand is at the peak of its influence helps it avoid becoming obsolete. It’s a form of adapting overlooked by some brands that have failed. As an example, Ring and Charnock pointed out that lots of companies built their brands around selling fur, but cultural shifts made that change. You have to be ready to shift when “shift happens.” The key to brands shifting when at the height of their success, according to Charnock and Ring, is to find your higher purpose as a company rather than focusing solely on a product.

#savebrands

Stay Tuned! There’s More.

These takeaways are just snippets of what I learned in each panel. There’s more information and takeaways from the rest of the team still to come. We’re taking in new ideas and making new friends every day we’re here. Look forward to seeing more of what we learned as we return from SXSW.  Can’t wait for the wrap-up posts? Follow our tweets to participate in our SXSWi experiences!

Derek Key, Schipul Business DevelopmentDavid Stagg, Schipul Creative Director Ed Schipul, CEO of Schipul- The Web Marketing Company Katrina Esco - Schipul Communications Team Lyndia Makol - Schipul Web Designer Katrina Kakoska - Schipul Project Manager Melissa Lonchambon - Schipul Project Manager Iris McAlpine - Schipul-The Web Marketing Company Michael Coppens - Schipul Business Development