Well folks, it’s that time of year again. The time when technology experts, social media gurus and a whole slew of other web personalities congregate to the same online place. I’m talking of course about the SXSW 2010 Panel Picker. There are a few changes this year that make voting a bit more Interactive.
First, the voting is for more than just the Interactive (web) Conference. Voters can now select panels for the Film and Music Conferences. The many different panels are displayed in a table interface similar to Google Reader list view, with keyboard shortcuts for quick browsing. J and K will move you down and up, and a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down vote can be cast with a 1 or 0 (very binary, we know). Voting closes September 4th, so be sure to get your picks in by then.
Speaking of picks, it may at first seem overwhelming when you discover there are 2215 panels to choose from. There is a search option to filter, but if you still need some inspiration you can always count on your social networks. A quick search on Twitter for SXSW Panel will give you an almost endless list of bit.ly links. You can also check out Facebook to see which panels you friends are voting for, or to let them know which ones you have picked. As the conference continues to grow, keep an in out for more discussion and promotion for these panels in the next few weeks.
The formula for choosing the final panels that will appear at the SXSW Conference next Spring is a mix of the voters (you and me), the staff, and an advisory board. While it isn’t a pure democracy, the voters do have a say, which is a welcome change from other large conferences. This type of outreach to the attendees and larger tech community is one of the reasons that SXSW has been so successful.
You now know where to vote, how to vote, why to vote, and places you can find out for whom to vote. If you need more recommended picks, we have a page dedicated to the Schipul SXSW 2010 Panel Picks. It is filled panels staffed by some of the Schipulites and some of the community members that we think are awesome. Along with voting, you can support your favorite panels by talking about them around the internet.
Let’s make SXSW 2010 the best it can be by using the web to promote the top panels that we want! See you in the comments…