First off, SXSW to the uninitiated is South By Southwest, referred to as “SXSW” or “South By“. It is a HUGE (with hundreds of thousands of people, maybe a million or two, who knows) festival in Austin. Texas over spring break. It started 23 years ago with music, expanded to film and then a few years ago added interactive. So, you’ve got the music geeks, the film geeks and the nerds all descending on a city for 13 days or so. I’ve been going since 2005 and it is something NOT-TO-MISS in your lifetime. In fact I’m sure it’s in a few 100 or 1000 things to do before you die lists.
My interest is the interactive — all about the Internet or the Web 2.0. They’ve been talking the Web 2.0 since 2005. I wonder if we’ll ever get to the Web 3.0 or they’ll just call it something else. I was there when Twitter first was introduced. Lots of chatter about “taking a shower,” “I’m in the elevator,” “meet you at the beer tent” and stuff like that. Fascinating, no? Also went on to MySpace and Facebook because of SXSW trips. It’s amazing what I’d sign up for after being at SXSW. So this year, I joined the masses and did my part for #sxsw. (If you’re on Twitter, you’ll know what that is, if not, well, it’s sorta a open chat on a specific topic. Check it out..
But what did I learn this year? To be passionate. Okay, so not so hard is it? Or, IS IT? If you’re passionate about something then it will run your life and let it run your on-line experience as well. For me, it’s easy. I’ve got this book reading fetish. I READ a book a day or I get cranky. Very cranky. I don’t read to review, I don’t read for conversation. I read to stay sane. I’ve been doing it since elementary school days and it’s one of my endearing habits according to my loved ones (aka family and coworkers). In fact, they know when I need to go and read. They’ll drop helpful hints: “get a book already”, “want to go to the book store?” and my favorite, “did I interrupt your reading?” So, it wasn’t hard for me to identify my passion. What was hard was how to share it with others.
My love of books has enabled me to be brave and meet authors at signings, to start up a book club (going strong since 1995), and to run a business based on books, Fresh Fiction. So I guess the speakers were correct: find your passion, and live it! So I hope you’ll either pardon me or join me as I continue to be passionate about books and authors and all my friends who are as passionate about reading as I am!
Get out there and READ a book…
Join us at Readers ‘n ‘ritas in 2009!