Reporting from SXSW: Sunday 3/15

It’s a busy Sunday at the 2009 SXSW Interactive Festival. I saw a successful SoDA unConference take place and continued my focus on mobile and open standards.

While I’m waiting on my team to meet up for dinner, let’s get to the recap. The panels I attended today were a little more diverse (and much more technical) in nature, so this update will be a little shorter than yesterday’s mobile recap.

SoDA’s unConference = Success

It’s truly inspiring when you get a number of CEOs, investors, designers, developers and other industry evangelists in a room to discuss the future of the digital industry. With the informal, conversational approach of the unConference compared to the dispersed nature of SXSW’s panels, it was great to be in a standing-room-only conference room of attendees eager to collaboratively discuss today’s digital ecosystem.

The SoDA members shared their POVs on a number  of relevant topics and offered a look into the workings of their agencies: how they deal with things like scope challenges and budgeting issues, with plenty of more general management advice. The attendees asked a lot of questions related to managing expectations with their clients, maintaining margins and reacting to the overall economy and its’ effect on digital.  All very informative and much needed advice.

One thing is for certain, with the shift from traditional media to digital continuing its rapid pace, preparing and anticipating the economy’s recovery is a priority for all agencies. The questions and their respective answers covered at the unConference are a great place to start.


Despite the ground gained by OpenID and OAuth in the past few years, enterprises are still hesitant of utilizing this technology as a Single Sign-On (SSO) solution for their employees and consumers. Legacy systems like proprietary authentication models or potentially-pricey LDAP/Active Directory catalogs are still preferred in most organizations. Are enterprises waiting for OpenID and OAuth to gain more traction before adopting it and, if so, what are they doing to contribute to their success?


Developers looking into the iPhone as their next offering are still hard-pressed when it comes to learning Objective-C. As I mentioned in last night’s recap, the niche programming language continues to pose a strong barrier-to-entry. Hopefully Apple’s preview of the iPhone’s 3.0 operating system this Tuesday will reveal improvements in this area… Flash?

That’s about it for tonight. Check back tomorrow for the next recap!