The shadow of Twitter (and Foursquare) loom large over SXSW. These two apps found their first public breakthroughs at the festival (in 2007 and 2009 respectively), and are now on their way to world domination.
Everyone start-up wants to be known as “SouthBy’s breakout app” and the key seems to be encourage usage, rather than awareness – a tactic followed religiously by the makers of Hashable, a location-based personal networking service.
The makers of Hashable stayed home, choosing instead to send 20 ‘power users’ to Austin to “hash” as many people as they could in 5 days. They pretty much ended up networking the entire town.
A group of young Aussies also made the trek to SXSW this year to launch their mobile audio tour-guide app called iTourU, setting up a presence at the Trade Show with assistance from Austrade, but relying mainly on enthusiastic users, who created almost 50 custom tours of Austin on the platform in the first few days of the conference.
Other notable launches included LiveShare (private group photosharing), GroupME, (private group messaging), Acts Of Sharing (private group lending your DVDs and stuff) and Neer (location-aware reminders, that could probably be configured for private groups, if that’s what you’re into).
I spoke to lots of these people, and more, in the podcast interview “12 SXSW elevator pitches in 12 minutes”
Need to rewind? Catch the previous episode, where Ad Agencies learn “How not to pay for anything @ SXSW”
Stay tuned for the next episode when ad agencies learn “How to Throw A Party (Like You Mean Business)”