South by Southwest 2014: human spam, power poses and crowdsourced comedy

If you’ve never been to South by Southwest, the annual social media and interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, it’s tough to describe the combination of laid-back-high-tech energy that makes the Festival standout.

Austin, a charming college town, may not the easiest place to get to, but once you arrive and get your bearings, you’re swept up in the swirl of the event.

It’s been a few weeks since it ended so I thought I’d reflect on five highlights from my third SXSW:

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Six things that will be on my mind in 2014

Well, we’re starting 2014 with a polar vortex that swooped in on North America and caused frigid below zero temperatures across much of the continent. The polar vortex is one of the things I’ve learned so far in January.

I also learned that a few days ago the temperature in Winnipeg was similar to the temperature on Mars. Why didn’t they tell me that growing up? It would have explained so much!

So I thought I’d begin the year with six things I learned about digital and social media in 2013 that will be top of mind in the new year.

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The difference between creation and re-creation

Tradition is a powerful force (and not just in Broadway musicals).

It’s given us many great gifts including holidays, rituals, beliefs…

And punctuation.

However, tradition can also be a bit clingy. Or we are when it comes to it.

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PR: what the industry can expect in the next 10 years

Not too long ago, Greg Satell, a blogger for Forbes, listed several trends he expects the marketing industry to experience in the next decade.

I liked his insights and thought I’d try to add a PR industry slant to his predictions. Here are my five. 

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It’s time for millennials to teach boomers a thing or five

I was talking to a neighbour not too long ago. She’s a first or second year lawyer with a big corporate firm. She asked me what I did and when I told her, said she doesn’t use social media at all – not even LinkedIn.

I tried to explain the benefits of social networks for someone at the beginning of a career – even one as auspicious as hers…

But it got me thinking that many millennials have been taught/mentored by successful people who, because social networks weren’t part of their lives, have no interest in or understanding of them. 

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