SXSW: Conventional wisdom
SXSW offers more than just concerts. Here are some of the daytime activities I checked out.
"You've Built a Social Network, Now What?": This panel debated how to translate Twitter followers and Facebook fans into dollars. Key observations: Web videos should be 3:40 or shorter. A band's most valuable content (probably its music) should live on its official site. And an e-mail address is more valuable than a "Like" in exchange for your music.
"Our Band Could Still Be Your Life": Columbus expat Ahmed Gallab (Sinkane, Yeasayer) was among musicians discussing the impact of Michael Azerrad's 1980s underground rock tome "Our Band Could Be Your Life" and whether a hard-touring DIY approach is still viable or necessary. Choice Gallab quote: "I earned my stripes in Columbus. I know everything I know because of Columbus."
Trade s how: Many music tech companies hawked their wares, label A&R people offered on-the-spot critiques, media outlets promoted their product and more.
Flatstock: Some of the nation's greatest poster artists from New Jersey (Mercerrock) to Seattle (Powerslide Design) showcased.