INTEGRATE @ SXSW

Integrate Public Relations is off to Austin again and we invite you to follow along as our team takes on SXSWi 2014!

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Two panels, One Key Thing

What do a shiny new pair of kicks and uber-elite fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld have in common? Besides being on the list of my favorite things, I went to two panels today that talked about each respectively and came out with the same key message.

The overarching theme for both was accessibility.

Sneakers have been a symbol of status for a long time. They meant that you could do something that only the fairly affluent could afford to do such as play racquetball or squash. It was essential for the growth of  the sneaker industry to be able to share its products with the masses. 

Lagerfeld’s unique aura of staying cool and aloof needs to evolve for the world that we live in today in which a brand must have a voice. By giving him a twitter account, we are allowing him to share his brand with the world.

While both are considered luxury items in their own right, in general sneakers and Karl stay within their own fields of work. Only SXSW could bring them together for me!

— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio

Staying Dry at SXSW
Days one and two of the SXSW Interactive conference left most feeling more than slightly damp. I was able to keep dry with the help of my rain boots, Charles River and Longchamp bag. I’m sure that everyone’s SXSW Survival guide in 2013 will include a reminder to bring an umbrella or poncho! Above Jessie, Jenny and I snapped a quick picture in between running to panels.  
— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio   High-res

Staying Dry at SXSW

Days one and two of the SXSW Interactive conference left most feeling more than slightly damp. I was able to keep dry with the help of my rain boots, Charles River and Longchamp bag. I’m sure that everyone’s SXSW Survival guide in 2013 will include a reminder to bring an umbrella or poncho! Above Jessie, Jenny and I snapped a quick picture in between running to panels.  

— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio

Circus Mashimus

The Circus Mashimus was in short, awesome. I was able to come here to work three out of the four mornings that we were at SXSW. It was a great lounge with lots of seats, places to charge and free bagels and beverages – although most people were too busy to partake in a Bloody Mary. It’s ironic that I was able to get so much done in the chaos! Above you can see Jenny busily working away, right in the middle of all of the circus chaos!

— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio

Homeless Hotspots
BBH Labs created a campaign that gave a roaming wi-fi hotspot to various members of the Austin homeless community and spread them throughout the doors of the Austin Convention Center during SXSW. The campaign allows you to use the hot spot in exchange for a donation to the homeless person providing the signal. According to BBH, the idea is meant to give a human face and interaction to a problem.
How would you feel about your wi-fi signal emanating from a homeless Austinite? 
— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio   High-res

Homeless Hotspots

BBH Labs created a campaign that gave a roaming wi-fi hotspot to various members of the Austin homeless community and spread them throughout the doors of the Austin Convention Center during SXSW. The campaign allows you to use the hot spot in exchange for a donation to the homeless person providing the signal. According to BBH, the idea is meant to give a human face and interaction to a problem.

How would you feel about your wi-fi signal emanating from a homeless Austinite? 

— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio

PostSecret Rollercoaster
I was blown away by the PostSecret event. If you’re not familiar with the site, it is the world’s largest ad-free blog. It is a weekly update of about 25 postcards that people mail in from around the world. These postcards all contain a secret that the creator has never revealed to other people. The results run the gamut from shockingly depressing to overwhelmingly heartfelt to simplistically hilarious.
I had no idea that I would be so moved by any one speaker at SXSW. I knew that I would gain information and maybe be impressed at people’s achievements but I had no idea that something could touch me in the way that this event did. 
I started crying, really hard -an ugly cry. I was with Jessie and for some reason I didn’t want her to see me. I felt so moved by some of the images and so wrapped up in myself that I forgot the message of PostSecret. I didn’t get it until I actually looked over at Jessie and realized that she was crying as well. 
The secrets that are turned in are secrets that many people can claim. Being able to share them with each other reminds you that you’re not alone.
I’m so glad that I was able to get to this event!
— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio

PostSecret Rollercoaster

I was blown away by the PostSecret event. If you’re not familiar with the site, it is the world’s largest ad-free blog. It is a weekly update of about 25 postcards that people mail in from around the world. These postcards all contain a secret that the creator has never revealed to other people. The results run the gamut from shockingly depressing to overwhelmingly heartfelt to simplistically hilarious.

I had no idea that I would be so moved by any one speaker at SXSW. I knew that I would gain information and maybe be impressed at people’s achievements but I had no idea that something could touch me in the way that this event did. 

I started crying, really hard -an ugly cry. I was with Jessie and for some reason I didn’t want her to see me. I felt so moved by some of the images and so wrapped up in myself that I forgot the message of PostSecret. I didn’t get it until I actually looked over at Jessie and realized that she was crying as well. 

The secrets that are turned in are secrets that many people can claim. Being able to share them with each other reminds you that you’re not alone.

I’m so glad that I was able to get to this event!

— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio

One Key Thing
In my session about how the iPad saved accessibility I learned about how certain people were affected by the growing gap between innovation and accessibility. Although 17% of Americans can claim a disability, until recently nothing was done to help the disabled who were essentially disenfranchised.
As I mentioned in my post on the IntegratePR blog about Google GoMo people started to become aware of the fact that technology was growing more rapidly than necessary when they realized that mobile devices would not support websites because of the way that they were coded. In the same way, the 17% of disabled Americans could not access certain websites because of things like flash. People got upset and forced change, different ways of coding such as HTML5 and CSS allowed access to websites on mobile devices and inadvertently made things better for the handicapped. My one key thing from this panel was that
If content can’t be consumed by your audience, you’ve failed. Make sure that your audience has access.
— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio   High-res

One Key Thing

In my session about how the iPad saved accessibility I learned about how certain people were affected by the growing gap between innovation and accessibility. Although 17% of Americans can claim a disability, until recently nothing was done to help the disabled who were essentially disenfranchised.

As I mentioned in my post on the IntegratePR blog about Google GoMo people started to become aware of the fact that technology was growing more rapidly than necessary when they realized that mobile devices would not support websites because of the way that they were coded. In the same way, the 17% of disabled Americans could not access certain websites because of things like flash. People got upset and forced change, different ways of coding such as HTML5 and CSS allowed access to websites on mobile devices and inadvertently made things better for the handicapped. My one key thing from this panel was that

If content can’t be consumed by your audience, you’ve failed. Make sure that your audience has access.

— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio

One Key Thing 
At this session, Why Hasn’t the Internet Made Voting Awesome?, we talked about the future of voting. Although I knew that America has a disparagingly low voter turnout, I was unaware of the actual statistics. There are 168 recurring democracies in the world, and in terms of voter turnout, The United States ranks at 138. This is bad.
The problem lies in the fact that voting is inconvenient for the way that our world works today. The original system of voting (occurring on Tuesdays only) was implemented in the early 19th century, when Tuesday was the day that a man would go into town to go about his business. 
My one Key Thing was that we need to solve the Tuesday problem.
It is so important to get out and vote for your local leaders. Even if you feel disenchanted with the political system and the way that things are run, you need to go out and do something. The panelists, Paul Schreiber and Seth Flaxman have devised a system that makes it easy to vote and register from home.
They send voters a completed ballot request form for their state and an addressed, postage-paid envelope. When the request form arrives, all you do is simply sign it and put it in the mail. Your local election board will receive the request and send you a ballot.
They send  text and email reminders so you don’t miss elections and partners with colleges and universities to get the message out.
Check out TurboVote and make voting in this year’s election “as easy as renting a DVD from Netflix.”
— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio   High-res

One Key Thing

At this session, Why Hasn’t the Internet Made Voting Awesome?, we talked about the future of voting. Although I knew that America has a disparagingly low voter turnout, I was unaware of the actual statistics. There are 168 recurring democracies in the world, and in terms of voter turnout, The United States ranks at 138. This is bad.

The problem lies in the fact that voting is inconvenient for the way that our world works today. The original system of voting (occurring on Tuesdays only) was implemented in the early 19th century, when Tuesday was the day that a man would go into town to go about his business. 

My one Key Thing was that we need to solve the Tuesday problem.

It is so important to get out and vote for your local leaders. Even if you feel disenchanted with the political system and the way that things are run, you need to go out and do something. The panelists, Paul Schreiber and Seth Flaxman have devised a system that makes it easy to vote and register from home.

They send voters a completed ballot request form for their state and an addressed, postage-paid envelope. When the request form arrives, all you do is simply sign it and put it in the mail. Your local election board will receive the request and send you a ballot.

They send  text and email reminders so you don’t miss elections and partners with colleges and universities to get the message out.

Check out TurboVote and make voting in this year’s election “as easy as renting a DVD from Netflix.”

— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio

Sending beer over Twitter? The bright minds at Waggener Edstrom and TenFour have come together to make this dream a reality and the founders of the app claimed that it was born out of necessity at SXSW: “We wanted to make sure that the person who goes to South By for ‘work’ and comes home with a one thousand dollar drinks tab can tell their spouse that, ‘honey, it’s ok, people sent me beer money on Twitter!’” 
I’m so excited to see what new ideas will come out of this year’s conference! Would you send someone a beer through Twitter? 
— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio   High-res

Sending beer over Twitter? The bright minds at Waggener Edstrom and TenFour have come together to make this dream a reality and the founders of the app claimed that it was born out of necessity at SXSW: “We wanted to make sure that the person who goes to South By for ‘work’ and comes home with a one thousand dollar drinks tab can tell their spouse that, ‘honey, it’s ok, people sent me beer money on Twitter!’” 

I’m so excited to see what new ideas will come out of this year’s conference! Would you send someone a beer through Twitter? 

— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio

Lifesaver 
Everyone at SXSW has been so affable and ready to help and direct me. However, this morning I found out that I had a session at the AT&T Conference Center which is roughly a 30 minute walk from the Austin Convention Center. Thankfully, the SXSW Interactive campus has their own buses that shuttle people specifically to and from these more remote destinations. Just look for the orange flags!
— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio   High-res

Lifesaver

Everyone at SXSW has been so affable and ready to help and direct me. However, this morning I found out that I had a session at the AT&T Conference Center which is roughly a 30 minute walk from the Austin Convention Center. Thankfully, the SXSW Interactive campus has their own buses that shuttle people specifically to and from these more remote destinations. Just look for the orange flags!

— Contributed by Stephanie Ignacio