Love, Austin

Danny G. asked me earlier today if I’m too hung over to post. He asks because I’m in Austin for SXSW and I haven’t been blogging about it on this site. I have made a few posts at BFG Blog about my experience, and I made one at Leftover Cheese about the film “Silver Jew.”
I have been taking notes during the panels. I don’t “live blog” because my typing skills are not great. Plus, I like to absorb the information before processing it for an audience. It’s frustrating in a certain sense (given our cultural need for immediacy), but it’s how I work.
At any rate, I’m sitting in Room 10 A-B at the Austin Convention Center waiting for a panel on “Global Microbrands” to begin.
Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void, Kathy Sierra of Creating Passionate Users, Gabe Rivera of Techmeme and David Parmet are on the panel. Hugh coined the term, so after a quick introduction from Parmet, Hugh introduces his concept.
Here are some opening remarks:
Hugh: I went to Univ. of Texas in the late 1980s. Because of blogs I’m recession proof. I have a global network of people. Some give me money. Some don’t. I still work 18 hours a day. The key is personal sovereignty. So thank you.
Gabe: You’re not going to advertise in magazines if you’re a global microbrand. But you might appear on Techmeme if you put stuff out there that people want to link to.
Kathy: The big moment for me was when I had a higher Technorati rating than my publisher at O’Reilly. That changed my book deal for the better. (on blogging) Be grateful. Peoples’ attention is a gift. Everything I do is driven by that. Our job is to make people feel better about themselves.
Parmet: You’re gonna piss some people off. But you will also find work through your blog, so it balances out.
Highlights from the Q + A:
Hugh: Link to people who read your blog, not to Scoble or Kathy. (about his involvement with Stormhoek) Two years ago, when I started working with Stormhoek they were selling 40,000 cases a year. Now we sell 40,000 a week…so it works!
Kathy: Sometimes I go two weeks without a post. Don’t just post to post, take the time to think and offer something of value.
Hugh: (speaking about Thomas the “English Cut” tailor) He makes suits for Brian Ferry of Roxy Music. That’s how cool he is. Every time he makes a suit, he gets an order for three more. But he doesn’t give a damn about his Technorati rankings. He cares about suits.
Parmet: It’s not about reaching the most people, it’s about reaching the right people.
Hugh: I used to work in advertising on Madison Avenue. It was horrendous.
Rivera: Sometimes when you forget about the metrics and find your own voice, your metrics improve anyway.
Parmet: (on working from home) I want to show my kids that when you graduate from college you don’t have to work in “the glass building of death for Mr. Dickless.” (he’s quoting Hugh)
Hugh: I’m sorry, real jobs do suck. The more people who can succeed on their own terms, the happier I’ll be. I want everyone to succeed.
Hugh: Everybody Google “social object.” It’s the future of marketing, in my opinion. It’s not about technology, it’s about love. We’re here today because of love.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.