South by Southwest Interactive has now closed, and I am left feeling a bit ambivalent. While five days worth of gadgets, geeks, and parties sounds incredible, it is also exhausting. And downright frustrating when you run into someone dressed as an Oreo Cookie - at least for me. Sure, it was cute, and I love Oreos (seriously, love those things), but I don't come to SXSW for Wal-Mart's equivalent of Disney Land. I come for the tech. I come for the geeks, the nerd, the inspiration, the passion, and the creativity.
Increasingly, major corporations with less creative ideas or radical innovations - and more marketing campaigns and sales pitches - have been dominating the SXSW stage. This has forced some of the old guard developer meetups and forums to move increasingly out of the main conference center and even off of the main SXSW Campus.
It's almost a technological gentrification that I have a strange compulsion to compare to the hipster migrations to Williamsburg (and Brooklyn in general), or from parts of San Francisco to Oakland. As popularity and presence grow (and therefore the potential dollars to be derived from advertising and sales) the associated costs go up, often driving out the most primal creators of art and inspiration.
A selection of others opinions can be found below, but whether you be attendee or spectator, what are your thoughts? On the Movement? On its Value?