Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Very Pleasant Evening

The next few posts will be all about SXSWi, or South by Southwest Interactive 2009. I would have posted every day since Friday, March 13, but I couldn't get any connectivity at the Convention Center with the exception of the connection stations scattered around the building. I don't know why this happened, I saw many others using the wi-fi. Since I didn't get that done, I will blog about my experiences, beginning with the last very pleasant hour, and working back to the beginning, however long it takes.

What made this a very pleasant evening was not the barbeque at The Iron Works, as good as that was. No, it was a very serendipitous happenstance that placed me in the presence of a man whose writings have been entertaining and enlightening me for many years in the pages of the Linux Journal. I had dinner with Doc Searls and a friend of his, Joe Andrieu.

Doc and Joe are working together on a project to enable Vendor Relationship Management using open software and a web-based service. Sounds very interesting. This concept is to give the customer control over their relationships with the many vendors they do business with, in much the same way companies manage their relationships with their many customers. An idea whose time has come.

Doc was very interested in my story, as I was in his. We are one month apart in age, so we had a lot in common. We touched on topics as diverse as genealogy, geography, geology, social media, the Web, and Linux. He even asked me the identity of the loud obnoxious birds outside his hotel, which I recognized from his description as Grackles.

Tomorrow, I'll post some photos from SXSW, and share some of my other experiences.