Cheezburger founder Ben Huh on SXSWi: Jumping the shark has jumped the shark

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Stand in One Place, the World Will Pass By

What was the most interesting place at SXSW? Was it Jay-Z’s performance at the Austin City Limits? Was it at the front row of the keynotes at the convention center? Was it the virtual connections being made in real-time over all our social apps?

Just across the train tracks from the Austin Convention Center, you’ll pass through a set of revolving glass doors into a world where all of SXSW will eventually cross: The group of worn-out leather seats in the lobby of the Hilton. From this unassuming vantage point, you can feel the ebb and flow of the entire conference.

In the morning, the diligent plan out the sessions they will attend. Around noon, the business-types gather to create synergies over microbrews. At about 2 p.m., the party zombies struggle with their first cups of coffee. Around 6 p.m., the venture capitalists round up their friends and CEOs to buy dinner. At 8 p.m., the partygoers stand paralyzed from the paradox of so many choices. After midnight, when the free booze stops flowing, the lobby fills slowly with people waiting for something — anything — to happen. And as SXSW Interactive comes to a close, the geeks in T-shirts are replaced with aspiring rock stars with wild hair and even wilder eyes.

All you have to do is sit in one of those eight leather chairs, and you’ll get a sense of the energy, connections, and craziness SXSW has to offer.

And the Last Lesson Learned…

I’ll see you there next year. Save me the seat in the South West corner.

Read more:
SXSW: The crowd goes crazy for Lionel Richie
SXSW: A British ‘Glee’?

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