Posts tagged: Alex H. Williams

Not At SXSW? You and billions of other people!

Last Thursday I was, as they say, “without portfolio” after the conclusion of a morning meetup and I happened to encounter Alex H. Williams.  As usual he was hatching a plot, but he was more enthusiastic than usual about this particular idea.  This thing was still gestating as it was being birthed, attitude fully-formed, into this cold, noisy world.  For my part, I had just told a whole group of somber but optimistic enterprise builders that I was “through with irony,” and here I was about to join the quintessential post-irony juggernaut of #notatsxsw.  I couldn’t refuse.  I was, in fact, already not at SXSW anyway.

Pronounced “not at South by Southwest,” #notatsxsw is a phenomenon facilitated by Twitter and brandished with the business-ends of social media’s many tentacles.  I immediately saw the appeal, especially since I had never been to SXSW, the high-profile, multi-day music, film and interactive festival that takes over Austin, TX every year, and which has more recently overtaken the collective mind of the Twitniscenti for whom it is a “be there, aloha” happening.  By the time I stumbled into the plot, Alex (who has been to SXSW in the past and would like to have attended this year) and his comrade and fellow SXSW ’09 non-attendee Nate DiNiro had already secured the notatsxsw dot com domain name and snagged the @notatsxsw Twitter handle, and they had scheduled the first #notatsxsw-specific event, the Portland Opening Feast.  All that remained was to help raise awareness and document “the first non-conference.”

We debated from the beginning:  What is it?  How to refer to it?  The spirit of compromise prevailed because, primarily, #notatsxsw is about the unity of the masses of people who, for whatever reason, were not making the pilgrimage to Austin this year.  Controversies could potentially undermine the whole thing — details such as whether the prepositional phrase “not at SXSW” is a noun like its more chic corollary “(at) SXSW,” or an adjective, comfortably interchanged with descriptive terms such as “sad,” “bitter,” “unemployed” or “couldn’t get the week off.”  These minor tweeting points became secondary to the need for a sense of community and an organizing principle for those of us who may or may not be feeling somewhat left out of the cacaphonous, hashtagged songs of the SXSW migration.

Ultimately #notatsxsw is a state of mind.  It may offer a return to one’s roots or simply the maintenance thereof.  “I like the carpet under my feet,” wrote Tot Taylor.  This writer, an acutely Cancerian homebody, putters similarly.  For those of us for whom a trip across town is a source of discomfort, wearing the #notatsxsw badge is plenty fashionable, notwithstanding that the prices are lower and the lines are not nearly as long.   And while there are plenty of gatherings, concerts and workshops #notatsxsw to attend, some of us even found time to clean the bathroom or clear some overgrowth in the woods.

Online Community Management Roundtable at the BLNW ’09 Blog Pavilion, with Dawn Foster and Marshall Kirkpatrick

blnw_square_200x200-150x150-1Fresh out of the digital tinder box and into your analog hearth, a warm and sparking round-table discussion at the Blog Pavilion at Business Leader NW 2009.

Dawn Foster and Marshall Kirkpatrick elucidate, Alex H. Williams moderates, we aggregate.

What it is: thirty-five minutes of lively and informative discourse, among three preeminent thinkers and front-line doers in the mirrored hall of online community, covering current and future issues spinning within the social web and its function in your enterprise.  Whose insights do they find valuable?  And what is community management?  How are companies integrating social web applications?  Listen and discover how to assist your business with these growing online tools.

(This podcast is no longer available)

God Damn You, NaPodPoMo! (BLBH #17)

napodpomo1

annihilator of dreams

What went wrong?  Breakdowns take many forms.  Some are brief and intense.  Others linger like a scratchy throat.  We can say that we can change.  Change is impossible.  Breakdowns and breakups are the blues and browns in the fog-bound mountaintops and silicon pastures of our Broken-hearted Hours, and all that we see or seem is but a podcast within a blog.

We who are about to upload salute you – Shawno and Jen, Dr. Normal and Cami Kaos,  David Grizzly Smith, Rowland Cutter, Jennifer Navarrete, Spanking Bea Arthur, and all the others too numerous to sample, for sticking together through that sullen and desperate NaPodPo Month of November, 2008.  We hope to play with you more in the new year.

“Music” by Broken Hours, with help from Alex H. Williams’ “Hey, Mr. Bankerman” and Phobia via Renegade Recordings.  Specious retrofaction from Shawno and Chloe Randolph, and from the Castrobot, whatever you are tying to accomplish.  Paranoid Russian-American woman, on the streets of downtown Seattle, speculates.

Alex H. Williams (BLBH #9)

He’s opinionated, he embraced podcasting from the get-go, and I can see his house from my back door, so this may not be the last time you hear Alex Williams on BLBH.  An hyper-active member of Portland’s tech community, as of this blogging he has 1,362 followers on Twitter and he just started his songwriting carreer.   Baron Landscape sits near Alex’ feet (soon to be shod with mpeg-playing slippers) and floats softballs about Podcast Hotel and starving artists, RSS and open source, the thrill of being in Portland today and the agony of moving trees in his yard.  In this ambling and entertaining conversation, pausing only at the 28-minute mark to roll out his FDR-folk opus “Hey, Mr. Bankerman,” Alex endorses Android and subjective journalism, and foresees promise in Obama and the new generation.

Oh and here’s a link to that Marriage Records XLR8R podcast that’s referenced.

(This podcast is not currently available)

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