Top 10 Must See Interactive Sessions at SXSW 2010

Believe it or not there is more to SXSW than the parties. Although from chatter on Twitter it’s often hard to tell. With SXSW kicking off this week I’m sure most of you have planned which parties to attend but maybe haven’t looked at the session schedule quite yet. So before you get lost in the lines to the film screenings, bars, celebrity signings, and hoping food joints like the Magnolia Café or the Iron Works, here are my picks for the Top 10 must see interactive sessions at SXSW 2010:

Smackdown: Consumers Privacy vs. Advertiser Revenue
Time: Friday March 12, 2PM
Hashtag: #smackdownprivacyrevenuet

The panel premise that the FTC could ban all forms of tracking consumer web activity is a nice but alarmist hook. Still, it is true that the FTC is being more aggressive in policing online activity and the assembled panelists should provide advertisers some clear insights into compliance issues.

Panelists include:

  • Alan Chapell, President, Chapell & Associates
  • Alison Pepper, Director of Public Policy, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
  • Jordan Mitchell, Vice President of Data Intelligence, Rubicon Project
  • Ingrid Sanders, Director AdAdvisor,  TARGUSinfo

Crime Scene: Digital Identity Theft
Time: Friday March 12, 3:30PM
Hashtag: #digitalidtheft

The theft of digital identity is often easier and sometimes more damaging than identity theft offline. As social media mixes more with ecommerce this will become a larger problem. Learning methods to make that ID more secure is valuable information. Hopefully Bill has the sense to not make it too pitchy.

Panelists include:

  • Bill Morrow, Chairman & CEO, CSIdentity
  • Aaron Strout, CMO,

Eight Ways to Deal with Bastards
Time: Friday March 12, 5PM
Hashtag: #8waysdealbastards

As the saying goes, no one ever has a good day in customer service. This is especially true when, let’s face it, some of your customers  are inevitably  bastards. This session offers a few coping mechanisms.

Panelists include:

  • Bryan Mason, Founder, Small Batch Inc / Typekit
  • Jason Shellen. CEO & Founder,  Thing Labs
  • Lori McLeese, Chief People Officer,  Room to Read
  • Karen Walrond, Founder, Chookooloonks Media

Big Brother in Your Brain: Neuroscience & Marketing
Time: Saturday March 13, 11AM
Hashtag: #bigbrotherinyourbrain

I’m a science geek, so when you mention the word “neuroscience” in a panel about marketing I’m ready to jack in. The concept of using MRIs to analyze brain activity when exposed to different marketing stimuli is very interesting. So is the brewing battle of math (analytics) vs. creativity; somehow I don’t see the two concepts as being mutually exclusive. All the makings of a great session!

Panelists include:

  • Roger Dooley, VP Digital Marketing,  Hobsons
  • Gary Koepke, Co-Founder, Modernista!
  • Eric Kogelschatz, Co-Founder, shark&minnow
  • Dr. A.K. Pradeep, President/ CEO, NeuroFocus
  • Dr. Danielle Stolzenberg, PHD, University of Virginia

Sleeping Giants: Digital Awakens TV and Media
Time: Saturday March 13, 5PM
Hashtag: #designemergingmedia

Giants always follow the money. Or the beanstalk. Digital has now proved that  there is money to be made online, that it is sustainable, and can draw large clients; therefore, it should be no surprise that the giants of traditional media are paying attention. Sponsored by Razorfish, who should know a thing or two about the whims of giants, the session will take on fundamental impact digital will have for advertisers and marketers.

Panelists include:

  • Domenic Venuto, Managing Director of Client Solutions, Razorfish
  • Andrew Pimentel, Director of Account Planning, Razorfish

Selling Subculture Without Selling Out
Time: Sunday March 14, 12:30PM
Hashtag: #sellingsubculture

Having worked with Jones Soda online marketing efforts for nearly four years I know full well how difficult it is to balance the need to post large sales numbers with the imperative to protect the brand/consumer relationship. This session provides some guidelines on how to hit those numbers without selling out.

Panelists include:

  • Richard Nash, Founder, Cursor
  • Raymond Leon Roker, Founder, URB Magazine
  • Molly Crabapple, Founder, Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School
  • Jeff Newelt, Comics Editor, SMITH Magazine
  • Gala Darling, Founder, iCiNG

Online Advertising: Losing the Race to the Bottom
Time: Sunday March 14, 3:30PM
Hashtag: #racetothebottom

We spend a lot of time in this industry thinking about “how” and “where” to advertise. The concepts of building real relationships with publishers, making sure the advertising is doesn’t take away from the content, and respectfully dealing with the audience are all topics that are usually just paid lip service. Glad to see this session challenging us to change the way we think.

Panelists include:

  • Jim Coudal, Principal, Coudal Partners
  • John Gruber, Founder, Daring Fireball

Open Science: Create, Collaborate, Communicate
Time: Monday March 15, 9:30AM
Hashtag: #openscience

Ok, I will admit this made the Top 10 because, well, as I stated earlier I’m a science geek. Ever since I interviewed Scott Maxwell for Gnomedex two years ago I’ve been fascinated about social media’s ability to pry open the doors of previously sequestered industries. It will be nice to see what progress NASA and others have made since then.

Panelists include:

  • Ariel Waldman, Founder,
  • Dr. Kirsten Sanford, Ph.D, This Week in Science
  • Jessy Cowan-Sharp, Collaborative Web Technology Developer, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Natalie Villalobos, Community Manager, Google
  • Tantek Çelik, Computer Scientist,

Web Series 2.0: Big Campaigns on Digital Dollars
Time: Monday March 15, 11AM
Hashtag: #bigcampaigndigitaldollars

Big campaigns don’t always require big dollars. In the social space it is about smart engagement. Smart advertisers are turning to producers and content creators to help maximize their budgets. This is the perfect panel to find out how.

Panelists include:

  • Melissa Fallon, VP of Television and Emerging Media, Davie Brown Entertainment
  • Chris Hanada, Co-Founder, Retrofit Films
  • Milo Ventimiglia, Co-Founder, DiVide Pictures
  • Wilson Cleveland, SVP & Director, CJP Digital Media
  • Andrew Hampp, Reporter, Advertising Age

Will Kiva Kill Your Nonprofit? Donations 2.0
Time: Tuesday March 16, 11AM
Hashtag: #kivakillnonprofit

New fundraising models are changing the ways donors can interact with nonprofits. Kiva, of course, is one  a leading example of success from  such a model. While I don’t feel that the Kiva model will hurt the majority of nonprofits, I do feel that they will need to adapt to new methods of outreach to successfully maintain their donor base.

Panelists include:

  • Skylar Woodward, Designer/Lender, Kiva
  • Ruth-Anne Renaud, VP of Women’s Philanthropy & Interactive Marketing, Opportunity International
  • Milo Sybrant, Online Fundraising Manager, Amnesty International USA
  • Michael Cervino, Vice President, Beaconfire Consulting
  • Katie Bisbee, Executive Director,

Hope you get back to your hotel in one piece and you enjoy the sessions at SXSW 2010.

About Angel Djambazov

Born in Bulgaria, Angel Djambazov has spent his professional career in the fields of journalism and online marketing. In his journalistic career he worked as an editor on several newspapers and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Wyoming Homes and Living Magazine. Later his career path led to online marketing where while working at OnlineShoes he earned the Affiliate Manager of the Year (2006) award at the Affiliate Summit, and In-house Manager of the Year (2006) award by ABestWeb.

For four years Angel served as OPM for Jones Soda for which he won his second Affiliate Manger of the Year (2009) award at Affiliate Summit.

Currently Angel serves as OPM for KEEN Footwear and His former clients include: Dell, Real Networks, Jones Soda, Intelius, Graphicly, Chrome Bags,, Vitamin Angels, The Safecig, and Bag Borrow or Steal.

Angel is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher for and

Angel lives north of Seattle, spending his free time reading up on obscure scientific references made by his wife MGX, while keeping up with a horde of cats and a library of books.

You can find Angel on Twitter @djambazov.

2 Responses to Top 10 Must See Interactive Sessions at SXSW 2010

  1. Stephen Robinson says:

    Hi Angel,

    Great write up, this definitely looks a show we'll put on our calendar to attend next year. Looks like an all star line up of presenters discussing some very interesting topics. Is this a newer conference or just one that has somehow my radar? Have a great time.

  2. Hi Stephen,

    It's a great conference but isn't new. The Music portion has been around since 1987, the Film and Interactive elements of the conference since 1994. You can register by vertical interest or buy a pass for all three. Essentially you could get lost there for two weeks if you went to everything.