Webvanta Blog: Creating Effective Websites

Webvanta at SXSW

Webvanta at SXSW Image

We had a great time at South by Southwest, showing Webvanta to hundreds of web designers and other folks involved with the web. This was a sneak preview of our 2.0 user interface, and the reactions were super-positive. We we gratified to hear users of WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, and Expression Engine all say that this looked like a superior solution for them.

I’d like to thank my colleague Christopher Haupt, board chairman David Hehman, and marketing consultant Bridget Thornton for helping out in the booth.

Drawing Winner

We had a drawing for a free year of Webvanta Pro service for one lucky booth visitor, and the winner is designer Jon Reese. Congratulations, Jon, and we hope to see a Webvanta site in your portfolio before too long!

Beyond the Trade Show

This event is huge. There’s literally hundreds of sessions and hundreds of parties, and about 13,000 attendees for the interactive festival.

With the demands of booth duty, we didn’t get to spend as much time at the conference as we would have liked, but we found some of the presentations to be great, and many of them to be, well, not so great. The panels are chosen by the community via the Panel Picker, and while it’s great to have the public voice represented in this way, it turns what should be an editorial function into a popularity contest in which people with big social networks and controversial session titles win over higher-quality, more substantive topics.

South by Southwest started out as a music festival, and was then extended to include interactive and film festivals. Much of the tone remains more like a music festival than a web conference. The event has been called "spring break for geeks," and that is fitting. The party scene goes on all night long; how many other conferences have you been to where the shuttle buses run until 3 am? And then they start again at 6 am — to take people home from the after-parties.

Private Social Network: A Bad Idea

One of the least successful aspects of SXSW was the private social network. Every badge had a QR code, and you could scan someone’s badge to "follow" them. This was the only badge-scanning mechanism provided to exhibitors, and it was a disaster. Most people didn’t enter any contact information in their profile, and didn’t even log on to the social network, so we have no way to contact most of the people whose badges we scanned. If you are one of them, please contact us and give us your contact information.

More SXSW Info

Here’s a variety of links for finding out more about what happened at SXSW.

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