If you weren't in Austin for South by Southwest -- or even if you were, and your schedule, like mine, was so incredibly packed with films and parties, that you missed out on catching some of the many panels there, you're in luck. For your listening convenience, the SXSW website has podcasts of the panels up. There were panels on just about every topic imaginable at the fest, from "Animation and Digital Effects on a Budget," to "The Porn Police: Know the Rules" (that one featured the never-shy-about-baring-his-all Joe Swanberg), to journalist Sarah Lacy's "controversial" interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's, which just about descended into all-out chaos.
I've heard the entire interview, watched parts of it on YouTube, and read heaps of blog comments ripping Lacy to shreds, and I gotta say, I don't see what people were so riled up about in that room, or why the audience turned on her so harshly there toward the end. Yes, it was a conversational-style interview, not a hard-hitting smackdown.
No, Lacy and Zuckerberg didn't delve too deeply into the hard-core geek stuff, which is what the audience seemed to want. He was talking about overall vision and direction, not nuts-and-bolts of coding. So, what? That warrants the personal attacks on Lacy, the comments that the problem is that she's a woman doing an interview with the Facebook CEO? She writes for Business Week, she's a smart girl, and I'd love to see any of the guys who were heckling her get up in front of a crowd and handle an interview like that any better.
Anyhow. Check out the podcasts that most interest you, it's a great way to catch up on all the panels that you missed due to overscheduling or those pesky post-party hangovers. They don't have the Conversations up just yet (including the one with Mark Cuban interviewing Michael Eisner, which I overheard one audience member refer to after it ended as "a hilarious battle of ginormous egos" -- that one I want to hear!), but a little bird in Austin tells me those are coming soon. In the meantime, if you were at SXSW, which conversations and panels did you attend, and which were really great?