A s explained in last week’s column, many of Boulder’s most adventurous geeks recently traveled to Austin, Tex., for the annual weeklong South by Southwest: Interactive conference. Panels, keynotes, parties and late-night shenanigans all took place in the name of technology and the changing landscape of digital communication.

Because I am so deeply committed to Boulder’s tech startup culture, I kept a close eye on what Boulder people were saying during the conference, largely on Twitter, to get a better sense of how their experience was going. If you would like to view SXSW: Interactive through a Boulder lens, here’s a feisty recap comprised of key tweets from locals on the ground.

“My measurement of line lengths at this year’s #sxsw is percentage of battery it takes to survive — Badge 30%”

–Dave Angulo, co-founder of Spot Influence

Angulo speaks the truth. The biggest problems at this year’s event were the massive lines outside popular events and the inadequacy of cellphone batteries that were further depleted as you stood idly in queue. I hope that hardware soon catches up to the endurance contest that is SXSW.

“Now? Now can #sxswet become trending? I think it’s time.”

–Rachel Ryle, business development at Quick Left

The first half of SXSW: Interactive was marked by rain clouds, rain-soaked attendees and the lovely rain smell that is great for washing away the world’s grime, but totally lame when it comes to rooftop parties. Props to the few companies who were prescient enough to prepare branded ponchos to give out to people.

“Oh, South by Southwest

you are too much plaid and drinks

Eagerly, I go.”

–Clare Tischer, community manager at TechStars

Haiku is alive and well at SXSW: Interactive, evidenced by the one composed by Tischer from TechStars. She rightly observed that there are way too many dudes in plaid shirts in Austin, their mouths stained with free drinks.

I don’t know what the deal is with plaid shirts and folks that work in tech. I’d like to think it’s because we all long for the days of ’90s grunge, but I think it’s because we’re all complete morons who don’t recognize the grandeur of pastels.

“OMG. Please don’t speak from index cards if you’re lucky enough to be selected for a panel. #sxswi”

–Elaine Ellis, marketing manager at GNIP

As mentioned before, a big part of the SXSW offering is the hundreds of panels, workshops and keynotes that take place in the Austin Convention Center and surrounding venues (since the event has gotten so big that multiple hotels are now needed to house the sessions themselves).

From the sounds of it, some panelists were content to dispense wisdom directly from note cards, which is pretty disappointing. This is one of the reasons I avoided sessions entirely this year.

“Everything is bigger in Texas. Except the straws. #SXSW

–Vikas Reddy, co-founder of Occipital

He’s right. The cups were way too big for the straws. That’s just weird.

If you’ve spent any time on Facebook or Twitter lately, you’re probably sick of hearing about South by Southwest at this point. That’s okay. This is the last you’ll hear about it from me for the next year. I only hope you’ll join us next year to document the good, the bad and the plaid.

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