#HootSuite Brings The Owl to #SXSW 2011 ~ News Roundup

Owly on the street by Hiten Shah

A small handful of the HootSuite team is back from SXSW Interactive Conference and have lots of exciting stuff to share. The 2011 excurision was a big success – from panels to parties, to just strollin’ the streets, Owly and the HootSuite crew had an amazing time spreading the HootSuite story.

Thoughts for Japan

Upon arriving in Texas, we heard the terrible news of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. These events made it difficult to focus on why we had come to Austin as our thoughts immediately focused on the well-being of our families, friends, and all those affected by this tragedy.

Another Hoot-Fan with a Tattoo
owls have the power

After taking some time to ponder the situation in Japan, conference attendees quickly began finding ways to help.

The SXSW Community quickly came together to raise money to donate to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan as well as numerous other channels.

In addition to encouraging attendees and participants to donate, SXSW created a fundraising project, which to date has raised more than $100,000.

We also raised awareness for raising money for Japan relief efforts during the “Big in Japan” panel, where HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes spoke alongside some smart, cross-cultural business people including Hiroki Eda, Robert Laing, Fumi Yamazaki, and moderator Steve Mock (audio) followed by a Japan Social Tech HootUp which brought together Nihonophiles together to discuss Japanese tech culture and industry. This proved to be a good time to discuss the situation in Japan and see the role social media played emergency response.

You can get a general sense of these events by searching for #bigJapan on Twitter. We weren’t the only Japan-themed panel this year including multi-culturalist Paul Papadimitrou who hosted another panel which sadly we were unable to attend.

Ryan Holmes Speaking at SXSW
Steve Mock and Ryan Holmes on the Big in Japan panel – Photo courtesy of Aleksander Ortynski

Influential Owls and Friends

Web visionary Tim O’Reilly’s Radar publication analyzed SXSW-related data and writer Jodee Rich included HootSuite as the 5th most influential company of SXSW ’11. we were pleased to make the list alongside HootSuite users like @mashable and @SXSW plus @Chrisbrogan was named the social king of the fest.  Our dashboard is truly the tool of the influencers.

Screen capture from O’Reilly Radar

O’Reilly Radar has created SXSW Brand Champion Scorecards for 2011, 2010 and 2009 from global mentions of SXSW and invites you to walk the interest graph to see the connections of additional champions and the communities they influence.

Front Page Hoots

Tony Pierce of the LA Times collected some of the best photos of SXSW by HootSuite super-user and social media documentarian Kris Krug – his shot of Owly and pals was featured on the front page of the LA Times! Note: Catch another collection of KK’s great images of all the SXSW madness from Visual News.

Socialpeople.tv/iMeet Brunch - SXSW Interactive 2011 - Austin, TX
Screen capture of LA Times via KK Flickr

Heralded as one of the largest tech conventions of the year, Krug has a beautiful way of capturing the spirit of SXSW while dispelling the popular belief that Internet meetups aren’t dull, boring, and filled with nerdy-looking men in dress shirts adjusting their horn-rimmed glasses.

Panels, Discussions, Events and Vids

We hosted and took part in many events all over Austin – here is the (partial) run down:

Fumi loves HootSuite
Japanese blog superstar @fumi with friend

Dave Olson from HootSuite kicks off this panel by talking about ancient technology–a telegram. The telegram was around for 150 years, but will Twitter be? As Dave puts it best, the telegram was the Victorian Age’s Internet. <…> Dave gives numerous examples of how art and technology worked together in the past. Social Media is allowing artists to spread their art to a large scale audience and form communities. Technology allows us to produce better content and to tell enriching stories. Hopefully as the technology grows, so will the art.

Hangin' with the Hootsuite Owl - SXSW Interactive 2011 - Austin, TX

Owly Roaming Wild

Owly Shenanigans

Owly flew in for the festivities and was spotted strolling the streets of Austin, crashing parties, and sharing the #HootLove with anyone and everyone. The photo evidence is abundant and scattered throughout the social web.

Start by checking out the HootSuite Flickr set, Flickr Hoot fans gallery and our Flickr favorites. You also may want to search for “hootsuite” and “sxsw” on Twitter, Flickr or Google. If you posted snapshots, be sure to tag ’em “hootsuite” so we can find ’em.

Need more Owly?

Wherever Owly goes, amazing things happen. To find out where Owly’s next appearances will be, check out our Events page and/or see ya next year in Austin. Thanks to Lydia, Pete Word, Edy, Chillbeds and Etymotic for having our wings.