Panelpicker time at SXSW! Let the voters decide!

It’s South by Southwest panel picker time again! August is when folks from around the world have the chance to view panel submissions for next year’s SXSW Interactive Festival and things are in full swing.

First a shameless pitch – VOTE FOR US! Ross and I have submitted proposals for the 3rd year in a row and hope, once again, to be selected to participate. Our 2009 panel “Is Spec Work Evil? The Online Creative Community Speaks” ( was a wild success and many attendees said that it was the best panel of the conference that year! in 2010 we hosted “Third Coast: How to Be a Startup Outside of Silicon Valley” ( and had a great audience of entrepreneurs from around the world to discuss the topic.

This year we have proposed two really cool panels and would appreciate if you would click through to vote and leave a comment!

In 2006, Jeff Howe identified a trend he called “crowdsourcing” in an article for Wired Magazine. 5 years later and crowdsourcing has come of age, with companies actively engaged and industries disrupted in everything from design (crowdSPRING) to photography (iStockphoto) to knowledge sharing (Mahalo). Large communities have grown around common interests, values, and skills, but this progress has also come with controversy and “no-spec” forces have lined up to protest what they view as unfair practices. In this panel we will discuss three current trends in crowdsourcing: how agencies are leveraging the crowd; how products are being designed and manufactured (Quirky and Local Motors); and how government is increasingly embracing crowdsourcing to fulfill its obligation to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

Within three years, the traditional agency model (advertising, marketing, pr, etc.) will cease to exist. Smart agencies will try to evolve and a few will succeed. Most will fail and become irrelevant because of two important market forces: social media and crowdsourcing. Social media has created opportunities for Brands to directly engage consumers. Traditional agencies have neither the organization nor expertise to help Brands engage and this has opened the door to niche social media agencies that have the expertise, and a modern organizational structure. Crowdsourcing has allowed Brands and new agencies to source creative at a low cost, and without the overhead of a large organization. Crowdsourcing is helping to reshape the entire industry by allowing new agency upstarts to compete head-to-head with the largest agencies in the world – and win. With large brands such as Unilever electing to embrace crowdsourcing and social media and to proceed on their own, we’re at an important inflection point. Come learn from agency, social media and crowdsourcing leaders about the future of advertising and marketing and how you can take advantage of these disruptive changes.

So now that my blatant electioneering is out of the way, here are another dozen panels which are worthy of your votes and your comments, not to mention your attendance in Austin next March!