South by Southwest (SXSW)
is an annual festival in Austin, TX, that brings together music, film,
art and technology in a cutting-edge and stimulating combination that
makes it one of the year's biggest cultural events. This year is no
exception. The festival is already spitting out plenty of outlandish, wacky, and inspiring
ideas. Some are probably destined to fade, some perhaps will stick
around. Here are five of the most interesting so far.
Video Games Will Save The World Discover's Eliza Strickland writes,
"new games are delivering all kinds of social benefits, from video-game
therapy for treating PTSD, to sims for train surgeons, to
alternate-reality games that actually bring people together in real
life. Will video games be a positive force for people and society in
the future?" A panel discussing the matter is scheduled for Friday and
should bring "insights on whether gaming can save the world!"
The Future of News: NYTimes Meets Wikipedia Media critic Jay Rosen previews
his forthcoming SXSW presentation. "Why are Wikipedia (which
specializes in background knowledge) and nytimes.com (which specializes
in newsy updates) separate services? Why aren't they the same service,
so that the movie still makes sense, even if you come in during the
middle of it, as most of us do?" he asks. Rosen says topic pages are
the beginning of this merge, but we're not quite there.
The Startup Bus
Running from San Francisco, where ideas abound, to Austin, where SXSW
brings in the venture capital, the Startup Bus carries 25 tech geeks
who want their own startup. Writes the Wall Street Journal's Tomio Geron,
"Part gimmick, part contest, the Startup Bus tasks these entrepreneurs
with conceiving five start-ups by the time the trip ends on Thursday."
Geron adds, "The winner will get mentoring and advice from Naval
Ravikant, a Silicon Valley angel investor and a potential to get funded
from angels in Ravikant's network."
Foursquare--But For Everything Fourquare is a social networking cell phone application that premiered at least year's SXSW. As Steve Rosenbaum explains,
"It's a location-based game that allows mobile phone users to 'check
in' at locations like restaurants, bars, workplaces, and other public
spaces. You earn points and badges as you alert friends to your current
location. [...] The result of this change is a shift that puts power
back in the hands of the customer, and no longer allows products or
brands to ignore unhappy customers because they've got so many more."
Now a new app called Miso, set to unveil in a big new version at SXSW,
is being billed as Foursquare that's not just specific for locations
such as storefronts. ReadWriteWeb's Sarah Perez muses, "Thanks to Miso, even homebodies like this can participate in the
check-in craze. Although you can still share what you see at the
theater, if desired, the beauty of this app is that you don't need a
social life to socialize via your mobile. Instead, you can
just chat it up with other fans of home entertainment, where you
discuss the latest episode of "Lost" or the newest HBO original movie,
Movie Titles As Art Form The New York Times's Michael Cieply reports
on a SXSW initiative to get people thinking about the title sequences
at the beginnings of movies as an art form unto themselves. This is
accomplished by an awards show that highlights and rewards the most
creative and interesting title sequences of the year. "It is a minor
art that appears to be gaining stature as even the smallest films use
increasingly accessible computer graphics techniques, or just pure
imagination, to get a movie moving." He adds, "The modern approach to
film titles crystallized, more or less, in 1955 with 'The Man With the
Golden Arm.' It opened with a kind of jazz ballet in which dancing
white lines, over music by Elmer Bernstein, eventually tightened into
the contorted arm of a drug addict." Here are the titles:
The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now. Our team tracks newsmakers and opinions across the entire media spectrum: newspapers, web sites, television, radio and magazines.
But we do more than just collect information. By synthesizing, analyzing and summarizing what’s out there, and adding new information when we can, we are a news engine that gives you a quick and valuable account of the issues of the day.