Wednesday, March 07, 2012

At SXSW Media Zoo, 'Convergence' Is Annual Buzz Word

At SXSW Media Zoo, 'Convergence' Is Annual Buzz Wordfrom ap: Increasingly, the media zoo that is SXSW looks more like today’s overlapping media world. The annual South by Southwest Conference and Festival, which begins Friday, gathers thousands of creators, performers, media and industry members for 10 days onto the boozy downtown streets of Austin, Texas. It’s really three festivals — Interactive, Film and Music — in one, but each bleeds into the other. The annual buzz word at SXSW is always convergence. Just as the tech and entertainment worlds physically descend onto Austin, media forms, too, are diverging. Many of those technologies and companies that might be found at SXSW Interactive have greatly altered those at SXSW Film (video-on-demand, Netflix, Hulu) and at SXSW Music (Apple, Spotify, Pandora). It’s a place where the question is always “what’s next’’ and one has the impression of meandering hordes traipsing the streets of Austin searching for answers to a confusing and ever-evolving media landscape. There will be hundreds of panel discussions, countless predictions and even man vs. machine competitions that pit algorithms against curators. "It’s like stepping into a temporary world for one week where you’re maybe two or three or five years in the future," says Amber Case, who’ll be making her fourth trip to SXSW as a keynote speaker for Interactive. She’s a "cyborg anthropologist" who studies the relationship between humans and machines, and founded the location-sharing platform

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