SXSW Kills the Magic?

I love SXSW. It is the one conference I’ll schedule everything else around so that I don’t ever miss it.

Every year that I go, I walk away having made new contacts that lead to friendships and business. Last year we sold out of copies of Content Rules in the bookstore and people still come up to me and talk about sessions I’ve talked in over the years.

Yesterday as they announced the first round of talks for 2012 (including mine), I noticed something that has me worried that a lot of magic of why I love SXSW might be killed as the conference has grown to the size it is today.

Now, I have to mention that I can’t imagine organizing a conference of any size, let alone one as huge as this. Hugh and his team do an amazing job running the show and the challenges they face as they continue to be extremely successful and grow to meet that success is something I can’t imagine dealing with. Don’t take this post as a slam to any of them. They are doing what they need to do and it makes complete sense from a logistical standpoint.

If you didn’t notice what I’m concerned about, they’ve set up different tracks of talks in different buildings. Some of them very far apart from each other.

Granted, this is awesome if you are interested in only one type of session. Interested in “the future of work” then you can hang at the Courtyard Marriott for the day. Want “journalism and online content” then you can chill at the Sheraton. Only interested in the featured talks and keynotes, then you don’t have to ever leave the Austin Convention Center.

What I have always loved is the diversity of sessions and being able to be in one about photography one second, then go next door to listen in on the new world of non-profits and finally swing by a third to hear a case study about a successful transmedia storytelling campaign. A little something for everyone.

The hallway magic of SXSW is what I’m worried about being lost.

The photo above tells a great story of when I got chatting with a world famous author, a leading online parenting expert, a well regarded analyst and the top buddhist podcaster in the world near the escalators of the Austin Convention Center. Where else in the world would this meeting happen but at SXSW?

With the rapid growth forcing talks to be held at hotels spread all over Austin it is going to naturally cut down on these random bits of magic to occur. Instead we’ll bump into other people interested in the same topics as we are since we’ll all be at the same hotel together. This will lead to other great meetings for sure, but don’t we have enough fishbowls already?

I love crossing paths and talking with people from different backgrounds and interests. We may bump into each other in a hallway and then later grab a drink or talk long after the event is done. I live for diversity in my relationships. SXSW has always been a great place to start these relationships for me.

I’m still wrapping my thoughts around all of this, but am curious what you think? I’d love to hear from SXSW veterans and newbies alike.

SXSW is still an amazing conference and I have zero doubts that it will rock this year as well.

You should attend because you’ll meet great people, eat great food and experience a truly magical event. I’m just worried maybe it won’t be as magical as years past. I’ll let you know in March.




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C.C. Chapman


Sketch of C.C. Chapman by Hey Instigator!There are many aspects OF who I am and what I do. Putting together THIS PAGE is one of my least favorite things to write because talking about myself is not my idea of a fun time.

When asked what I do my current answer is, “I create, teach and motivate people to do more good in the world.”

Of course, that doesn’t cover all that I work on professionally and personally, so that is why I created this page.

Official bios and headshots can be found below.

Who is C.C. Chapman? I’m a…


I’m constantly writing and always working on my next book. You may have read some of my published works including Amazing Things Will HappenContent Rules or 101 Steps to Making Video Like a Pro.

Freelance writing or citizen reporting assignments excite me.


If I had to choose a style, I’d say my photos are a mix of documentary, travel and lifestyle photography. While I may not enjoy taking head shots, I love to shoot faces. I rarely go anywhere without a camera in my hand and I’ve been fortunate to see my photos on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

I’m currently shooting with a Canon 80D, an iPhone 7+ and a Chroma 4k Drone.

My photos can be found on Instagram and Flickr.

Marketing Consultant

With over twenty years of marketing, online media and community building experience I have the skills and experience to help your organization no matter the size. Previous clients have included The Coca-Cola Company, American Eagle Outfitters and HBO.

I focus on social good/impact marketing, content marketing and brand strategy. My favorite clients are NGOs, nonprofits or brands looking to make a difference in the world.

Feel free to double check my credentials on LinkedIn.

Keynote Speaker

I’m happiest when on stage educating and inspiring an audience of any size, anywhere in the world.

I have spoken at everything from large international events, corporate retreats and at special gatherings of unique individuals. If you need someone who will inspire, educate and entertain your audience I’d love to chat.

Advocate & Volunteer

I believe in using my skills, time and voice to champion causes that are important to me. I’m especially interested in anything military, dogs or children focused.

I’m currently the President of the Board at Wediko, a member of the ONE Girls & Women Advisory Board, serve on the board of The Hockey Foundation and recently joined the No Kid Hungry Social Council.


I’ve developed and taught courses for, CreativeLive and Treehouse. I’m also an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Bentley University and hoping to do more teaching in the future.


On top of all that I’m a proud life long New Englander who was born and raised in New Hampshire, but now resides outside of Boston.

I married my high school sweetheart, have two amazing kids and love being a dad.

I’ve been online since 1989, began blogging in 2002 and podcasting in 2004.

Previous endeavors I created include Accident Hash, Passion Hit TV, Digital Dads and The Advance Guard.

Tattoos, travel and the outdoors turn me on. There are fewer things more perfect than a well-done cocktail, a delicious meal or live art of any sort. I love my GORUCK, Field Notes and am a proud Misfit.

To understand me is to understand that I try to live a purposeful life every day that is full of adventure, love and making the world around me a better place for all.

Official Bio

C.C. Chapman describes himself as a New England raised storyteller, explorer, and humanitarian. Others have described him as a thought leader in the online marketing space, a grounded futurist and one the nicest guy on the Internet. Over the years of his career, he has worked with a variety of clients including Nike, HBO, American Eagle Outfitters, ONE, Verizon FiOS and The Coca-Cola Company.

He is the co-author of the International bestseller Content Rules and is also the author of Amazing Things Will Happen. He travels the world speaking in front of audiences to do more in the world and how to understand content marketing better.  C.C. has taught classes for, CreativeLive and now as an adjunct professor at Bentley University (where he also graduated from).

C.C. is an advocate who speaks about building passionate communities and the strategic values of content-based marketing. He is a Samsung Imagelogger, the original ONE Dad and a UN Foundation Social Good Fellow. As a storyteller for hire, his work has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal.

C.C. is the past Chairman of the Board at Wediko and currently serves on the board of The Hockey Foundation. He happily lives in the woods outside of Boston with his loving family. Find out more at


Fun Bio

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more multi-faceted or enthusiastic creative/strategic partner in the marketing and content creation fields. This greatly hails from C.C.’s unstoppable combination of marketing experience and savvy (which a great many professionals claim to have), and incalculably valuable “on the ground” knowledge and insight as an influential content creator himself (which a great many professionals do not). The result is a best-of-both-worlds mashup of marketing expertise.

C.C. Chapman sports the pro cred to be a talker (working closely with such clients as American Eagle Outfitters, Coca-Cola, HBO and Warner Bros.), and the passion and gumption to be a doer (creating content for the emerging Online Dad market, marketing professionals, music fans and more). He’s helped create, manage and execute ambitious online and offline marketing campaigns for startups and multinationals — and has the invaluable good sense to know which outreach strategies work with audiences, and which ones fall flat.

He authoritatively speaks your language. He speaks your CMO’s language. Most important, he’s fluent in your market’s language. It’s a killer double-chocolate-and-peanut-butter combination. Contact C.C. to learn how he can help your organization achieve its business goals. There’s, even more, to know about C.C. Chapman if you want to read it — and you should. C.C.’s skills are an embarrassment of riches.


Head Shots

CC-Chapman-Cubelean     CC-AYASummit

CC Chapman Headshot Vertical    CC-armscrossed


I’m involved with a lot of organizations and clients. I believe in being completely transparent and open about everything I’m working on. I’ll do my best to keep this updated and of course, will clearly disclose relationships in any post that require them.

I am open to being pitched and invited on press trips.

Companies do send me items in the hopes that I will review it or share with my community. If you send me something it does not guarantee a review.

With that in mind, my mailing address is:

9 C Medway Road #117
Milford, MA

Current relationships include:

  • Verizon FiOS provides me with service in exchange for a monthly post on technology of my choosing


Affiliate links are used whenever they are available when linking to products of any sort.

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