SXSW Panels - We Can Do Better

SXSW Panels - We Can Do Better
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It is that time of year again with the opening of the voting gates to the 2012 SXSW Panel Picker.

For those of you not familiar, SXSW is the must attend event for anyone working in the online, film or music space. They allow anyone to submit panel ideas and then the world can vote for the ones they like. This community vote counts for roughly a third of the decision making process.

Because of this, you're going to see lots of people pimping for votes and people bitching about this pimping, but I'm hoping that we can do better this year.

I have a proposed panel this year called The Power of  Visual Storytelling and of course I hope that it gets chosen to be part of the official program. But, you're not going to see me ever ask the public for votes because it is desperate and frankly annoying to all who see it.

My suggestions for how to do it better this time.

  1. Mention that you have a panel. Just this morning I linked to it on both Twitter and Google+ but in both situations I did not ask for votes. I know if people are compelled to they will, but I don't want to be "that guy" asking for the votes. There is nothing wrong with informing your followers, but there is no need to beg.
  2. Promote other people's panels. Two from friends that I found this morning and really want to see picked are Community Management is the New Black and 5 New Tools to Share Video Like Max Headroom.
  3. Spend time going through the entire panel picker and the categories you are interested so that you can cast meaningful votes. Panels chosen should not only be about those with the biggest audiences.
  4. Leave comments on the panels you are most passionate about because I know the organizing committee does read these and they matter. Go beyond just a thumbs up or down.

I can't even imagine the scale of what goes into picking the panels that become part of something as mammoth as SXSW and kudos to the organizers. They certainly work their tails off, so lets all step up and do a better job helping make that 30% of the decision mean more then screaming out and begging for votes.

We are better than that right?