CATEGORY: Conferences

All Things SXSW 2013: The Insider’s Guide to Austin

Sean “Baxter” Baxter and Jared “Put that free food in me” Ewy are representing at Austin’s massive music, film and tech festival, #SXSW. They’ll be posting video every day they’re in the “Boulder of Texas.” [See their tips and tricks for SXSW] And I have no idea why I’m writing this in the third person. I am Jared and I am powered by free appetizers, candy and beer and I just spoke to a woman about how orgasms are going to change the world. That video is to come, but first, take the insider’s guide to Austin. You’ll be the coolest SXSW attendee in town, and if you want to avoid the ruckus, then kick back at home and enjoy the virtual ride through one of the hippest cities on the planet.

Tips, Tricks and otherwise Sanity Saving Advice for SXSW 2013

We’re happy to announce that will be at South by Southwest in Austin, TX. It’s a big event. It’s so big that if you’re not prepared your trip could explode into an all-out cluster where you end up like Waldo in one of those crowded pictures but drunk and wondering where your shoes are. We’re certain that at some point during the festival you will have earned some shoeless inebriation, but first experience and wisdom of veteran #SXSW attendees who have shared Tips, Tricks and Otherwise Sanity Saving Advice!

Oh, and because it’s such an awesome time with so many beautiful people, we might have gone to extremes.

You don’t have to do that last part. That was Hell. Really, you ladies do that to your…really?

Here’s an extended list of #SXSW advice, tips and tricks. Let’s begin with the first and most important:

1. GET YOUR CREDENTIALS EARLY. Everyone who is anyone will be lining up on Friday morning (March 8th) to get registered. We’ve heard the line can take up to five hours. This advice came from about everyone we talked to, but was stressed most vociferously by Austin filmmaker Todd Calvert, and author CC Chapman.

And now to Linda Koritkoski from .CO. She’s the marketing juggernaut that has helped bring .CO to the forefront of startup success. To crack into the .COM/NETs of the world, you’ve got to do lots of pimping…especially at big, crazy gatherings like #SXSW. Here’s her helpful list:

2. Bring extra battery packs for phones / laptops / anything electric. Don’t expect to find an outlet.south by southwest

3. WiFi likely will be slow. Cell service will drop. Too many digital geeks all in the same place forces us all to live analog for a little while. Don’t freak out. It’ll be ok. Just go grab a beer and TALK to someone instead.

4. Torchy’s Tacos. I don’t need to say anything else.

5. Keep your eyes open, the best things that happen are random. You can’t plan SXSW — and if you try, you are doing it wrong!

And finally we bring you one of our favorite blog doctors. Erik Wolf is to your business what Kim Kardashian is to really bad reality TV–he makes people care about what you’re doing. To do this he’s a well-traveled soul who shares with you 10 more #SXSW tips and tricks:

6. Start training your liver ASAP. This is basically spring break except this time you’re not broke (and, in all likelihood carrying legit identification). Cocktails are almost as ubiquitous as iPhones at SXSW. Almost.

7. Food trucks are awesome and Austin is full of them. Enjoy.

8. You won’t get to be the mayor of anything on foursquare. It may not even be worth trying.

9. My favorite non-conference event was 20×2. This was a really fun time. They line up 20 speakers who present for 2 minutes each all in response to the same question. The results are really fantastic. Info at 20×

10. When you’re at the conference, definitely go to some of the talks but when you want a break look for the blogger’s lounges. These are great places to hang out and run into cool people. And every now and then you might manage to score some free food.

11. Assuming you’re OK with drinking during the afternoon, a great place to grab a cocktail during SXSW is the lobby bar at the Hilton across from the conference sxsw tips and trickscenter. You’ll be surprised who stops by and who you might be able to have a beer with someone famous.

12. Never wait in line for a party. Register for the ones you really want to go to in advance and if you blow it, don’t worry: the whole town is a party. You’ll be able to find something else.

13. If you happen to run into someone super geek chic like Guy Kawasaki, he will totally take a picture with you. But don’t blow it by looking dumb. You’ll need to be more clutch than that.

14. If someone mistakes you for someone famous, just roll with it.

15. If you’re interested in startups and emerging techie stuff, definitely check out the SXSW Accellerator. Basically you’re watching startups pitch their businesses to a panel of seriously distinguished judges. And you get to hear the feedback. Better than business school, I swear.

OK, that’s it for now. We’ll see you at the Interactive part of the show March 7 – 13. 

A computer science guy speaks, dances: Lessons from HostingCon 2012

By Dave McBreen,’s Director of Core Development

Before attending HostingCon, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.  I assumed take-aways would primarily come out of the presentations.  I didn’t expect networking to be very much fun, let alone informative.  And I saw little chance of ending up on a dance floor.

Tebow Miracle

Dave as pictured in our “Tebow Beeracle” video.

I mostly attended the technical talks.  Although these weren’t quite as technical as I would have liked, I got something out of each one.  Sometimes I would just catch something mentioned in passing or listed on a random slide that would spark an idea or point to a resource that I didn’t know existed.

Computer science majors aren’t generally the most social bunch. But I was surprised how much I took away from talks with our vendors and partners. Conversation topics ranged from backups and CDNs to DDoS mitigation and malware detection. I also spoke with a Director of Development from another company and it was fascinating hearing about the challenges faced by a team ten times our size.

Then there were the post conference activities. One after-party included an open bar, stand up comedy, an 80s cover band, and dueling DJs. It ended with the entire crew from dancing like it was the final hour at a wedding.

The trip was more fun, educational, and informative than I expected. It’s an exciting and changing industry. And its great to be a part of it.

To behold the brawn behind this blog, see Dave prepare for the London 2012 Olympics.

Your employees as Brand Ambassadors: Your Most Valuable Asset just got even better.

We first met William Toll when he took the two seconds to subscribe to our YouTube account. Little did he know that he was our 1000th subscriber, and that he’d be showered with prizes, including, and totally limited to, the domain name As it turns out, he presented at HostingCon, and he’s an expert in getting your employees to become brand ambassadors. But he’s not the kind of guy your employees will loathe for having them do one more thing. He explains how it’s done properly…

Shower your employees with rewards, including domains like Sponsoring WordCamp Boulder!

We love participating in the local tech scene, and we’re excited to announce that we will be a sponsor at this year’s WordCamp Boulder! This year the conference is moving from Denver to Boulder and into the historic Boulder Theater. The speaker list and schedule are already up and it’s looking like it’s going to be a great day for WordPress fans!

We’re really looking forward to the event and a couple of our team members will be attending and joining in on the fun. If you run into us, we’ll have some goodies on hand to give out. Cheers and happy blogging!