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NOTES FROM SXSW AWARD MONOLOGUE

This is my 4th year at SXSW

3rd year hosting this.

Each year has had its own distinct flavor:

1) “dream of changing the world” phase.

Sleeping on cots. Infrequent bathing.

We had visions of world peace and really huge dungeon and dragons games.

Dreamweaver was just a cheesy song from the 70’s.

2) the “dream of vesting by 30” stage.

We all used the word “portal” a lot

and knowing a bit of javascript assured you 6 figures and all the Nerf toys you could eat.

We no longer thought we could change the world…but we thought we could own it. ”I work on the web” no longer meant “I’m a Virgin”

3) the “Hey, I think we all knew this would happen” phase.

aka “FUCK FUCK FUCK!”

4) “This is actually perfect for me. I’m enjoying my period of unemployment. I’m working on projects I’ve had on the backburner for a while…Let’s see if anyone has posted at Metafilter in the last minute?”

Also known as the “Brother can you PayPal a dime” period.

But emerging from the bitterness is a lot of rekindled fires.

Before long there will be a new batch of fresh young faces full of the dream. They’ll be a new generation who thinks 14.4 modems a a myth and who need to have the concept of stock options explained to them.

“…don’t you worry about all that “vesting” nonsense.”

Doe eyed and innocent, working for stock and a piece of the dream

Then…THEN we will have our legions of free interns!!!

The world will be OURS!!

In the meantime, lots of us are working hard to keep those fires going ourselves. Its meant working harder and doing more. For some its about being humbled.

But as the SXSW web award nominees show, its also about producing amazing work while stretching the possibilities of our new digital world.

And as our government fights the axis of evil, I like to think of our work as forming a “web of good.”

The world is tense. The web eases that tension. And I’m NOT talking about the release offered by the nets ample porn sites.

I’m talking about the way the net connects people. The way it helps us feel like we’re not alone in the world.

There is a party game where ….

….TELL “Legend of Moo” STORY

But when you add the internet, the number of varieties goes through the roof! Instead of just pigs, horses, cows and sheep. You have every animal off Noah’s ark.

And people find each other. THAT is the miracle of the internet.

When people ask me about the internet, I tell them that my entire belief system about the internet can be summarized by one word: Plushies

Here are people who get aroused by stuffed animals. This person is a gnarled leaf of humanity. Good kid. Handicapped by shyness because he’s afraid of who he is. No one is getting hurt in their fantasy land. But his whole life he is doomed to live a secret life of shame.

Until the internet.

Online He found his fellow cows. Quite literally in this case.

So, while we may not be rich and we may not have changed the world. We have helped many many people realize:

I AM NOT ALONE.

Granted, they may be hanging with Sparky, Ruff, Ruff, and Winnie the Pooh,…but still.

And that my friends, is something to be proud of.

So lets jump right into the nominated sites who all have even more reason to be proud of their achievements (with or without their impact on Plushee lovers worldwide.)

(at points during the show, this “window” popped on the screen)

 


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