Greetings from my first visit to SxSW. Talk about a whirlwind of activities, conversations and provocative technology. I'll definitely be back.
As impressive as the collective intelligence assembled for the event is, the feat or actually pulling off something of this magnitude is equally incredible. Show organizers deserve considerable credit, as does the enormous army of volunteers who apparently assemble from across the globe to make the event a success out of sheer passion.
Among the things that I'll take away is the widespread use of geo locating apps like FourSquare and Gowalla to connect attendees. I've found myself using Twitter a bit less than expected, and rather have leaned more on geo based apps to find local trends, where my peers are, sentiment on sessions, etc;. Twitter recently added location support for Tweets and Facebook is expected to do the same in the near future.
Legitimate privacy issues aside, this is more than just the latest trend. It's yet another step in adding important contextual information to conversations. From a business POV, imagine being able to track where your teams are - understanding things like support staff deployment, and your ability to deploy resources to customer issues more efficiently based on their location? Wow.
If you haven't already, grab your flavor of geo based apps from your favorite app store and start exploring. It's likely to spawn all sorts of legitimate business use cases for you. And while you're exploring, feel free to connect with me (LenD) on both FourSquare and Gowalla.