Top 10 Zaniest SXSW Session Titles and What They Really Should be About

SXSW Interactive is big. Spread out over multiple campuses, panel creators have been known to get creative with panel titles to attract attention and pull in people. For this year’s event, Editor-in-Chief Angel Djambazov will highlight his top ten panel titles, including what he thinks they mean as compared to what they really mean.

#10: How to Win Friends and Influence Space Exploration

What I Think This Session is About:

I doubt Dale Carnegie had space exploration in mind when he wrote his famous book How to Win Friends and Influence People back in 1936. But maybe Carnegie’s secret stash of Buck Rogers memorabilia will be discovered and prove me wrong. This session will cover why NASA is hopelessly underfunded and why someone else will need to bust into their own treasure trove to get us to Mars.

What the Session is Really About:

With folks from The Space Tweep Society and the SpaceUp Foundation it will cover ways for spaced-out geeks to connect over something other than Star Trek. Astronaut Ron Garan, who is working on some very interesting projects like Unity Node and the Manna Energy Foundation, will be there to defend NASA.

When: Sunday, March 11, 12:30PM – 1:30PM; Omni Downtown, Capital Ballroom

#9 Wall-E or Terminator: Predicting the Rise of AI

What I Think This Session is About:

Obviously this will be a Celebrity Death Match-style contest between James Cameron’s nearly indestructible battle droid and Pixar’s loveable Jimmy Stewart-like droid. Prediction…cuteness is unstoppable.

What the Session is Really About:

When you have on the panel someone like Daniel H. Wilson who has written the books Robopocalypse and How to Survive a Robot Uprising, your talk about when “human-level” AI will emerge should at least be fun, if not very scientific. After all, won’t AIs automatically be “more human than human?”

When: Tuesday, March 13, 9:30AM -10:30AM; Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon J

#8 Adding Value As a Non-Technical No Talent Assclown

What I Think This Session is About:

Assclown happens to be one of my favorite derogatory terms. I fully expect every slide, and there obviously will be slides, to contain photos of “The Situation” or Rush Limbaugh.

What the Session is Really About:

Self-deprecation it looks like, because unless you are an engineer or a designer, you apparently fall into the title category. Hope the presenter has inserted some good comics to go with the slides.

When: Sunday, March 11, 12:30PM – 1:30PM; Courtyard Marriott, Rio Grande Ballroom

#7 OMG Your RFP Is Killing Me

What I Think This Session is About:

Online has far outpaced even the military in creating acronyms. A few personal favorites are: TEWT (Training Exercises without Troops), BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious), and ID1OT (Idiot, pronounced “Eye-Dee-Ten-Tango. Military friends assure me this is a common way to derive enjoyment from inexperienced personnel. “Recruit, go get me an ID10T form, and step on it!”) Thus, I have a soft spot for titles with useless gobblygook. This session will contain a panel of valley girls who LOLed their way into project management in between manicures.

What this Session Really is About:

Requests for Proposals, RFPs, tend to fall into two categories: obscure or labyrinthine. Comparing the vetting process to online dating is spot on. Here’s hoping they convince some stakeholders in the audience to adopt a better process.

When: Friday, March 9, 2:00PM – 3:00PM; Austin Convention Center, Ballroom BC

#6 Real-Time Newsjacking & a Cold-Blooded Tweeter

What I Think This Session is About:

Ever want to slap the shizznit out of some d-bag on Twitter? Well this session will teach you the secret martial art of social media long practiced by grand masters like Jason Calacanis. Be ready to hit the practice mat with such rarely mastered techniques as Troll Stance and Flame Kick.

What this Session Really is About:

Their description says it best: What do you get when three strangers—a Brit, a Dutchman, and a man from Taiwan—walk into an Austin bar with a lady snake that promptly escapes. Chaos…ensues.

When: Saturday, March 10, 11:00AM -12:00PM; Sheraton Austin, Capitol ABCD

#5 Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Backwards in Heels

What I Think This Session is About:

I have a soft spot for Ginger Rogers. I hope their lead dance instructors are half as good as Fred Astaire. And I hope I can find a pair of high heels that will fit. I wonder who their shoe sponsor is?

What this Session Really is About:

Women entrepreneurs. To which I will say “Amen! We need more of them!” I just wish as an industry we would stop focusing so much on those things that divide and quantify us and more on how drive and ingenuity directs the business market.

When: Monday, March 12, 11:00AM -12:00PM; Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon C

#4 My Robotic Kitchen Planned This Dinner Party

What I Think This Session is About:

“Computer, make me a lobster eggs benedict with Dungeness crab cakes on the side and a hazelnut chocolate soufflé for desert.” Every year I go to CES and expect to find a kitchen unit that can produce on demand. Who knew I would find it at SXSW? They better be available for sale and not in “private beta.” MGX would really love it if I brought home a replicator.

What this Session Really is About:

Meeting people in person. Off line. Talking to them face to face over food in your house. Without even touching your smartphone. Sounds horrifying! Sadists!

When: Friday, March 9, 3:30PM – 4:30PM; Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon K

#3 Hammurabi, Horseshoes, and Hookers in Social Media

What I Think This Session is About:

“I’ll take Unrelated Things that Start with the Letter H, Alex!” They definitely had hookers being the oldest profession and all, but this session does bring up the question of whether they had horseshoes in Hammurabi’s time. I doubt it.

What this Session Really is About:

The Cluetrain Manifesto and social anthropology. One of which I find interesting. The other is a marketplace management manifesto. Should be titillating.

When: Friday, March 9, 5:00PM – 6:00PM; Omni Downtown, Capital Ballroom

#2 Free Coffee, Bad Apples & the Future of Currency

What I Think This Session is About:

Free coffee. As if there’s anything else here worth mentioning. By the truckload. It just better not be Starbucks! Hopefully they went local and are just having Patika move their coffee truck into the session room.

What this Session Really is About:

Alas, it is about Starbucks. But the social experiment on currency Jonathan Stark tried might contain some interesting tidbits. Bad coffee aside.

When: Monday, March 12, 11:00AM -12:00PM; Austin Convention Center, Room 6AB

#1 This Spartan Life: Frag Me Gently

What I Think This Session is About:

Tenacious D dressed up as King Leonidas-fetishized troops from 300, invading Halo while remixing their hit song F**k Her Gently. Much teabagging will ensue.

What this Session Really is About:

A live, in-game talk show in Halo. Pure comic genius.

When: Monday, March 12, 12:30PM – 1:30PM; Driskill Hotel, Maximilian

About Angel Djambazov

Born in Bulgaria, Angel Djambazov has spent his professional career in the fields of journalism and online marketing. In his journalistic career he worked as an editor on several newspapers and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Wyoming Homes and Living Magazine. Later his career path led to online marketing where while working at OnlineShoes he earned the Affiliate Manager of the Year (2006) award at the Affiliate Summit, and In-house Manager of the Year (2006) award by ABestWeb.

For four years Angel served as OPM for Jones Soda for which he won his second Affiliate Manger of the Year (2009) award at Affiliate Summit.

Currently Angel serves as OPM for KEEN Footwear and MedicalRecords.com. His former clients include: Dell, Real Networks, Jones Soda, Intelius, Graphicly, Chrome Bags, Onlineshoes.com, Vitamin Angels, The Safecig, and Bag Borrow or Steal.

Angel is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher for ReveNews.com and ReveNews.org.

Angel lives north of Seattle, spending his free time reading up on obscure scientific references made by his wife MGX, while keeping up with a horde of cats and a library of books.

You can find Angel on Twitter @djambazov.

  • Factory Reset

    Angel – will you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come to my office, sit next to my Outlook inbox, and perform mba-speak to human interpretation as each e-mail arrives in my inbox? Please?!?! In turn, I will not be tired, grouchy, and factory-reset by the end of the day (for once!).

    • http://www.revenews.com Angel Djambazov

      Ha! Thank you for the compliment!

      If your email box looks anything like mine than the sheer ocean of kipple would tire even someone as quick as Robin Williams out. I recommend off setting the grouchiness with heavy doses of webcomics like XKCD, combined with some fresh air. Not the radio show but actually going outside. Does wonders.

      When I’m in LA, I drag my client 5 miles for Intelligentsia coffee. While the coffee is truly worth it, it’s just a ploy to to take a break from the insanity.