SxSW should let attendees use Flipboard to recommend sessions & events you should see


This March I’ll be taking graduate/undergraduate students to SxSWi for the third year. (Last year I had 46 students, with zero arrests!) If you’ve been to SxSW before, you understand how intense the event can be. If you haven’t been, it’s like a rapid dive into the deep end of the pool that has you feeling like you know very little about what’s going on in the world. It’s awesome.

This feeling actually begins weeks before the event even starts. It starts when you’re deciding on what sessions, events, etc you’re going to attend. You get FOMO3. By design, there is too much going on at SxSWi. Too many items of interest. Too many fascinating people. Too much new tech to interact with. You end up spending a considerable amount of time trying to make the right selections, always with the feeling that you’ve missed something/someone amazing. SxSW does the best it can in regards to helping you select the right sessions/events to attend. What they lack is real data around your interests. Meaning, instead of categories of content you say your interested in, they’d be better off knowing what content your actually engaging with.

Exactly the kind of data Flipboard has. (If, by some chance you’ve been trapped under a very large rock and haven’t heard of Flipboard, you should download/install it now and begin the process of filling your brain with amazing bits of information. I’ve also posted a recipe to set up a curated digital marketing/tech/AI/etc feed.)

The use case for this partnership looks something like this.

  1. User logs in/creates account.
  2. System returns message: Would you like to sync your Flipboard account to help identify sessions you’d be most interested in?
  3. User taps ‘Yes’.
  4. System presents user with a list of topics and instructions to remove any topics that may not be a fit for the event. (Given the breadth of the event, it’s hard to imagine something wouldn’t be covered, but just in case.)
  5. User removes a couple of topics and selects the save option.
  6. The system returns sessions -listed by day – based on the criteria with the option for the user to edit their session/event preferences and or simply remove sessions/events. (There is also an ‘Data’ option that allows a user to see the analytics of their Flipboard usage by topic, time on topic, etc. I’d love to see this as a standalone.)

And . . . if this could be done by February, it would be much appreciated. :)


By Michael Myers