Validation: SXSW Halfway Recap

Lessons Learned from SXSW

As Sunday comes to a close for South by Southwest, I’m taking the opportunity to look back and reflect over the last three days of the conference festival.  For those of you not familiar with SXSW, it’s an interactive festival held in Austin, TX that celebrates media, music, and film each year.  More than 20,000 people will grace Austin with their presence to experience the latest music, technology, and movies from big names and up and coming players in the industry.  This year is my first visit to SXSW and I have more than enjoyed the atmosphere and experience.  Here are some of my first impressions, thoughts, and topics that have my attention.

SXSW Halfway Recap

  • Network-nomics. I’ve coined this phrase after hearing Chris Brogan and Julien Smith speak on Saturday on the concept of a favor driven economy.  Networking is a strategy that is founded on favor, influence, and branding while targeting your audience.  This economy has given rise to Network-nomics and will continue to grow in importance as social media becomes more mainstream.  I plan on diving more into this topic as I think it merits more discussion.
  • Marketing. This topic was fluid throughout the last three days.  I attended sessions where marketing yourself as a blogger and speaker was discussed, visited social media marketing booths at the tradeshows, and met with Gowalla and Four Square founders who highlighted upcoming trends and business marketing uses.  As a business professional who is independent this is extremely important.  My strategy has been not only to engage conference attendees but also to meet and get to know about vendors who may be in need of my services as a new media and human resources expert.
  • Validation. I’d be a rich woman if I got a dollar for the number of raised eyebrows and confused stares when I explain to people that I my company specializes in integrating New Media with HR.  Apparently, the general consensus is that HR is not on the cutting edge of media and technology,.  They’re right.  I’m here and I am working hard to show people that me and the my media HR friends are the exception.  I’m different and its a validation that my journey and decision to leave the corporate world has been a good one.

Look for more videos and recap information from some of the sessions forthcoming.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Recruiting Animal says

    I provoked Tim Sanders (Love is The Killer App) into commenting on the comments on his blog, something he said he doesn’t like to do though I don’t know how why?

    I also read de Bono’s How to be interesting. It’s a good book and I was going to study it after reading it but I left it on the subway by accident I think. So, I’m not that interesting. And I only remember one thing he said: be provocative.



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