Top Picks for 2013 SXSW Interactive

It’s that time of the year again when thousands of people descend upon the city of Austin, Texas for the annual SXSW Interactive Festival from March 8-12, 2013. The festival brings together the innovators, creators, producers, and collaborators of the world to talk about the latest and greatest in interactive media and technology and where it will head next.

Featured Speakers and Keynote Sessions

Each year the festival features many prominent figures and this year is no different. Sir Tim Berners-Lee will be presenting on Saturday, March 9 at 11 a.m. on “Open Web Platform: Hopes & Fears.”

There are also several keynote speaker sessions. Here are a few keynote sessions to check out:

Saturday, March 9


2-3 p.m.  Elon Musk Keynote

Monday, March 11

2-3 p.m.  Julie Uhrman & Josh Topolsky Keynote


Amy’s Picks: Content, Media, Distribution and More

Aside from the keynote speakers, there are hundreds of sessions to choose from so it can be hard to figure out which sessions to attend or not.  Here are my top picks of sessions to check out at this year’s SXSW that focus on content, media, journalism and distribution. They are organized by date and time.

Friday, March 8

5-6 p.m.  How to Rank Better in Google & Bing

Saturday, March 9

9:30-10:30 a.m. Sources in the Social Media Age 

12:30-1:30 p.m. Is There a West vs. East Journo Battle Brewing? 

3:30-4:30 p.m.  Nonprofit Journalism: Survival of the Scrappiest 

Sunday, March 10

11a.m. – 12 p.m. Journalism by #s: Data Will Change the Nature of News

12:30-1:30 p.m. Hacking the News Around the World

3:30-4:30 p.m. Lean Forward, Lean Back: Tablet News Experiences

5-6 p.m. Global News After the Twitter Revolutions

5-6 p.m. New Standards for a New Era of Journalism

Monday, March 11

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. New Knowledge Ecosystems: How & What Do We Know? 

3:30-4:30 p.m. Sensoring the News: Detector-Driven Journalism

3:30-4:30 p.m. Version Controlling the News. How We Can Archive

Tuesday, March 12

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Is it Social Media or Is it Journalism? 
SXSW Accelerator: Innovators Abound

Another big event at SXSW Interactive is the SXSW Accelerator. This is where you can find out about the latest start-ups and their innovations. Now in its fifth year, it gives start-ups a chance to showcase their service or product to a panel of expert judges in front of a live audience. Forty-eight finalists will present on Monday, March 11 and on Tuesday, March 12, only 18 will be invited back to present. Winners are announced later that day.

Sessions To Be Inspired By

At SXSW Interactive, there are hundreds of sessions on varying topics that allow attendees to get outside their comfort zone and explore new areas in the digital, interactive realm. Here are my picks of sessions that may inspire you to chart a different path, innovation or idea:

Friday, March 8

5-6 p.m. Spreadable Media: Value, Meaning & Network Culture

3:30-4:30 p.m. Tales of US Entrepreneurship Beyond Silicon Valley

Saturday, March 9

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. The MIT Open Documentary Lab

12:30-1:30 p.m. Leap Motion & the Disappearing User Interface

5-6 p.m. Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now

Sunday, March 10

3:30-4:30 p.m. Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Drone? 

3:30-4:30 p.m. What Do Sensors Mean for News, Society & Science? 


Not Able to Attend? Be There Virtually

If you are unable to attend SXSW Interactive in person, you can follow along virtually through Twitter via the hashtag #sxsw. Also, some sessions will be streamed live, so you can find out which ones will be available online by checking out the website: