13 things you can do instead of going to SXSW

You might notice a sudden surge of inexplicable tweets from the digerati over the next few days, as the hippest kids in hipsterdom descend upon Austin, Texas for the annual nerd-fest known as South by Southwest, SXSW, or just “South-By” if you’re really cool.

It’s a festival of parties, schmoozing, drinking, looking for good barbecue, eating breakfast tacos, and, of course, searching for the next big thing, the way Twitter was at SXSW in 2007 and AT&T most definitely wasn’t in 2008. Somewhere in there everyone finds time to go to a hugely packed schedule full of panel discussions on social marketing, entrepreneurship, music, social networking, whether Twitter is burned out, or not. Along the way, everyone will be trying out otherwise-useless apps like Highlight, Nomenclature, and a host of other “stalker” apps.

Feel like you’re missing out? Here are some things you might consider doing for the next few days instead (with a hat tip to Alexis Madrigal).

  1. Throw your own party. Tequilas and tacos seem like a good bet. Invite everyone you can think of who has cool eyeglasses or ironic T-shirts.
  2. Go for bike rides. If you live in a tech-heavy town like San Francisco or Brooklyn, there’s bound to be less traffic than usual in the bike lane.
  3. Start a band.
  4. Catch up on your Netflix queue.
  5. Help hunt down Joseph Kony.
  6. Order a new iPad. (Warning: It might take awhile to arrive.)
  7. Play Magic: The Gathering with your friends.
  8. Start a company to tackle a terrifyingly ambitious idea.
  9. Go hang out in some douchy hipster bar and tweet about it. (Hat tip: Charlie Sorrel)
  10. Learn to fly.
  11. Take up the ukulele.
  12. Enjoy the sunshine. You won’t need a poncho.
  13. Follow #notatsxsw and tweet about what you’re not doing.

Photo: Brooke Hammerling

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