Saturday night at a pre-SXSW bash in Toronto

Austinnnnn, HO!

Oui, C’est Vrai — I’m off to Texas for South By Southwest tomorrow morning. If you, like most of my friends outside the tech world, are like “meh” or “Cowboyssss, cool…“, peep this.

SXSW interactive is considered by many (okay, The Miami Herald) to be the “Superbowl of the Digital World“.

Billed as “an incubator of cutting-edge technologies,” more than 20,000 attendees flock to Texas each year for this massive fest. They come for presentations, networking events, free ribs and, most notably, to preview America’s most promising new digital developments.

2009 saw the launch of Foursquare. 2007 practically launched Twitter. And the music portion of the conference (That I won’t be in town for, wahhh)? It’s even cooler… depending on what you’re into.

If all of THAT means nothing to you, here’s a list of famous people expected to be at the conferences this year. Everybody cares about famous people or something. Don’t even pretend you’re not jazzed about this.

So what am I, one gadget-loving digital journalist from Toronto doing down in Texas this week? Making friends and learning a ton, I hope. If Channing Tatum happens to be one of those friends, COOL.

I’m also part of the Official SXSW Photo Crew, which means that I’ll be hard at work all day erryday shooting the panels, sessions, lounges and events I’m assigned to.

In the evenings, I’ll be hitting comedy shows, concerts, networking events and what I’m told is a pretty insane party scene.

Here’s the kicker though: I’m DRIVING to Austin with Casie and Kate — and we’re going to document the road trip via – what else? – social media.

Once we arrive, Kate will continue to keep a trip diary and syndicate all of our content on the SX3B Tumblog. And there will be tons, beleedat.

I’ll try to tone down the duckface. Promise.

And now, a word about our sponsors…

This trip has been made possible by a number of wicked and generous companies we’ve known and have worked with for ages.

Billabong, Element and West 49 are ensuring that I’ve got the sweetest wardrobe ever this week.

I still can’t get over how cute their stock is. Great price points too. But you shall see more about each individual piece on #SX3B as we wear them.

In the meantime, check West 49′s Girls Spring Lookbook. Be still my wallet…

I couldn’t resist trying on a few things. You know how it is.

Converse has provided shoes for us — so many pairs of shoes! I’ll be taking madddd photos of all these, obviously.

Big ups to Micki for securing the DC x Converse Batman Chuck Taylor All Stars, but the Converse x Marimekko poppy low tops too! I was squealing when I opened the boxes!

And last but not least, Ford has been kind enough to lend us a sick whip for the week.

Behold: the Ford Focus titanium, with snow tires — just in case:

We’re picking our loaner up tomorrow afternoon and off we’ll gallop into the highway… IN THESE!!! #ChuckLove

The shoes, not the boxes.

My goal is to make one video every single day of this trip.

Between the photos, vids, BBQs and decentralized dance parties (!) I don’t think I’ll have time for much blogging, but I’ll be posting here when I can…

Follow my Tweets, the SX3B tumblog and my youtube channel if you’re… well, if you’re my mom or boyfriend and actually care about my every adventure. I miss you guys already :(

Here are a few things I’m looking forward to (many of which overlap and / or conflict with my photography schedule, but whatever. Maybe I’ll get scheduled to cover them?)

Panels:
“But Is It Art?”: The Aesthetics of Social Culture
Open Web, Open News: Reporters & Developers Remix
The Future of the New York Times
Podcasting: Breeding a New Class of Comedy Nerd
Hack [ANYTHING] with Microsoft Kinect
Spacebits: Awesomeness, Balloons, Space and DIY
Technology and Fashion
Next Stage: Cinematic Storytelling and Journalism
The Business of Kevin Smith
Greek to Geek: Classical Rhetoric & the Modern Web
Detroit Future: A Media Based Economy
Snackable Content: Working in a Bite-Sized Future
DotAnything 101: Demystifying New Doman Extensions
What Journalism can learn from Science
A creators guide to transmedia storytelling

And so, so, so many more. My schedule took at least 6 hours to prepare. The options are insane!

Mashable’s got a great list of not-to-be-missed panels here, too.

As for the parties, comedy shows and other things, a lot will depend on what my homies are up to — but here are a few want-to-hits that I’ve pulled:

SXSW Yoga
The SXSW Trade Show
Tumblr’s Robo Party
The GeekyBeach Party
Screenburn Arcade
Meme Meet Up
Get Excited and make things with science
Nuclear Tacos
The Nokia Lab, Evening Event
Nardwuar vs. Epic Meal Time
Stag Comedy
The Better Together Decentralized Dance Party

And then, and then, and then…

I’m off to pack now — there’s a a lot to be done and I’m feeling a bit tired. Something tells me that’s not going to be remedied anytime soon.

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