South By Southwest (SXSW), one of the world's biggest film, music, and interactive conferences gathers some of the most innovative thinkers, creators, and performers for ten days a year in Austin, Texas. The social media industry is no exception – In fact, SXSW is a veritable magnifying glass for social-based companies, start-ups, and apps, the best of which provide new opportunities and ways for conference-goers to connect and converse during the chaotic global scene.
SXSW is "always going to be a launching pad," Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley says. "What better place to test your app in front of thousands of early-adopter beta testers?"
To illustrate just how much visibility companies receive at SXSW, look no further than Twitter, which arguably owes the growth spurt that catapulted it into a household name to the conference. Six years ago, the company upped the traffic to its site – from 20,000 to 60,000 tweets a day – by broadcasting tweets to SXSW attendees on big-screen TVs during the conference. Now the site has more than 500 tweets per day.
In addition to Twitter, last year major brands such as Foursquare, Glancee, and Highlight were under the spotlight for their innovative connecting potential and ability to merge social technology with location. And this year, in the well-stated words of Inc.com reporter Eric Markowitz, “... Expect social apps to continue to dominate the zeitgeist of South by Southwest, but expect the conversation to focus less on the technology's capabilities, and more on the ability for the user to control his or her data.”
The team here at Accolades PR is always interested in innovation, whether in social media, business, or technology – That's why this week we're ready to celebrate innovation in all forms, starting with a few of the biggest up-and-coming social companies that will take the spotlight at 2013's SXSW, including...
“People talk about ‘sending a presentation,’ and then just send the slides. But the slides are only half the story. We need to see and hear the presenter as well, and at the same time. Present.me is the next best thing to being in a room with the people you want to communicate with.”
Essentially, Present.me is a web service that allows you to deliver presentations as you would in person: One half of the screen is the presentation, and the other half is you explaining the presentation. Unlike services such as Skype, WebeX, and Google Hangouts, Present.me does not operate on real-time – So users can access and share the presentation hours, days, or weeks after its creation.
In their words: “Nextdoor's mission is to bring back a sense of community to the neighborhood, one of the most important communities in each of our lives.”
A free, private social network, Nextdoor can enable people to get the word out about a break-in, hire a new babysitter, help find a lost dog, trade household items, put names to the faces you see on a regular basis, or organize a neighborhood watch group.
In their words: “Click With Me Now was created out of this marketplace deficiency: the need for people in different places to share a single web experience.”
Click With Me Now allows users to simultaneously share screens and browsing experiences. In 2010, the start-ups founders, Brian Handrigan and Mark Comiso, were launching an online-only Seniors Health Insurance plan. In the midst of this, they realized there was no way for senior citizens and their adult children to review a web page together, coordinate a purchase, or communicate in a timely fashion online. Enter Click With Me Now.
Although it started as a way to bridge gaps in online health care, this tool can also be extended to a variety of industries, specifically online retail outlets.
"Whether someone is buying a personal computer, a dress, or a new car, consumers often bring a friend to get a second opinion and have someone to interact with during the trip," Handrigan said."When shopping online, however, consumers are left alone and lose this entire social aspect, leading to anxiety and shopping cart abandonment."
In their words: “Have you ever realized that we have all the world’s data at our fingertips, but we don’t know simple things about the real world around us like, “how long is the line at the coffee shop?” or “are there many people hanging out in the park today?” Koozoo asks.
Koozoo is a realtime database of visual content to which members can record and share snippets of things that may be relevant to the public, such as an empty cafe, a long restaurant line, traffic jams on the highway, or a parking space. Koozoo can also be used as a way to connect share a remarkable view with family, friends, and strangers alike.
So even if you can't physically be a part of SXSW this year, check out Koozoo – Perhaps a few innovation-embracing conference goers will have already uploaded footage of the event.
… What do you think of these up-and-coming sites? Tweet your social SXSW experiences (real or virtual) to @AccoladesPR!