From the Northeast to South by Southwest

More than a few people have told me that the best / coolest / most fun / most informative tech shindig of the year is South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi), which takes place right before the long-running SXSW music festival. I’ve never been, but enough of my friends and colleagues came back raving about the 2009 event that I resolved not to miss it again.

So I submitted an idea for a presentation (called a ‘panel’ in SXSWi parlance) that I thought would be of interest — one that leverages my position at the suit-geek interface. My panel is titled “What Does Corporate America Think of 2.0?”

I do a lot of teaching, consulting, and presenting to executive audiences from virtually every industry. Such work gives me some perspective on how this community views Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 — how much they know about the underlying technologies, trends, communities, practices, and philosophies, how comfortable they are with them, and the really interesting mixture of nervousness, excitement, worry, optimism, skepticism, ignorance, insight, and enthusiasm within this community.

And for the digiterati who attend SXSWi, executives from mainstream industry are an important community. They will decide which technologies and practices to embrace, and which will be banned or shunned. They’ll thus have a huge role in deciding how the 2.0 ecosystem will evolve.

I’m confident that I can do a decent job of synthesizing corporate America’s messages for 2.0 technologists and enthusiasts, and I love the opportunity to do so. So this is a plea for your support.

Panels for SXSWi are selected based in part on votes from the browsing public, and voting is now open (registration is required). My panel is here; I’d really appreciate your thumbs-up vote, as well as any supportive comments (thanks, @robotchampion, @immunity, and others). An email I got from SXSWi confirming receipt of the panel proposal said “”This is a really well thought out idea. I like the topic, the tight focus and I think the description and the questions are great.”

If you have any topics you’d really like to have included in this panel, please let me know via a comment to this post. I look forward to hearing from you, and to seeing you at SXSWi.

Here’s full descripion of my proposed panel:

What Does Corporate America Think of 2.0?


Interactive 2010
Business / Entrepreneurial / Monetization, Case Study, Community / Online Community, Economic Concerns, User Generated Content
Andrew McAfee, MIT
  1. What is Enterprise 2.0?
  2. How is social media being used behind the firewall?
  3. What 2.0 tools do companies find most scary, and why?
  4. Which mainstream companies, if any, are using social media effectively? How are they using it?
  5. What business problems does social media address? How important are these problems?
  6. What have we learned so far from the initial corporate experiments with social media?
  7. Which technology vendors are most likely to crack the enterprise market? Why?
  8. What kinds of innovation are taking place in the public sector? What is Government 2.0?
  9. Can crowd wisdom be applied to business problems?
  10. How should Web 2.0 technologies be modified for the enterprise market?
Do mainstream companies get Twitter? Are executives in non-high tech industries embracing social technologies and the communities that form on top of them, or are they scared to death? This session will be a report from the field delivered by MIT scientist Andrew McAfee, who coined the phrase “Enterprise 2.0”