Opting back into the scene at #SXSW

I pretty much removed myself from the start-up/tech scene in January 2010 when I moved to New York full-time, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I learned to sleep properly, developed strong bonds with a bunch of people who have nothing to do with the tech world, and generally went through life as a civilian for the past year or so. I worked for a humanitarian organization, bringing my tech contacts into the mix where appropriate, but I was immersed in a totally different world of NGOs, charity-specific challenges, and with few exceptions, technology that was far from cutting-edge. Entire months would pass without being in a social situation where anyone whipped out a cameraphone. It was a very welcome break.

So this was my first big event since my opt-out. Where better to dive back into the scene?

I got to see so many old friends, despite my extremely limited free time, and it did me a world of good to hear what they’re all up to. I got to hang out with people I hadn’t spent much time with in meatspace, and remembered why technology meant so much to me. I got to celebrate an acquisition with my old boss, reminiscing about all the fun times we had running ourselves into the ground to build a solid product. I got to see one of our former interns from that company demo the fantastic product that she and one of our other former interns have built, right on the show floor at SXSW.

In short, it was awesome. Thank you, SXSW (in particular, Mary in the housing department, who got me the perfect hotel room on very short notice). Until next year…

Friends reunited (at SXSW)
Adriana + Lloyd Davis

The lights were low, our spirits were high... @gapingvoid at @webershandwick brunch
Hugh MacLeod, utter genius

Had a hilarious lunch with fellow super-dork @newmediajim. Us last night at Driskill:
Jim Long, just off a trip to Bahrain (he’s an NBC News cameraman)

Leading ~400 people down 6th St, @TreyRatcliff: "I'm not special, just curious."
Trey Ratcliff leading his 400+ person photowalk across Sixth Street in Austin

Legends + me
Apache co-founder (and current World Economic Forum CTO) Brian Behlendorf, Cluetrain Manifesto co-author Doc Searls, and Adriana

Dinner with the guys
The less I tell you about who these guys are, the better. Bunch of smartypants who had me creased up with laughter throughout dinner.

Reunited after 8 years! @alicebachini & @adriana872, drinks with @charleshope & @kevinmarks
Alice Bachini (one of the most interesting people I know – if you’re in Austin, eat her delicious food!) + Adriana, who hadn’t seen one another for eight years (when Alice left the UK for the US)

Toasting to @qik with @broy
My old boss and forever friend

Hard to get a usable photo in a dark bar, but seeing @broy + @audreytan made my trip.
I was so overwhelmed when Bhaskar surprised me with Audrey (she came up behind me in the Hilton bar while we were talking), I cried. Love this girl and her business partner, Minxuan. I’m so proud of all they have achieved since I first met them, and always astounded by how creative, clever, and hardworking they are.

Gave @RobertRdz a mini Twitter tutorial. Great guy!
Robert Rodriguez, nothing but great.