Monday, March 5, 2018

South by South Worst

It's that time of year again.

It's SXSW.

Time to boondoggle it down to Austin, Texas, throw on a lanyard, eat some BBQ brisket and bathe in the digital genius that festival lovers just can't seem to get enough of.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know it's also time for me to break out the Bullshit Generator and concoct satirical forums and panels that SXSW goers will be attending with pollyannish zeal and revolting optimism.

Here are a few sample's from 2015:

Maximizing your brand's inner potential, presented by Plaxo, Foursquare and Google+
Tuesday 9:30 AM Presidential Suite at the Austin Ramada

Elf Me 14, the Return of America's favorite photo upload phenomena.
Wednesday, 10:00 AM at The Austin Comfort Inn Wedding Banquet Room

Going Long, a discussion with the industry's remaining three 45-year old copywriters
Thursday, 6:00 AM at the Austin CVS

This has been a running joke on RoundSeventeen for longer than I care to remember. So this year, when the lines between parody and reality have been inalterably blurred, I thought I'd do something different. I thought it'd be fun to cherry pick REAL panels and forums from the SXSW schedule.

Because, in all honesty, I don't know if I could put a finer point on the festering bullcockery that has a stranglehold on our business.

To wit:

Fashion Retail and Social Justice in a Red State
March 9, 2018

Modern fashion retail mirrors the modern world, with consumers more conscientious than ever and the call for social justice as a daily imperative. Hello Holiday cofounders Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik and Megan Hunt built their business on the bet that, even in a red state, the risk of being politically controversial could be worth the reward. Entrepreneurship can, and does, intersect with activism and politics. Today, the professional is political. Here’s how to do it right.

"Yeah, I just came in your store to buy a belt."


AI: Transforming Luxury, fashion and Beauty
March 9, 2018
Four Seasons Ballroom

From detecting fashion and beauty trends through social media to AI-enabled stylists and personalized chats, artificial intelligence (AI) has become the new customer service for fashion and beauty brands. This panel will explore the future of AI for luxury, fashion and beauty; the panel will also discuss the ethics of AI and the talent and infrastructure necessary to integrate AI into fashion and beauty.

"Yeah, I was at this other store. I'm still looking to buy a belt."


Using Analytics to Improve the Patient Journey
March 9, 2018
Austin Convention Center

The health care ecosystem has evolved to become enormously complex, and data has become the linchpin for making sense of it all. Using sophisticated analytics, health care organizations can merge and transform disparate data sources into a single coherent view of patients. This creates a much more complete view of patients and their individual journeys. By creating this single view, health care providers can create a common clinical and financial language and understanding across stakeholders.

"Yeah, I've been shopping for a belt but couldn't find anything and now I've got a migraine."


I know I may be the most cynical asswipe on the planet, but that's just Day One!!! 

We are mired in self importance.

We pretend to be rock stars or industry celebrities.

We have an artistinally crafted kale burrito in one hand and an undrinkable IPA garnished with a pine cone in the other.

We've gone from selling computers, cars and shoes to peddling customer journeys, data driven experiential psychobabble and out-and-out maggot-infested marketing manure.