I mean, yes, okay, technically there are thousands of people employed in the Internet industry whose employers, despite the recession, have paid for plane tickets and hotel rooms and passes to a conference called "South By Southwest Interactive," or "SXSWi," or "South By," if you're painfully hip, which starts this Friday.
And technically all these PHP coders and social media marketers and wantrepreneurs and pretty girls with webcams and Hollywood interactive business-development types will be physically present at the site of said conference. But no one actually goes to the conference.
They do go to the convention center where the conference is held, only because there are so many tweets on Twitter during SXSW that it is impossible to make plans electronically, so they are forced to meet up in person to discuss which parties they plan to attend. Plus, they talk about Twitter. And then they go to the parties and drink and talk about Twitter.
Then they wake up the next day still drunk and go to whichever 10 a.m. panel offers free breakfast tacos, which are exceptionally tasty in Austin and good for curing hangovers and make excellent subject matter for Twitter.
Also, Wired editor Chris Anderson will give a keynote, presumably about his book, Free, which lays out an already outdated theory about how everything will be free, except that it won't because everyone is broke, even Google.
This is why I'm not going this year.
But we have found one redeeming thing about South By Southwest. One!
It is a rap song, "South By Girls," by former Facebook interaction designer Eston Bond, who is something of a perfect parody of a South By Southwest attendee. (Under 25? Check. Web designer? Check. Lives in Palo Alto but kind of wishes he lived in San Francisco? Check. Disturbing love of guns? Check.) There are lyrics — with footnotes, because this is a nerdcore rap.
If you use his rap song to create an especially amusing video, you might win a gift card for an iPhone, a prize we only mention for its pointlessness. Anyone who would listen to this song and be inspired to create a video already owns three iPhones. But Bond managed to rhyme "Zivity" and "productivity," so we forgive him.
Here's the song, with Bond's gold-Treo-bedecked visage and some photos from last year's SXSW as visual backup:
(Video by Ryan Tate)