The Geek SXSW

Explosions

The Texan group Explosions in the Sky performed at SXSW. Another Texan native who wants to go? Me! Help by voting for my panel. From flickr by shotgunshy

Seeing the acronym SXSW is likely to elicit one of two responses: (1) Huh? or (2) OMGOMGOMG!! If you are in the former camp, rest easy: I will explain. SXSW is the abbreviation for South by Southwest, a big old festival/conference down in my home state of Texas. SXSW has been going strong in Austin since 1987 and gets bigger every year (60,000 registrants this year!).  Read more about it on Wikipedia, or check out SXSW’s stats pdf to be wowed and amazed at how huge this thing is. From the SXSW website:

The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals (March 8-17, 2013) offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery.

 Most people who know about SXSW think it’s just about music, and perhaps know about the big film festival.  The arts is definitely a big part of the event: this year, 2,200 musical acts will appear during the main festival.  But there is also an interactive conference (SXSWi) that will takes place before the music week begins.  The geek version of SXSW is quite large: this year there will be an estimated 25,000 SXSWi participants.  If you haven’t heard of SXSWi, you’ve probable heard of a few of the innovations that have gained traction at this conference: Twitter or foursquare, anyone? Major interviews, announcements, and product introductions are made at SXSWi for all things geek including software, video games, and social media.

So why am I telling you this? Because I need your help to get to SXSWi! In typical innovative fashion, those who would like to present at SXSWi need to first make it through a rigorous selection process that includes votes from the public. I need your vote for my proposed panel! What am I proposing, you ask? Here is the description:

Funders, researchers, and public stakeholders increasingly see the need to better communicate and curate ever expanding bodies of research data. This panel will bring together stakeholders in scientific data community, including a researcher, a librarian, and a federated data repository director. Before the panel commences, we will describe the current landscape of scientific data and its management, including publication, citation, archiving, and sharing of data. The panel discussion will focus on identifying gaps and unmet needs in order to help chart a path for future policy, service, and infrastructure development. Questions will include:  How has the handling of scientific data changed in the last few years? What should researchers know about properly organizing, managing, and sharing their data? How can data centers, IT professionals, developers, librarians, and others help researchers with their data? Why should researchers consider sharing and/or publishing their data? How do researchers benefit from implementing data citation practices?

I’ve lined up four great speakers:

This promises to be a great group of folks who will undoubtedly provide for an entertaining and lively discussion; hopefully afterward we can celebrate our success over a few Shiner Bocks while jamming to some tunes at the SXSW festival.

Voting from the public accounts for about 30% of the decision-making process for SXSW panel programming, so we really want to make the part we can control count. Please vote by clicking the icon below and share with others!

Curious to hear what Explosions in the Sky sounds like? Here ya go. You’re welcome.

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