Ever since my first SXSW, it has been the conference I look forward to most.
Sure, the panels can be good. The parties can rock. But, for me, the reason I attend are the people … the people I've met in previous years who've become beloved friends and the people I've yet to meet, but I know will turn out to be amazing connections.
But, on this third year of my attendance, something else has me over–the–moon–shouting–to–the–mountaintops excited to attend.
I'm Speaking on a Panel!
Yep, you read that right. I'm speaking at SXSW!
On Sunday, March 13 at 3:30 pm, I'll be on the HTML5? The Web's Dead, Baby panel.
My fellow panelists are Branden Hall of Automata Studios, Rick Barraza of Cynergy Systems and Erik Klimczak of Clarity Consulting. Microsoft's HTML5 evangelist Thomas Lewis (no relation) will be moderating.
We'll be talking about HTML5 (duh) and how it offers designers and developers, alike, new opportunities for rich, semantic and interactive development. We'll also be focusing on the impact HTML5 will have on native application development for mobile devices.
But, if you've even just dabbled in HTML5, you know it isn't a perfect picture and we'll be discussing that too. Primarily, we want to talk about the possibilities and the realities of HTML5, so that designers and developers can decide what they should be doing today.
A Really Big Deal for Me
Now, I know that panels can be hit or miss. I've attended a few misses, myself. I even admitted at the start of this article that the panels aren't why I attend. But, still, getting this opportunity to speak at SXSW is huge for me.
I've been trying get speaking gigs for about 18 months, while simultaneously working on improving my public speaking skills. Getting a chance to continue to hone my skills at one of the biggest conferences in our industry is, flat-out, amazing. And, frankly, speaking at SXSW has been a professional goal ever since I decided I wanted to speak at industry events.
More than meeting a goal, though, the invitation to speak on the panel tells me I'm doing something right by sharing my knowledge about standards, semantics and accessibility. Someone is listening (hopefully several someones), and they like what they hear. For me, that's the ultimate professional validation.
Plus, I have to admit, I'm totally psyched about the panel format. I'm my best when I'm off–the–cuff, answering questions and engaging in conversation. And I've been living and breathing HTML5 these days, so the topic is something I know well.
Please Join Us
As you plan your schedule for SXSW, please be sure to include HTML5? The Web's Dead, Baby.
And absolutely stick around after the panel to say hello. I still have a fuckload of these interrobang buttons to give away and I plan to bring a couple copies of Microformats Made Simple for a few lucky attendees.