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Posted at 02:35 PM ET, 08/26/2011

Have a panel idea for SXSW 2012? Congratulations, so does everyone else.


The legendary rap trio the Beastie Boys in Austin for SXSW. (Amber Novak - for The Washington Post)

Welcome to the afternoon pick-u-up. We don’t have a video for you today, but we do have a graphic you should probably take a look at if you pitched a panel idea for next year’s South-by-Southwest (SXSW) conference.

SXSW is the place to be if you’re a music, film, Web or television artist, technofile, design expert or a wannabe in all of the above. But the tickets are not cheap. They range from $395 to $1,395. But if you can get a spot on one of the conference’s many panels, you can get a discount.

SXSW 2012 organizers asked the public to pitch ideas for panels to be held at next year’s conference. Currently, there are 3,278 panel proposals. The organizers have called on the public, at least the people who sign up for a “panel picker” account, to vote for their favorites. But the public accounts for only 30 percent of the voting pool. Another 30 percent comes from SXSW staff votes, while 40 percent comes from an advisory board of industry professionals.

Among the proposed panels are “Spacebits: Awesomeness, Balloons, Space and DIY” and “Zuckerberg is Overrated: 2 Ways to Manage Talent.” If neither of those tickles your fancy, how about this one? “YOUR CONTENT SUCKS!” (Punctuation is not ours.)

Berlin-based software designer and creative technologist Matt Biddulph (he works for Nokia), created a visualization that shows the proposed panel ideas for SXSW 2012 by general topic area. If you drill down deep enough, it is a dizzying array of topics.

So, has the SXSW panel process gotten out of control? The number of panel ideas reminded us of a piece by 50Kings founder Francisco Dao, arguing that our constant need to share and crowd-source is getting in the way of our ability to innovate. In it he writes:

Contrary to the current zeitgeist, which dictates that the crowd is wise and innovation comes from listening to everyone’s feedback, I believe breakthrough innovations — the type that create new markets — are typically the result of a visionary (or visionaries) who ignored the fickle whims of public opinion. These visionaries need a sounding board of like-minded individuals who can grasp their ideas. They don’t need the feedback of the poorly-informed masses.

It will be interesting to see, of the proposed panels, which ones survive. And, don’t forget, SXSW’s organizers are letting your voice be heard, but the hand-picked panel of experts gets more voting power than you do.

Read more on Innovations:

Dao | We share too much, and it’s stifling innovation

Dao | Tech community, are we MTV or TED?

The Internet is whatever you want it to be

By  |  02:35 PM ET, 08/26/2011

Categories:  The Arts, The Lunch Break

 
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