Christine de la Huerta|Feb 21, 2012

South Florida is the center of the universe. Okay, maybe it’s just the center of MY universe. We’ve got it all here. Sunshine, South Beach and a Social Media Mecca! Not buying that Miami is a hot bed of innovative interactive expertise? Well, there’s a whole online community who would back me up.

We use it every day to check in at a meeting on Brickell, or let our friends know we’re hanging out in Midtown tonight. Not to mention there are 30,000 workers in South Florida employed in the tech field. There is some great talent here, and those of us who tweet and tumble from the 305 know where to be next month to find the center of the action in our world – Austin.

Every year in March, digital media professionals and enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to the country’s pre-eminent interactive conference, SXSW Interactive. Digital Park is no exception. We pride ourselves on playing well with others, so we are offering to bring you along for the merry-go-ride. We don’t want to keep all the juicy news to ourselves!

In an effort to share our experience, we have re-launched this blog as SXSFL, our own “portal” to SXSW. We will hit the sessions, talk to the experts, take copious notes and report back to you – our friends, clients and colleagues in South Florida. We will listen with a South Florida ear to the issues and trends in the global digital marketplace, and post our observations, commentary, highlights and takeaways. Our reports will aim to inform and entertain, with a variety of multimedia content – from videos to audio interviews to pictures.

In short: We’re going because we live to be in the know about the latest and greatest of everything online.

If you find yourself confused and thinking that SXSW is just a crunchy music festival, think again. Now in its 19th year, attendance to the interactive fest has surpassed the music event’s attendance since 2010. The 2011 Interactive festival hosted an estimated 20,000 attendees. It is billed as “an incubator of cutting-edge technologies, featuring five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable line up of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer.”

From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to experience a preview of what is unfolding in the world of technology. For a little perspective, Twitter was practically launched at SXSW in 2007. The 2009 SXSW Interactive saw the launch of Foursquare. We are talking BIG.

SXSW Interactive will take place March 9-13, 2012 in Austin, Texas. And since I want to learn first-hand what’s expected to be the “new Twitter,” I’m heading west! Which brings us back to SXSFL. This is where you come in. We welcome a community approach to this content. We hope to hear from you to learn what you’re most interested in about the conference, and we’ll do our best to bring it to you from the center of the action. If you can’t be in Austin for the event, we strive to have SXSFL deliver the best of the conference to you. If you are planning to attend SXSW yourself, we want to hear from you, too! Let’s share insights (and VIP party invites).

Check out the schedule, the speakers and the events. Tell us which issues you feel are most important to the South Florida economy. And don’t forget to follow the live coverage on Twitter at #SXSFL.


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