Twelve Awesome SXSW Panel Proposals

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Voting has started for SXSW 2010. This is a great opportunity for people to vote on the sessions they would most like to attend (or hear about if they are unable to attend) at next spring’s conference in Austin. There are 2,213 proposals – and only 300 will be selected for the Interactive Festival. Many outstanding topics and speakers have been proposed. I spent some time looking at the proposals. Below are the twelve that I found most interesting (you’ll find another list of 10 good panels in Mike Samson’s post from a few days ago). Be sure to click through and sign in to vote for the ones you like.

Pulse of Branding: The Q&A Keynote

The question and answer portion of Gary Vaynerchuk’s presentations always tends to evoke the greatest emotion and best content. The ultimate in interactive presentations, Gary will field audience questions for this entire session. Indeed, the pulse of branding promises to

Why I like this panel: Gary is one of the best motivational speakers on the planet. His presentations are colorful, substantive, and emotional. If you want to understand personal branding – there’s no better person to learn from. And if haven’t seen Gary talk, there’s a good collection of his keynotes on his site.

Design Isn’t The Problem: Why Online Products Fail

Major media companies keep creating useless Web products. With all that’s gone wrong, there are simple lessons we’ve learned as well as some easy steps to follow to ensure you create a product/experience that people actually want. We’ll discuss why they get it wrong how it can be done right.

Why I like this panel: There are many bad and often useless products created every day. Even companies that make great products sometimes misstep. Learning from others’ mistakes is often better than making your own.

Seductive Secrets of the Brain: Neurodesign in Action

What does the human brain enjoy and why? What does it dislike (avoid) and why? How is brain activity measured during the audience/consumer experience? What best practices appeal to the brain? What are the most common design mistakes? Are there gender difference in brain preference and processing?

Why I like this panel: Last year’s presentation on how people perceive things was one of my absolute favorites. We often forget that there’s a science behind the art of design – and this panel promises to answer some very interesting questions.

Become the Influential Blogger: Measuring and Building Online Influence

As a blogger one of the most important things is to build influence among readers and other bloggers. We will explore the components of online influence, tools to help measure it, and ways to build it. We will also discuss how to display your influence to attract readers and advertisers.

Why I like this panel: Micah Baldwin always writes blog posts that challenge people to think. I don’t always agree with what he writes, but I’ve never walked away from one of his posts (or a conversation with Micah) without learning something valuable.

I Don’t Trust You One Stinking Bit

What gives people confidence on the web? Bringing together experts in social capital and online trust, we help you build the company your users can love and call their own.

Why I like this panel: Chris Brogan is a social media thought leader. More importantly, he has earned the trust of thousands of people with whom he has shared invaluable advice about success in social media. He knows what he’s talking about and I have never walked away from a panel with Chris where I didn’t learn something I didn’t know before.

Cha-Ching!: How to Make Different Revenue Models Work

Old words of wisdom no longer apply to young startups as the Internet rapidly evolves. What are new best practices for budding companies? What is the best revenue model, and how does it work? Learn the most effective strategies for getting your startup off the ground and developing a successful revenue model, first hand from a panel of CEOs at booming startups.

Why I like this panel: Companies must develop a revenue model to succeed and survive. For some, this is easy. For others, not so much. Learning what’s worked for others is a great step towards developing or improving your own revenue model.

Big Brands Win by Collaborating With Startups / Communities

How can big brands leverage the expertise of startups and their niche communities? Breakthrough results can happen when two very different two types of companies collaborate: think CNN and Facebook Connect; Walmart and Icanhascheeseburger or Hewlett-Packard with Eclectic Method and Photojojo. Is there a new business model emerging?

Why I like this panel: It’s very clear that strategic partnerships with big brands are valuable to startups. But are they valuable for big brands? A number of examples show that there’s great value all around. Companies who leverage that value will benefit tremendously.

How to be a Customer Support Rock Star

Software as a Service is more about service than software. Great software companies today have great customer support. If you want to succeed in this industry, learn how to do it right from these customer support rock stars.

Why I like this panel: Great customer service is critical to success. And one should never stop learning and improving their customer service efforts.

Gmail: Behind the scenes

A conversation with Gmail team members. Hear from engineers, user experience, and product managers about how they work together, what they’ve learned over the years, and how they see online communication evolving.

Why I like this panel:The Gmail team has some amazing insights about design, scale, and innovation. And they’re ready to share those insights.

The Right Way to Wireframe

This session will provide a step-by-step explanation of how four designers in the User Experience space approach wireframes. An external resource will provide clear business requirements to the UX designers. Each UX designer will choose their own tool for exploring the requirements via wireframes and specifications. In addition, each UX designer will work with their own graphic designer of choice for visual design exploration. Each UX designer will present their results and fully detail their process and their final deliverables to the audience. The audience will be provided ample time to critique and ask questions of the UX designers.

Why I like this panel: Russ Unger knows UX and given the composition of this panel, I am certain this will be a practical look at wireframing. The more I learn about conversions, the more convinced I’ve become about the importance of user experience in that process.

Sponsored Conversations: Good Strategy or Spam?

Does sponsored social media content work? When it comes to pay-for-play, many bloggers see no issue with “sponsored conversations” and point out that it’s happened for years. Others decry this practice as payola and challenge the credibility of those who accept payments. Who’s right?

Why I like this panel: This is an important topic because it threatens not only to undermine the open sharing of information, but also to polarize large groups of people.

The Era of Crowdsourcing: 5 Guiding Principles

Communities of skilled people can serve as platforms for sourcing ideas, work, and solutions across industries. But how can we ensure that the new era of crowdsourcing actually empowers those that participate? There are dangerous trends in the world of crowdsourcing, and some principles are required to make this new ecosystem endure over time. In this panel, a group of concerned leaders will discuss the trends and propose some guiding principles for all to consider.

Why I like this panel: Scott Belsky’s presentation at last year’s SXSW was perhaps my favorite of the conference. I walked away with a wealth of knowledge. I have great respect for what Scott has built with Behance and Jeffrey Kalmikoff with Threadless, and look forward to the panel.

If you are interested, please also take a look at the 3 panels that crowdSPRING has submitted:

Managing Your Community When the Site Self-Destructs

Whether you’re an icon like Twitter or a startup just launching, one thing’s for sure – you will f*$k up. Learn the best way to deal with new feature rollouts, technical meltdowns and the ever-present (sometimes crushing) voice of the people. Sometimes there’s no winning but there’s definitely a lot to lose.

The 3rd Coast: How to Be a Startup Outside of Silicon Valley

It is difficult to establish a startup no matter where you are in the world, but there are great companies and events that began life outside of Silicon Valley. Threadless, 37Signals, FeedBurner, BIG Omaha conference, and SXSW itself are proof that technology life exists away from the coasts. These less-than-obvious locales are becoming hotbeds of innovation and attracting talent and capital.

The Future of Copyright Online: Creative Commons or Creating Chaos

Whether you’re a solo designer or Google, one thing’s for sure – you will be accused of stealing another’s intellectual property or someone will steal your intellectual property. This panel will offer practical suggestions to help you protect and defend your rights and will examine the future of copyright online.

If you know of an awesome panel that I didn’t include on this list, please share in the comments below.

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