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About SXSW Baby!

SXSW Baby! is an informal, unofficial weblog for participants in—or those considering it—South by Southwest, an annual new media, film and music conference and festival held in Austin, Texas.

We’re not affiliated in any way with SXSW, Inc., except as big fans and longtime participants. Consider this the “table in the corner” (we think Dinah Sanders came up with that analogy) of a cool Austin club, where you can discuss all the great things you’ve seen and heard and share your creative enthusiasm with a bunch of other happy idiots who just seem to “get it”.

Here you can trade information, tips and memories about SXSW, and meet a great group of folks for whom a sojourn to Austin is an early spring tradition.

This weblog was begun in January 2000 by Paul Bausch, Meg Hourihan, Evan Williams and others as a means to orient newcomers planning to attend for the first time and a way to network among folks who wanted to meet and get the most from the SXSW experience.

The internet being what it is, this weblog has moved around a lot. It started out built with Blogger and living at sxswb.com, then got a complete custom refit and moved over to sxswblog.com. Many of the earliest archives are in disarray. (We’re doing our best to restore what we can from past years as time permits!)

But this is what Ev had to say about the site originally, on January 31, 2000:

I’m not sure if it’s clear what the scope of this site is. (It’s not clear to me anyway.) Most people involved are going to the Interactive part of SXSW, so I was assuming that would be the slant of this site. But if a significant number of people are also going to Music (or Film), we might might not want to limit it too much. But then, we don’t want tons of threads about everyone’s favorite bands if the focus is more interactive. A lot of topics straddle both, like Austin in general, where to stay, parties… We could just leave it open and see what develops.

They did leave it to develop, and it spread over the Interactive, Film and Music branches of SXSW. It turns out there’s a lot of crossover, both in terms of interest and participants. A few hardy souls do the whole schmear, setting up housekeeping in Austin for the 10-day event and emerging seriously sleepy-deprived and giddy.)

Some years after that, and with SXSW Baby! still ticking along nicely as the hip kid in the corner, Ev and co decided to retire from the site and live like kings in Patagonia. The site was passed on to Brad L Graham, already a fixture in Austin each year with his Break Bread with Brad opening events to SXSW week. To our great saddness, Brad died suddenly in January 2010, and SXSW Baby! moved on to its next Dread Pirate Roberts.

With a new crew in town, and (most of) the secrets of the site and the code worked out, SXSW Baby! is ready for its second decade. While we’ve closed the majority of  The Baby! Boards, we’ve left open a space for Room Share for those of you looking for accommodation in Austin. If you have suggestions for another feature you’d like to see on SXSW Baby!, I’d like to know that too. You can contact me here.

Oh, I’m Ewan, by the way, your host and current custodian of The Baby! (just like everyone before, I’ll do my best to keep it safe!) Maybe we’ll meet again in Austin, eh? I’ll be the one in the kilt.

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