Why I’m going to SXSW interactive 2017 this year

Why I’m going to SXSW 2017


For the first time ever, I’ve decided to make the trip to Austin for SXSW Interactive 2017.  Here’s why I decided this was the year I would finally attend.  


  • An emphasis on social impact

I’m not sure if it’s due to Brexit, President Trump, or the public debate surrounding refugees, race and gender, but SXSW interactive 2017 seems to have a much greater focus on fostering social impact than I’ve seen in past years.

I’m excited for the panels that not only focus on emerging technology and storytelling tools for fostering social impact, but also emphasize measuring impact, which is always a significant challenge.


  • Staying abreast of the latest storytelling tools

After living in the Middle East for nearly a decade, I’ve inevitably become a bit removed from the new media community back in the U.S.  I look forward to reconnecting with old colleagues and hopefully meeting some new friends who also take a global approach to storytelling.

It’s always inspiring to see what new tools people are using, and what might be coming up on the horizon.


  • Is Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality for real?

The answer is, of course, yes.  Pokemon Go put mass adoption of AR on the map, and VR projects abound.  But at this point, I still have a lot of questions on mass adoption and the effectiveness of virtual and augmented reality in the area of social impact.  The industry has matured, and it seems like it’s the right time to finally get some answers to those questions.

I’ll be posting regularly as I make my way through the conference.  Follow along to keep tabs on the social impact aspect of SXSW interactive 2017.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattfordvi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mattfordvi/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VignetteInteractive/


By Matt Ford

Matt is an avid experimenter of new forms of visual storytelling. He worked as a multimedia journalist for The Associated Press covering the 2008 U.S. presidential election, the Arab uprisings, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Before journalism, Matt worked in the Los Angeles film industry as a set and studio lighting technician on productions such as Spiderman 2 and The West Wing.

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