SXSW 2011 | How Not to Be a Douchebag at SXSW | Review

how not to be a douchebagHere’s what you missed at the How NOT to be a Douchebag at SXSW…

The Tech Douchebag – Try not to be a pitch, flying business cards to everyone you meet. Remember to look people in the eye first, not their badge. It is better to look past where a person works.


Note: Here at SXSW people are “judged” by the type of badge you’re wearing. Your badge reveals a few important information that will provide others what they might need to know about you before approaching you. These include, Your Name, Your Job, and Your Location.
So people will look at your badge to see if you’re someone famous, see where you work and hoping to continue the conversation if what they read caught their interest. Which brings me to the next point discussed in this session…

Badge Surfing – looking at an attendee badge’s first = Douchebaggery.

Is it cool to leave a panel?
It’s okay to leave a panel if you’re not getting anything out of it.
A douchebag is the person that makes a lot of noise when leaving a panel. Don’t be that guy/girl, leave discreetly.
Also, don’t form a crowd or leaving with a crowd (one person gets up to leave a panel, 10 others follow).

What are the best ways to approach speakers after the panel?
– Introducing yourself as a friend, casually giving them your business card.
– Share context, how you know them… i.e.: “I am so and so and we met at so and so event”
– Form a bond.

SXSW DBag speakers
Left to right: Amber Osborne, Scott Beale, John Adams & Ed Hunsinger

Business Cards Etiquette
Non-douche ways to exchange information include…
– Put a note on the business cards you received, such as where you met, what happened.
– Send a note on twitter after meeting or exchanging business cards.
– Do not talk about your business card for 20 minutes.

How to Market Yourself without Being a Douche
– Be genuine. Promote not just your company.
– Stickers for laptops

Southby Parties
– Take it easy.
– Stay away from drunk tweeting
– Do not chase the parties. If there’s a long line or a panel you would like to also attend, go to the panel.
– Do not tweet when someone famous is in a place with you, i.e.: “Omg!!! {so and so} is is at the {really cool party}, that I’m at.” Allow people to have their privacy.

Do and Don’t Things to get Labeled as a Social Media Douchebag.
– Checking in at 20 different places, i.e.: I’m here, here, here, look at me.
– Do keep it minimal.

How to Avoid Being Documented as a Douchebag.
– Don’t go around taking pictures of people and posting without their approval.
– Never sneak into someone with a camera.

Other things discussed:

– Turn off cross posting – Checking in and updating multiple social media networks with the same message. Foursquare linked to your Facebook and Twitter.
– Avoid being a pretentious person or meeting a pretentious person – these are people that believe they are better than everyone in that field.
– Be humble, even though you’re the best, you know you started somewhere.
– Avoid mansplaining “Mansplaining is when a men tells, a woman, how to do something they already know how to do, or how a women is wrong about something they are actually right about, or miscellaneous and inaccurate “facts” about something they know a hell of a lot more about than the male does.” (ScienceBlog)
– Don’t look down on women.

What’s a Good Exit Strategy? (Wishing to an end a boring conversation with someone).
– Oops, my service just went down.
– I need a bar, or I need a drink refill.
– Introducing them to someone else.

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