After handing out 2600 WordPress 10th anniversary shirts and tote bags, animating 500+ festivalgoers, helping dozens of WordPress users, and consuming several pounds of brisket, we’re headed home from the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive festival.
For those of you we connected with: it was great to see you! We love hearing about all the innovative ways you’re using WordPress and finding new sites to follow. If you weren’t at this year’s SxSW, here are some of our highlights:
- WordPress co-founder and Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg sat down with AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher for an informal, wide-ranging, and funny conversation on the future of WordPress, the future of blogging, and why there will always be a need for online spaces where we can flesh out ideas with more than 140 characters. Think longform writing is dying on the web? Quoth Matt, “Haters gonna hate, and creators gonna create.” (They also did a pre-session interview in a pedicab.)
- Our Happiness Bar spread the WordPress love at the trade show. Happiness Engineers troubleshot WordPress.com sites, Code Wranglers helped self-hosted users delve into the details of BuddyPress and custom admin panels, and Story Wranglers talked traffic- and community-building. And the happiness went both ways, as many of you stopped by just to say thanks.
- A whole new world of meme possibilities opened up with our Smilebooth, which turned hundreds of trade show attendees into animated GIFs — including dancing yams, robots, and musical werewolves.
- You helped us raise thousands of dollars for charity: water during a killer party and concert at Stubbs BBQ. Thanks to co-host Sailthru, bands Dawes, The Lone Bellow, and The Tontons, and you, an African village is that much closer to getting a well that will provide potable water for the whole community. (If you weren’t in Austin but want to pitch in, there’s still time to pledge your birthday to charity: water.)
- One open source aficionado penned us an ode to WordPress.
We’re all on our way home tired but happy, and ready to take your thoughts and suggestions and figure out how to make WordPress even better. Here’s hoping that your SxSW was as awesome as ours, and we’ll see you in 2014.