SXSWonderWomenTen women speakers to look for at SXSW Interactive 2010

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The panel picker for next year's South By Southwest Interactive conference has just gone live, and zowee! there are some great choices. We're especially thrilled to see so many great social media panels proposed by interesting women speakers, promising a SXSW in which we get to hear some sopranos and altos mixed in with the basses and baritones that dominate so many tech events.

Here are some of the women panelists we're excited about (in no particular order). Some of them are women who have dazzled us at past events; others are new discoveries we made while digging through the wealth of awesome-sounding panel proposals. We hope you'll cast a vote for each of them so we get to see these presentations!

  1. Crowdsourcing Innovative Social Change - Beth Kanter
    Why we're excited: Beth has helped build widespread interest in the social change opportunities offered by the social web. Look for new techies to get turned onto world-changing after this panel!
  2. Open Leadership: the Upside of Giving up Control - Charlene Li
    Why we're excited: Charlene's Groundswell was one of the first books to explain the business value of social media. Now she's sharing the other side of the story by showing how businesses need to evolve in order to build on this value.
  3. Scaling Social Media: Getting Credible Content to Mass Audiences - Maggie Fox
    Why we're excited: Maggie's experience working with Ford and other mass consumer brands puts her in the forefront of scaling social media ventures to a wide audience. Look for this panel featuring corporate social media leaders to learn what happens when you go beyond a few hundred fans on your Facebook page.
  4. #SocialMediaFail: Tales from the Trenches -- Valerie Sprague
    Why we're excited: Sprague's LiveWorld has been doing online community since before the term "web 2.0". Maybe that's why she's not afraid to tackle the elephant in the room: what happens when community efforts fail.
  5. Canvas Nouveau: Cracking the Intertubes of Social Media - An Xiao
    Why we're excited: The big secret about social media is that it's not just marketing: an awful lot of it looks more like art. This panel not only promises a peek at how artists are using social media -- it will include a live art project!
  6. Cultivating the Web: Netroots Action for Grassroots Food - Leslie Hatfield
    Why we're excited: What could be better than technology + conversation -- i.e. social media? How 'bout social media + social change? Better yet, how 'bout social media + social change + food? Finally, a panel dedicated to the intersection of all our passions. (There will be showtunes too, right?)
  7. Social Media Women of Color - Shireen Mitchell
    Why we're excited: Part of what excites us about people connecting around their common interests online is that interest-based communities can help build bridges across social, ethnic and religious differences. This is a chance to think about how broadening your online outreach can enable community scaling and community impact.
  8. Social Media, Social Capital Boot Camp - Deanna Zandt
    Why we're excited: The chance for a good old-fashioned rumble about how to define social capital and why it matters to life online.
  9. How Crafting Powers Social Media (and Vice-Versa) - Betsy Aoki
    Why we're excited: This could be the one SXSW audience in which knitting needles outnumber netbooks. Since geekery is the number one displacer of quality time with my glue gun and sewing machine, I can't wait to find out how crafting and computing can work together. My goal is to learn how to make a Cat 5 cable-knit sweater.
  10. Screw the User or the Developer - Caitlin Rosberg
    Why we're excited: Talking truths about managing web development projects...and from the looks of it, talking about it with humor. Funny + project management geek-out? We're there.

And while you're voting, I hope you'll check out two proposals I've submitted myself:

  1. How to Make Your Users Love You
    Why we're excited: We love the energy in the room as people get hands-on experience with boosting community participation, instead of listening to talking heads.
  2. Are You Smarter Than a Social Media Expert
    Why we're excited: I can't decide whether I'm more annoyed by all the newly minted social media experts, or by people questioning my own claim to be an expert. I'm hoping to get over my curmudgeonly exasperation with a good-old fashioned smackdown by asking the audience to decide whether there is such a thing as a social media expert, or whether people like me are just self-important blowhards.


Evonne Heyning says

August 18, 2009 - 1:54am

One great panel by a group of women from around the country will talk about intimacy, networking and relationships both within and beyond the interactive business.  How much interactivity is too much and how do we draw good boundaries at conferences where drinking and long hours are the norm?

More speakers will be announced every day, thanks for sharing this great list too!  I'm excited to see a few of these happen.

~Evonne @amoration

maggiefox says

August 18, 2009 - 5:33am

Hey Alexandra, what a great selection of gems, and thanks so much for the shoutout! If I may be so bold, I'd also like to recommend those interested in seeing more diversity on the stage at SxSWi check out this post on Technically Women, where we've listed those of use who have proposed panels as well.

Your thoughts have also got me thinking: there's a ton of wonderful distributed activity going on around getting more diversity on panels at SxSW in particular, band tech conferences in general. I can't help but thinking that our potential to create real and lasting impact would be significant if this effort was organized...

SMG Panels for SxSWi - Voting is Now Open! | Social Media G says

August 18, 2009 - 9:22am

[...] has listed the panels its members have proposed. Alexandra Samuel over at Social Signal has also compiled a list of quality female-dominated proposed panels for SxSWi. If you know of any similar listing, please let me know in the comments and I’ll happily [...]

FIELD GUIDE: SXSW Interactive 2009 Panel Picker | Vancouver says

August 19, 2009 - 12:21pm

[...] Vancouverites. TechZulu provides a great listing of panels submitted by people in the SoCal area. Alexandra Samuel gives some awesome suggestions of panels submitted by [...]

Women Speakers at SXSW 2010 | TakePart Social Action Network says

August 19, 2009 - 6:00pm

[...] list includes lots of social media panels proposed by women speakers which the folks at are super excited about. They are so excited they’ve made up a handy list of their top ten [...]

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