This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
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Sunday, March 9, 2008
SXSWi 2008 Saturday recap
Another action-packed, beer-soaked, sleep-deprived day in Austin. After getting 5 hours of sleep, I met Nick Huhn for breakfast at Starbucks.

We hooked up with Jason Falls and attended the Making Findable Reach Media session from Google and Adobe. Luckily, that session ended at 10:30, so Nick and I were able to make it to the KICK! 08 kickball game at nearby Palm Park.

The event was hosted by Anil Dash and Six Apart. There was a nice crowd of about 40 players including Eric Marcoullier, founder of MyBlogLog, and Josh Guttman of Sphere who we've been hanging out with throughout the conference. We played a full 7 inning game and then enjoyed complimentary breakfast tacos (Thanks, Anil!). It was an awesome event. The highlight was Eric Marcoullier kicking off his shoe and having the third baseman catch it.

After KICK!, Nick and I headed to the Making Communities that Work session with Jake McKee and others.

I cut out of that a little early with Richard McInnis to meet up with Rachel Strate of Epic Ventures and organize a lunch posse. We ended up getting myself, Richard, Rachel, Jason Falls, Todd Earwood, Nikki Key, Danielle Collins, Robb Wood and Nick Huhn together for a lunch at Champions across from the convention center. Danielle, Robb and Rachel decided not to stay and headed back to the convention center. Guess there was too much Kentucky in the room for them :)

After lunch, we headed back to the convention center to play a little Guitar Hero at the Microsoft booth. Turns out that Freddy Wong, the #1 Guitar Hero player in the world, was taking challengers. Thanks to some bragging from Todd Earwood, I was facing off against Freddy.

I held my own and lost on "Talk Dirty to Me" on Expert 280K to 220K. I feel like I did pretty well considering who I was playing and the crowd that was gathered to watch. Eventually, I was recruited by the Microsoft team to face Freddy in a more official competition tomorrow. So, I will be going for the title tomorrow at 3:20pm on one of the convention center stages. Should be fun.

After the Guitar Hero jam, I went to see Jason Fried from 37 Signals with Nick Huhn. Jason always gives a good talk even though it seemed like an abbreviation version of the Getting Real Workshop I attended a couple of years ago in Chicago.

At 5pm, Nick Huhn, Melissa King and myself made the mistake of attending the Managing the Media Blur session hosted by Forbes and Google. Ended up walking out after 20 agonizing minutes.

From there, the three of us reconnected with Jason Falls, Todd Earwood, Nikki Key, Richard McInnis and Lucas Welch of Soliya and headed to the Google party at Light.

The line to get into the party was ridiculous, so we waited about 30 minutes to get in. As we waited in line, we were able to reconnect with Eric Marcoullier, Todd Sampson, Rahmin Sarabi, Rachel Strate, Robb Good, Josh Guttman and Bostjan Spetic. Had a great time talking outside the party.

Once inside, the crowd and noise made talking nearly impossible, we decided to hit the Frog Design party instead. That turned out to be a great event -- free beer, lots of space to mingle and some really good conversations.

I talked to Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read Write Web, Pete Cashmore of Mashable, Julio Fernandez of Oracle, Scott Monty of Crayon, Jane Quigley, Cheryl Contee of Fleishman Hillard and James Gross from Federated Media.

We hooked up with Charlie O'Donnell of Path 101 and decided to head out for a very late dinner at a nice South American restaurant. On the way, I met my CNET colleague Caroline McCarthy for the first time.

After closing down the restaurant, I returned to Jason Falls' hotel to retrive my backpack. We ran into Scoble and Rocky from Fast Company in the lobby of the Hilton and ended up sharing an elevator with them.

Overall, it was a terrific day. Looking forward to getting some sleep, but will only get 6 hours at most. Oh well, I can sleep next week, right?

BTW, I will go back later and add in links to everyone's sites. I was just too tired to do it tonight.

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.