This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
SXSWi 2010: Monday recap
Monday started with a trip out to the Bazaarvoice offices. BV wanted to bring some of their clients who were also attending SXSWi to come out to see their offices and speak to their team. In addition to Nationwide, reps from American Express, Newell Rubbermaid, JC Penney and Procter & Gamble were present to share their experience with Bazaarvoice.

We also got to hear from Ze Frank, Chris Brogan, Erik Qualman and Bazaarvoice CMO Sam Decker.

The Nationwide logo being painted on the walls at Bazaarvoice.
The Nationwide logo being painted on the walls at Bazaarvoice.

The most interesting part of this morning event was that each of us got to ring the Bazaarvoice gong before speaking. The gong is a BV tradition that dates back to their early days when they would use the gong to announce new clients or milestones.

Next stop was lunch at the Hula Hut with Bert DuMars from Newell Rubbermaid and the team from Bazaarvoice.

Shawn Morton and Bert DuMars
Chris Brogan snapped this photo of me, looking goofy, with Bert DuMars of Newell Rubbermaid

After lunch, we headed down to the UT campus for the Get Ready to Live event that Tim Hayden was putting on. It featured Sam Decker, Chris Brogan, Jason Falls, Dennis Crowley (co-founder of Foursquare) and professors from The University of Texas. Really enjoyed hearing Dennis' remarks on where Foursquare is headed.

Listening to the co-founder of Foursquare talk about location services and  business.
Dennis Crowley, co-founder of Foursquare, talks about location services.

Dinner was at Uchi with Ze Frank, Erik Qualman, Sam Decker, Chris Brogan, Michael Scissons from Syncapse. Really good food and great conversation.

After a packed car ride (6 of us in car that should hold 4 people ) back downtown, I reconnected with Jim Storer, Aaron Strout, Heather Strout, Joe Jaffe, Adam Cohen and others at Frank. Decided that the sushi from earlier wasn't going to hold me over, so I got bananas foster and a gluten-free beer for a little 4th meal action.

We ended the night at Mix for the TechKaraoke event. Couldn't quite work up the nerve to sing, but it was a lot of fun watching everyone else try.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
SXSWi 2010: Sunday recap
Sunday started off with the AllHat2 event (check out David Alston's great set of photos from the AllHat2 event) put on by David Armano and Richard at Dell. It was at Guero's Taco Bar south of downtown. Really cool outdoor location with big shade trees, live music and, of course, breakfast tacos. There were lots of familiar faces there, so I spent a lot of time catching up with Bill Johnston, Andrew Hyde, Jake McKee, David Alston, Jason Falls and many, many others. Also got to connect with Chelsea from the TurboTax team. They are doing a lot of great things with social media, so it was great to connect.

The highlight of the day for me was the Powered party at Scholz Garten on the University of Texas campus. According to a big sign on the wall, it is the oldest beer garden in Texas (founded 1866). In addition to a good crowd and amazing weather, Powered brought in the ridiculously funny Brian Posehn to do a 45 minute comedy set. Really, really funny stuff.

Brian Posehn at the Powered party

After Powered, we headed to 219 West for a low-key dinner. Had a big group including Adam Cohen, Gargi Patel, Jim Storer, Heather Strout, John Johannsen, Christine Major, Cappy Popp and others. Kept up my streak of consecutive days with eating guacamole. The mango-habanero guacamole at 219 West was really good.

Due to the hectic schedule of the previous couple of days, Adam, Gargi, Jim and I decided to head home early with one last stop at Fogo de Chao for a quick drink. Our plans were changed slightly when Leo Laporte, Robert Scoble and Jeff Jarvis arrived. Jim, who has been doing a photo meme with his Red Sox Gnome, was able to get Leo, Robert and Jeff to take a photo with the gnome. Leo, who was also livestreaming at the time, interviewed Jim for a few minutes about the gnome and Red Sox fandom in general.

Leo Laporte loves the Red Sox Gnome
Jim Storer's shot of Leo Laporte with the Red Sox Gnome.

After getting a second wind, Jim and I headed to the Mashable party for a few minutes to connect with Aaron Strout. The place was packed, so we didn't stick around too long before calling it a night.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
SXSWi 2010: Saturday recap
Headed out around 9am and grabbed breakfast with Todd Earwood and Chris Hall. We ran into David Alston and Katie Morse from Radian6. We took a photo with Cowboy Todd and they gave us some sweet Radian6 t-shirts. Mine is a Big Lebowski-themed shirt that says "The Dude abides listening, man." Nice.

After breakfast, we headed to Starbucks to grab coffee and ended up having an hour-long impromptu tweetup with Jim Storer, Adam Cohen, Chris Bergman, Paul Armstrong, Bill Johnston and the team from TweetyGotBack.

Headed over to the convention center around noon. On the way in, FreshBooks was handing out the absolute best conference swag ever -- bacon! With a belly full of bacon, we headed to the blogger lounge. There, we ran into Marcel and Rich from Radian6, Aaron Strout from Powered and Dave Delaney from Griffin.

While at the blogger lounge, Todd created a new site called The idea is that you can upload pictures of people who wear Bluetooth headsets while not using the phone. The tagline, which came courtesy of the team from TweetyGotBack, is "Everyday callers can become Bluetooth ballerz." E-mail your favorite photo to

Around 3pm, we headed over to the Griffin tweetup at Champions before going to Jason Calacanis' live broadcast of This Week In Startups at The Mix Tap Room which included an interview with Tony Tseih from Zappos. It also featured my friend Rob May, CEO of Backupify, getting to ask a startup-related question to Tony and Jason.

Best swag ever!
Swag of the year goes to Fresh Books for handing out hot bacon outside the ACC

While waiting for the show to start, Rob, Todd, Chris Hall, Chris Bergman, Ben Thomas and the team from played the most disturbing drinking game I've ever seen using Enough said about that :)

For dinner, we chose on of my favorite restaurants from SXSWi 2009 -- Maria Maria. Rob May, Chris Hall, Ben Thomas and I were eventually joined by Jason Calacanis and Charlie O'Donnell for some startup chat. We (the restaurant, not our table) were also joined by Emmanuelle Chriqui, who plays Sloan on "Entourage" (and Tyla in my friend Rob's movie "Waiting...") and Malin Ackerman who played Tori in a couple of episodes of "Entourage."

My food, I started with the guacamole and then had the red snapper veracruz, was absolutely amazing. Can't recommend that place enough.

The rest of the evening was a blur of events and parties including the Big Digg Shindigg at Stubbs. Will definitely be feeling the lack of sleep tomorrow... oh wait, I mean today :)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
SXSWi 2010: Friday recap
Day 1 at SXSWi started early with a 7am flight out of Columbus. Ended up sitting next to Natalie Villalobos, product manager for Google Sidewiki, on the flight from Dallas to Austin.

After getting checked in to the hotel, I grabbed my badge, then connected with old friends from Louisville (and Cincinnati) including Greg Matthews and Chris Hall from Humana, Rob May and Ben Thomas from Backupify, Chris Bergman and Paul Armstrong. Got to catch the finish of the OSU-Michigan gave over lunch (and got to make an ass out of myself by jumping up out of my seat and cheering when Evan Turner hit that last second 3-pointer).

Photo by Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan snapped this stunning portrait of me in the Blogger Lounge. 8x10s available on request.

Ended up heading over to the blogger lounge at the Austin Convention Center after lunch and ran into a ton of familiar faces including Chris Brogan, Jason Falls, Jim Storer, Adam Cohen, Amber Naslund, Jake McKee, Dave Delaney, Lewis Howes, Ewan Spence and Dave Peck. Also met Jodi Gersh from Gannett, Jay Baer, Darren Rowse and bunch of other people I had only known online.

Went to dinner with Jason Falls, Jay Baer, Valeria Maltoni and Jodi Gersh. Ran into the teams from USA Today and The New York Times and headed to the Social Fresh happy hour.

Later, we headed to Jeff Pulver's cocktail party at Lanai. Connected with Aaron Marshall, Todd Earwood, Mark Krynsky, Louis Gray and our host. Leo Laporte was running around trying to get interviews which seemed pretty futile over the music and conversation.

Leo Laporte in the heezy.

After that, we hiked the 1/2 mile down to Molotov for Jason Falls' Firefly Fandango event that featured funnel cakes from his dad Chillie Falls.

Ended up calling it a night around midnight so I could get my beauty rest for Saturday.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Heading to SXSWi 2010
City of AustinFor the 3rd straight year, I am heading down to Austin for South by Southwest Interactive. IMNSHO, if you work in interactive, you need to be there -- great content, great food and great networking.

See my recaps from 2008 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) and 2009 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) if you want to learn more about it (and why I love it).

My pals Jake McKee and Jason Falls have created a nice list of tips for the first-time attendee. Check them out if you're heading down this weekend.

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.