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One lesson always leads to another: SXSW follow up

March 22, 2010 Finance

Remember last week when we told you that you had to be paying attention to what was going on in Austin, TX, at SXSW? In particular, we recommended following along online with the session about how data geeks would change the world of finance.

Well if you took our advice, then you already know how that worked out. If not, we’ll just tell you it didn’t go well. But if you’d like to read for yourself, here’s a link to the search results for , #dataismoney.

This is just one of many disgruntled tweets about the session.

“Pop quiz. Did most people leave #dataismoney panel because questions were insipid, or answers were ridiculous? Or both?”

Yikes. That was from Richard Piotrowski, or @streetbrief as his twitter followers know him.

Believe us, they don’t get much better. The panelists were discussed as being arrogant. They were accused of being politically biased in their approach to the topic. Several tweets seemed to indicate that the panelists attempted to wow the audience with overproduced information graphics while under-delivering on substance.

What we intended as a suggestion to catch a glimpse of the future of finance, became a rock solid lesson in the power of social media. Having read through the entire hashtag search, it was clear early on in the session that the whole thing was headed downhill.

The interesting thing is that there is practically no response, even after the session, from the panelists. We’re not saying that they should be shouting back at the crowd they irritated.

BUT…

Imagine how much ground they could make up with the frustrated conference goers by simply tweeting a message such as this:

“Man, we were really off base. Sorry about that folks. How can we make it better next year? (if you’ll have us back) #dataismoney”

They would definitely get a number of derogatory comments. It sounds like they may have earned them. On the other hand, they would also get some helpful suggestions and a fair amount of goodwill for taking the transparent and open route in response. That may be the best lesson of all.

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