It's T minus 19 hours until the annual liquid re-union that is SXSW. While the more massive crowds show up for the music festival on the 17th, SXSW is also home to the world's biggest tech-fest, SXSWi, which runs from the 12th to the 16th.
That means a huge contingent of the bay area's tech community is currently flying to Austin to see all their San Francisco friends get out-of-their-mind-wasted while disclosing trade secrets (like who accidentally slept with whom last night). I'm kidding, people go to SXSWi for other reasons too -- say to replenish their t-shirt drawer or cover their laptops with promotional stickers.
Ever since Twitter broke through at SXSWi three years ago, people have speculated on which start-up will most benefit from the SXSWi effect. There is still debate about which location app was last year's winner -- New York's Foursquare or Austin's own Gowalla?
itself in the event notification space. Where other applications tell
us where you are, Plancast tells people where you're going to be.
Plus, people can include a lil' mug shot of themselves, which is vital
for stalking (er, networking). It's important to know what your prey
looks like in real life.
SXSWi is best used for networking over whiskey shots: You always read about any announcements and breaking news on Techcrunch or SFWeekly.com the next day. To make Austin navigating easier (wading through the multiple SXSW events and venues is somewhat complicated), Plancast has clustered their feeds into categories, including one for the tech set, one for the music crowd, and one for the alcoholics.
There's even a Plancast category for the badgeless as well as a "featured" attendee list. Because when I think party, I immediately think Robert Scoble or MG Siegler -- nothing says "body shots" like a bar full of tech reporters.
Well what are you waiting for? You can't check in yet on Gowalla or Foursquare, so go get your plan on at http://www.plancast.com/sxsw
or download their just released iPhone App here.
Oh, and one final tip: you might also want to pick up a loofah so you can scrub the bar-hopping-stamp-o-shame off your hand before your big meeting. You are scheduling one real meeting right?