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SXSW Interactive, Day Four

Matthew Pennell

March 11, 2008 at 10:00 AM

Monday saw a couple of great sessions here at South By South West. At 10am — and in front of a large crowd, despite the previous evening’s bowlingLea Alcantara discussed The Art of Self-Branding. Her five key points that your personal brand should encompass: Relevance, Design/Presentation, Message/Communication, Understanding of the customer, and Consistency, could equally well be applied to agencies or corporate entities as well as to yourself. She demonstrated the difference a coherent brand can make with a comparison of the two personal finance sites, Wesabe and Mint – go check out her presentation when the slides are online for more details.

In the afternoon, it was time for one of the most eagerly anticipated panels of the week, at least by designers. The Design Eye Fab Five (this year consisting of Andrei Herasimchuk, Bronwyn Jones, D. Keith Robinson, Ryan Sims, and Paul Nixon) have been making over popular sites since 2004, demonstrating the value of good design to a variety of content types. This year, they took on the decidedly uninspiring SXSW Registrant Directory in Design Eye for South By, and revealed an ambitious proposal to replace the current dull system with a fully-featured social network, really making best use of the valuable data that has access to. The site has additional material that wasn’t covered in the presentation for you to download, although disappointingly there is still no detail on the thought process or decisions that went into the redesign.

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