The Blinding Warmth of SXSWi Power Rankings

Day Three at South By Southwest came in like a wet lion and is going out like a very well-tanned and much happier lamb. 

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Day Three at South By Southwest came in like a wet lion and is going out like a very well-tanned and much happier lamb. The weather has changed the mood from one of anxiety and sullenesss to one of anticipation and sun-stroked lethargy While bad weather made for a reasonable excuse to skip some activities, the skipping panels to skip through the park is less justifiable, but a lot more fun. You could go across town for that Nick Denton interview, or you could sit right down at this sidewalk table and have another beer. Your call.

What you have not excuse for is checking out today's power rankings. It's quick, painless, and we promise to not make you think too hard.


1. The Sun. Like Superman, conference goers apparently draw their strength from the yellow ball of gas at the center of solar system. The rain breaks, the clouds part,and suddenly the streets are filled with ... everyone. Geez, where did they all come from? And why are they blocking the sidewalk? Man, why didn't I leave my sunglasses at the hotel? This is giving me headache. Ugh, I am so not dressed for this!

2. Breakfast tacos. Austin's greatest contribution to handheld cuisine is worth driving to the suburbs for (even though you don't have to because almost every restaurant serves some version of them.) Eggs, meat, cheese, potatoes, maybe some spicy salsa, wrapped in a soft tortilla equals the tastiest way imaginable to start the day. Bonus: Around here the competition ensures they're dirt cheap. Why wait for breakfast when you could be eating one right now?!

4. Celebrities. Not just internet celebrities or fameballs or even Arianna Huffington. Real, honest to goodness Hollywood famous people. Rainn Wilson, Jimmy Fallon, that Catch Me If You Can guy. SXSW is no longer just for geeks and/or people who like to play robot. The size and scope make this place a necessary stop for anyone who cares about our modern world. Or has a book to promote. It's a good place for that, too.

4. Three-pronged power outlets. Since laptops are not yet powered by the sun, the most coveted real estate in any meeting room is the three-foot radius around any AC/DC energy source. Those who arrive late pay the price of a dead phone, while they hover like angry vultures waiting for someone to fill up and surrender their charge station. The lurkers will surly be disappointed, however, because those laptop batteries take forever to juice up. Next time bring your own gas-powered generator!

4. Instagram: It was announced this afternoon that the photo sharing platform that has transfixed iPhone users will soon be available on Android, allowing a full 100% of the population to fill your headspace with pictures of their food. Just in time for next year's SXSW.

(Sunny day photo by Cole Camplese via Flickr)

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.