Let’s say that your boss is cool enough to pay your way to SXSW this year. Whether it’s your first time or fifth, there are 10 things to do that will be sure to alienate you from people at SXSW and those back at home that hate you for being there.
10. Don’t post every Foursquare/Gowalla/Hotpotato check-in/update to Facebook and/or Twitter. Normally, it’s marginally useful. But no one not at SXSW cares if you’re in Conference Room 9ABCD, Ballroom D or Exhibit Hall 1. Use the app to follow people and see where they’re at. Don’t give your family, friends, and co-workers another reason to digitally silence you. That “which Jonas Brother are you” quiz you just sent all of them on Facebook is reason enough.
9. Don’t live-tweet the panels you attend. Just because you made a bad decision to attend that awful panel doesn’t mean we all did. And if you’re at the best panel ever, letmegooglehyperboleforyou.com.
8. Sure, dress comfortably. But we still don’t want to see your knees. And just because you’re in Texas, it doesn’t mean you need to wear cowboy boots.
7. Don’t declare “[insert new social media gizmo here] the next Twitter.” You do not get a badge for that, Mayor of Gurustan.
6. This year, SXSWi will be hosting bigger crowds than ever. On the interwebs, no one wants to hear you complain about those long lines at the parties that you’re not on the VIP list for.
5. You’re not a celebrity. You may be internet-famous, but the people at SXSW Film are famous-famous. When worlds collide, remember which one you are.
4. You’re probably not really breaking news from SXSWi, so leave that up to journalists. Assuming they can even get a press pass.
3. Don’t mention The Salt Lick if you’re referring to the one in the airport.
2. Do not bring up UT basketball while you’re down there this year. Trust me.
1. If you take one thing away from this, it’s that SXSW would be nothing without the volunteers. Treat them well. Everyone, including you, is down there to promote something. Those kids are down there to learn — even from you. Respect that.