As a rule, I don’t do SXSW. In fact, the last SXSW event I attended was a Kim Wilson show at Antone’s back when it was on Guadalupe–probably in ’93 or ’94. It was a great show, but it was more crowded than the Marunouchi line at rush-hour. I decided it wasn’t worth it and that was the end of that.

This year, I broke that rule, sort of. There’s a free way to get into the trade show. So I took it. Several friends I know through Austin Bloggers were staffing a EFF-Austin booth at the SXSW-interactive tradeshow. And I had recently corresponded with Rebecca Blood about weblog ethics. She asked if I’d be at SXSW–I said I generally leave SXSW to the out-of-towners, but I’d stick my head in at the trade show, and if I saw her there, I’d say Hi.

So yesterday, Gwen and I rode down. Gwen, who had worked the trade show in years past, observed that it was much smaller, and that there wasn’t much of an Austin focus. I had a chance to pester my friends at the EFF-Austin table, did indeed meet Rebecca Blood, avoided picking up any swag whatsoever, and much to my delight and surprise, bumped into long-lost friends Greta and Chester. I ran across a neighbor, Susan, and we commiserated over this country’s current regime administration.