As in previous years, the interactive third of the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival will feature dozens of panels related to the online video industry. Attending all of the relevant events is impossible (unless you have a Time Turner), but here are some highlights to check out across the five days of SXSW Interactive. Note all times are local (CST).
Friday, March 7th
Grace Helbig at the Samsung Blogger Lounge, 2:30 pm – For the third year in a row, Samsung and What’s Trending are teaming up for the Samsung Blogger Lounge, which is located at 301 San Jacinto Blvd. This year’s guests include Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jenny Slate, and Dan Harmon, but YouTube fans will be most interested in hearing Grace Helbig talk about the success of Camp Takota and her other projects.
Super Fandom In The Digital Age, 5 pm – Andy Cohen of Bravo will host this panel, which will discuss fan communities in the online video world. He will be joined by pair of YouTubers–Tyler Oakley and Grace Helbig–who regularly interact with their fans. The fourth member of the panel is Ze Frank, the EVP of Video at Buzzfeed and a popular YouTube voice in his own right.
Memes w/ Meaning: Why We Love Crazy Gifs & Videos, 5 pm – According to Abigail Posner, YouTube’s Head of Strategic Planning, the Harlem Shake wasn’t an inane fad. Instead, Posner will explain what she feels is the deep meaning behind viral videos, gifs, and memes as part of an “anthropological study of the visual web.”
Saturday, March 8th
VEVO Live at the Roku Streaming Lounge, 10 am to 5 pm – As programs like VEVO Lift attest, the Internet’s largest music network is interested in uncovering lesser-known talent. At SXSW, VEVO will feature a trio of performers: Rixton (noon), Sir Sly (1 pm) and Tori Kelly (2 pm).
Cat Cash: The Economy of Internet Cat Videos, 5 pm – Some of the Internet’s biggest celebrities are feline. Cats like Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat have built their own media empires despite possessing no skills other than their signature looks. This panel, which will include the owner of Henri Le Chat Noir, will include both a discussion on Internet kitty-nomics and a few complementary cat videos to keep the audience satisfied.
Fearlessly Funny: The Women Changing Digital Humor, 5pm – If Internet cats aren’t your thing, you can check out a panel featuring some of the funniest women on the Internet. A pair of xoJane editors will sit down with Issa Rae and Kristina Wong, who will discuss their crafts, crack jokes, and prove Christopher Hitchens wrong.
Sunday, March 9th
Web Series Meet-Up, 11 am – Web series creators Sandra Payne and Tim Street will host this event, which is open to anyone connected to the web series space. Judging from our regular Indie Spotlight column, that’s a fairly large group, so get out there and start networking.
The New York Times’s Op-Docs: Online Documentaries, 11 am – If you haven’t yet seen the New York Times‘ collection of Op-Docs, you’re missing out. The Grey Lady’s collection of online short films is a absolute powerhouse, and this session will discuss the library. Expect a particular focus on Notes on Blindness, which is up for an award at SXSW Film.
An Above Average After Party, 11:30 pm – Above Average will be putting on a show in Austin, the post-party at Blackheart is both open to all attendees and sure to be a good time. If recent trends hold, you might encounter some future SNLers there.
Monday, March 10th
Create Your Own Media Brand Through Collaboration, 12:30 pm – When we last checked in with Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco of the National Film Society channel, they were raising funds for their 80s-tinted web series, Awesome Asian Bad Guys. That series is now set to debut, so Epino and Dypiangco will take to the SXSW to tell us how collaborations made all of their online video work possible.
Is Online Video Killing TV?, 5 pm – This discussion’s title betrays some lofty intentions, as HuffPost Live co-founder Roy Sekoff will explain to viewers how the rise of online entertainment informs creators about what viewers want from their media.
How Jane Austen Conquered Social Storytelling, 5 pm – Even long after its completion, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries still has the power to engage millions of fans across various social media platforms. Creator Bernie Su and transmedia guru Jay Bushman will discuss the series’ meteoric rise and the unique social media techniques it pioneered.
Tuesday, March 11th
MCNs: The Next-Generation Media Companies, 9 am – Depending on who you ask, the multi-channel network model is either the future of online entertainment or a broken system incapable of generating significant revenue. Obviously, Maker Studios Executive Chairman Ynon Kreiz is in the former category, and he’ll explain his MCN’s plan in an interview with Peter Kafka of AllThingsD.
How To Win The Internet In 60 Minutes With Funny Or Die, 11:15 am – This panel will answer the all-important question of “How do I Internet?” The team behind some of the web’s best comedy content will spill their beans in what is likely to be one of SXSW’s funniest presentations.
Stand Up To Content Bullies, Know Your Copy Rights, 12:30 pm – Regular Tubefilter readers may remember the interview we conducted with Teri Karobonik, a lawyer who helps content creators defend their work against systems like ContentID. Karobonik will be one of three members on this panel, which will, at least in part, respond to the recent tumult regarding YouTube’s copyright system.
Build An Audience Without Selling Out Creatively, 12:30 pm – It is rare for an ‘indie’ style web series to score hundreds of thousands of YouTube views, but it is not impossible. Amy Rubin, who achieved that feat with her series Little Horribles, will lead a panel that will inform attendees how best to balance creative freedom with online video notability.
To check out these and other events at SXSW, take a look at the festival’s full schedule.