When did SXSW take place in 2011?

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The highlight of the fifth and final day was the keynote by Daniel Ek, who presented Spotify to the American audience. Spotify has 6 million users in Europe, 320k of them paying. New features and the US launch are currently being prepared. "On certain days, we're consuming more Internet capacity than Sweden has as a country." tells Ek when asked about Spotify's P2P technology and also demonstrates a new Android version of Spotify.

The (mt) Interactive Closing Party marked the brilliant conclusion of the festival. At Free Drinks & WeAreScientists live on stage you could review the 5 intense days again. The parties are certainly the decisive factor for the success of SXSW. They are the fulcrum for networking America's assembled web scene. So you have the choice of two or a large number of sponsored parties every day. CEOs, CTOs and the staff of the large Silicon Valley companies press the handle.

“The Next Big Thing” did not clearly emerge in Austin, but many new start-ups presented their projects to investors as part of the SXSW and competed for the favor of the assembled web scene. Some of the most exciting of these:

- Aardvark (social help / search platform, now bought by Google)
- Awareness (Social Media Marketing Command Headquarters)
- Flavors.me (creating your own homepages including aggregation of socia media feeds)
- Tungleme (calendar tracker to make appointments easier)

The defining theme this year, however, was the location War between Foursquare & Gowalla. As with Twitter, the hype only really picked up speed in the second year after the launch, as Service & Features are now known and have been used extensively during the five days. For example, Gowalla recorded over 100,000 check-ins during the SXSW in Austin and also won the prize for the best mobile service at the SXSW Awards. Foursquare, on the other hand, registered 100,000 new users in the last 10 days. An example of the potential behind the new location services that is not really getting serious is wheretheladies.at

All in all, SXSW was a great experience for me. Certainly above all a big long party, but also an exciting conference with many good speakers. I'm flying back with a lot of inspiration, new ideas and lots of new contacts and I can warmly recommend everyone in the web, film or music industry to experience SXSW at least once.

In Austin, the web geeks are leaving the festival and the music hipsters are coming. SXSW Interactive closes, SXSW Music starts. It was fun! (a lot of fun even ;-)
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