I'm at the opening party for SXSW Interactive, which features lots of digital art, mood lighting, drinks, belly dancers, a juggler, and a room for video games. A band sets up and starts playing loud funky music. What does the crowd do? Dance? Instead, half a dozen arms go up holding cameras and mobile phones, and people start snapping away. This is the new way an audience-creature shows its appreciation, i suppose — it raises a cloud of glowing, floating LCD screens overhead.
There are already over a thousand SXSW photos on Flickr, and it's only the first day. This conference is nuts. Smart and fun and creative... but nuts.