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Photo by Liz Henry

A whole bunch of local blogfriends went off to Austin, Texas this week to attend South By Southwest Interactive – which is kind of the tech end of what is probably the biggest music industry conference and festival on the planet.

I’ve been to some cool places recently, but that didn’t stop me being dead jealous of everyone.

But I like to think that having a bit of distance and perspective on the whole thing stops you from getting carried away with the spirit of the moment – and lets you see the real trends and significant lessons from the whole thing. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

So – here are the five things I’ve learned by NOT going to SXSWI this year:

1) Twitter rocks
Kind of knew this one already, but everyone has been frantically twittering SXSWI, and somewhere along the way, Twitter went from being merely significant to utterly crucial. It lets you in on a kind of social and mobile conversation that doesn’t exist in any other form, it gives you an impressionistic but documentary-accurate expression of events that you can’t be present for, and it seems to be evolving its own form of narrative in the same way blogs did five years ago. My Twitter ID is dubber, if you’re interested.

2) Live mobile video not all that cool
Once you get over the wow factor of the ability to stream video live online straight from your mobile phone, the actual experience as a viewer is lukewarm at best. Besides, I’ve been timeshifting everything and off the schedules for so long that ‘Now!’ feels like an imposition. I don’t have to experience something while you’re experiencing it in order to share that experience, if you see what I mean.

3) Excited people make better bloggers
Dispassionate critical aloofness is all very well, but you feel like you get to know people so much better when they’re firing on no sleep, all adrenaline and child-at-christmas excitement. Bloggers should get to do cool stuff ALL the time.

4) Specialist geek language is alive and well
I feel like I’m fairly fluent in most nerd dialects, but even so, about 30% of the messages I received back from Austin, Texas contained acronyms, technical terms and slang phrases I was completely unfamiliar with. Or is it hard to spell well when you’re sending SMS messages on no sleep?

5) I’m SO not missing SXSWI next year
I’m completely jealous and I hate you all. Buy me coffee and tell me everything.