What’s the Buzz at SXSW?

For anyone in the technology world, the South by Southwest conference (aka SXSW) in Austin, Tex. is the place to be. It’s a combination of conference, exhibition, networking and a break from winter – sort of like March Break for geeks.

The buzz going into SXSW was all about location-based services such as Foursquare and Gowalla. Given their growing popularity, these services were expected to take centre stage as the digitally-savvy attendees happily climbed on the bandwagon – much like they pushed Twitter into the mainstream in 2008 after enthusiastically embracing it at the SXSW conference.

With the first three days of SXSW conference completed, what’s the buzz so far? To get a snapshot of what’s happening, we used Sysomos MAP to put the spotlight on the biggest conversations.

Not surprisingly, “Austin” is the most active keyword with a strong association to “sxswi” (the interactive part of SXSW, which also showcases music and film).

As expected, Foursquare and Gowalla are also attracting some good buzz. But perhaps the most interesting “buzz” from SXSW is “gmail”.

Todd Jackson, a product manager from Google, said during a panel that Google made a mistake by launching its new social network, Google Buzz, too aggressively. Another Google employee, Jonathan Perlow, also said Google is fixing some issues that have slowed GMail’s performance.

More: If you’re at SXSW and looking for a tool to jump-start your visit to Austin, check out FourWhere.com, a new service that combines Foursquare’s content and data with the Google Maps API. FourWhere, which was build by Sysomos, is a user-friendly way to discover content from Foursquare such as restaurants and cafes.

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