DIY Friday: SXSW & Austin

This week’s DIY Friday combines two of my real loves – DIY projects and music – by bringing together two of my favorite things: Make Magazine and South By Southwest (aka SXSW). I know all of you have already heard about MAKE (we’ve covered a few of their projects right here in this weekly feature), but, for those who haven’t heard about SXSW, its one of the best general "media" conferences in the world.

Even those who’ve heard about SXSW might not know that it is really three different events rolled into one: The SXSW Music and Media Conference, the SXSW Interactive Festival, and the SXSW Film Conference and Festival. The whole affair begins today and lasts ten days (that’s through the 18th) and features hundreds of musical acts on 50 stages in downtown Austin, dozens of keynote presentations and workshops by leading thinkers and new medias, and a series of films from rising talent that easily rivals Sundance. In short, for those interested in what we’ll be watching, listening to, and thinking about in the next five years, SXSW is the place to be.

While that all might be enough for any dedicated RRS reader, those interested in DIY projects like myself might be excited to learn that the Senior Editor of Make Magazine, Phillip Torrone, will be keynoting with Limor Fried, a DIYing Engineer and Artist in her own right, on Sunday. While its hard to predict what two brilliant DIY minds might get into during the talk, I can assure you it will be interesting.

For those that can’t make it, while you might not be able to see Sunday’s kick ass keynote, you can tune to channel 101 on your DirectTV [fuller descriptions are available at the listings at SXSW Live] and check out many of the festivities (although mostly musical) in the weird, liberal oasis that is Austin, TX.

Oh, and if you missed out on the fun of SXSW like I will you might want to make plans to visit Austin this fall nonetheless, because it looks like Austin will also be the home to one of 2007’s MAKE Faires. While it might not have the hipster cachet of SXSW, you better believe you’ll have the opportunity to see (and make) some cool stuff like the crowds did last year.