Every March, the population of Austin, Texas, temporarily balloons in size. This year is no different, as the 19th Annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences & Festivals descended upon central Texas last Friday. SXSW Interactive 2012, which ends today, included the release of announcements by several tech companies; the greatest buzz, however, surrounded the death of check-in service Gowalla, which closed its doors last weekend.
Over 5,000 events will occur during the entire SXSW Conference, which includes SXSW Interactive, Film, and Music, and will run through this coming Sunday, March 18th. Event highlights from SXSW Interactive include 2012: Social Media’s New Roll in Politics (#SMPolitics), 3 Secrets to a Killer Elevator Pitch (#KILLER), and Are Free Customers Better Than Captive Ones? (#freedom).
Not surprisingly, Twitter and social media in general saw great traffic this past weekend as a result of SXSW. In addition to people tweeting using the aforementioned hashtags, hundreds of thousands of people were engaging online about SXSW (#SXSW). “According to findings from the Meltwater Group,” reported Chelsea Stark on Mashable.com, “there were almost 330,000 conversations occurring in social spaces surrounding SXSW; 95% of those occurred on Twitter, still the network of choice for SXSW.”
So what exactly were people tweeting about? Some conversations surrounded the Gowalla shut down while others talked about the Jimmy Fallon panel, but it was, in fact, food (according to Meltwater) that was discussed via social media three times more than SXSW panels or events!
Check out the infographic from Meltwater below: