Friday, March 09, 2007

Conferences and Skewed Perceptions

The SXSW 2007 conference attendees have amassed in Austin. The first part of the conference is the "interactive" part, dedicated to film and technology media.

The usage of text messaging services such as Dodgeball, Twitter, and my own baby, Dadnab, has ballooned. The top 10 users of Dodgeball in Austin is traditionally dominated by friends of mine. Only one friend of mine remains in the top 10.

Reading the news stories stories about the conference, you might think these services are taking over the world. But they aren't.

Conference attendees are not your typical consumers. They aren't even typical consumers of the products and technologies that are the topics of the conference. There are at least three types of attendees that are atypical consumers:
  1. Vendors
  2. Fanatical users
  3. Reporters
When you attend conferences or consume media coverage of them, keep in mind that they likely aren't representative of your target market.

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