The SXTXState.com project has provided students in the Graduate Program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with access to the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival since 2008. You must be selected to enroll in the class and receive a SXSW Interactive Badge. Students attend SXSW Interactive during Spring Break. During the spring semester, students communicate and meet with the instructor via online methods.
This is a wonderful opportunity to take a unique course that includes attendance at an event emphasizing many of the concepts covered in other classes and to see many of the big thinkers in media. Past years have included Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Chris Anderson of Wired, social media expert and author Gary Vaynerchuk, Marissa Mayer – formerly of Google, now Yahoo’s CEO, Craig Newmark of Craigslist, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and many more. Students who have participated in the project have gone on to key roles in digital media companies including The New York Times, HomeAway, Spedfast, Mosak Advertising and Insights, NPR and more. Some even work for SXSW. More information about the project can be found at sxproject.cindyroyal.net. Participation in the project can advance one’s knowledge, provide access to professionals and inspire a platform from which many future conversations can emerge.