The Calm Before The SXSW Storm: Is Doodle The News Ready For Austin?

The Calm Before The SXSW Storm: Is Doodle The News Ready For Austin?

DISCLAIMER: The following article was written on March 9th 2018, the previous day before South By Southwest and other exciting developments for Doodle the News. Please enjoy.

Over the course of my Newhouse journey, I haven’t had much time to take an extended break. I can fit an occasional nap here and there, but I always find myself putting in work in some fashion throughout my day in something. It seems that will remain the case during my Spring Break, as I decided to attend South By Southwest.

The esteemed interactive festival is riddled with talented professionals in media coming from all over the world to obsess over today’s most exciting technology developments in our connected world. After some smooth connecting flights, I landed in Austin, TX to embark on my first entrepreneurial conference experience.

This trip is no joke, at least for me. Professor Sean Branagan had all his students make a schedule of all events we planned to attend and back ups in case those events were totally booked. Thanks to the SXSW Go app, creating a schedule was easy and my focus in startups, journalism, social impact, and education was simple to build a schedule around thanks to the tags in the app.

Not only that, but Branagan has allegedly been talking with amazing people from Google, Mark Cuban Companies, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Comcast Ventures, Apple, SXSW, and more. Clearly, this is a grand opportunity to shake some really accomplished people’s hands.

With this in mind, I always think about how I can include Doodle the News into a conversation. It’s usually easy to bring up my venture to people at Newhouse because of my strategically placed flyers, but no one outside those walls has that exposure. But in the same token, this could be a blessing.Get global insights on Doodle The News

I came to SXSW primarily to learn. The 80% listen, 20% talk rule will be in full effect this week, as I am able to talk to people who’ve walked the path I want to take. Doodle the News will have to take the backseat in most conversations unless there is a valuable reason to bring it up.

So far, things have been pretty calm. Branagan gave me and his other students a tour of Austin’s SXSW hub, as he has done this song and dance multiple years in a row. His wisdom even encouraged other random tourists to peep into our group conversations, as they also wanted SXSW tips and tricks.

After the tour, Branagan treated us to a decent BBQ dinner and introduced us to two of his colleagues. To be perfectly honest, I don’t even remember their names. It was a long day of travel, getting acclimated to Austin (even though I’m from Texas), and exhaustion. It made me question if I’m ready to represent Doodle the News at this conference. I’m expected to be an extroverted machine all week and I feel like I dropped the ball on day zero.

Ultimately, I’m going to have to make this trip worth it for myself. Some animated videos from SXSW helping me with navigating downtown, how to get the most out of my badge, and how to use the SXSW GO app all aid in this strenuous festival, but I will need to be mentally sharp to ensure I make this interactive festival one to remember.

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Tobenna Attah
Transmedia Entrepreneur
Tobe V. Attah is a multimedia entrepreneur with a mission to innovate in today’s new media landscape while making a meaningful impact in the world. He founded Doodle the News in October 2017, a mutliplatform hub for people to have their voices heard and help them become more civic minded through bite-sized journalism.
He has been published across a wide variety of media outlets, including Sports Illustrated, the Cornell Daily Sun, SportTechie, Clutchpoints, Cavs Nation, the Cornell Chronicle, and many more.
Tobe has a plethora of hobbies, including writing, athletics, drawing, acting, and collaborating with others about ideas and startups working in the multimedia space.
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