I am a pretty gregarious person. I love meeting new people, catching up with old friends, and especially talking tech. So when events like last Saturday’s SXSW Shanghai @ M1NT event come around, I was on it like an Apple fanboi on a new feline-monikered OS X.
Organized by The China Business Network and The Symbio Group, the SXSW Shanghai event featured three of the four panelists for the upcoming “International Business in China for Fun and Profit” panel at SXSW Interactive 2009:
Panel Description: There are myriad misconceptions about doing business in China, but with a massive market, talented workbase and intriguing culture, there are also many compelling reasons for entrepreneurs to consider expanding their enterprises to Asia. Practical questions are answered by a panel of ex-pat entrepreneurs.
I’m guessing the panelists–Christine Lu, Andrew Lih and Sage Brennan (Dan Harris wasn’t able to make it)–made some sort of presentation. However, I must have missed it, as the only things I was presented with were a number of glasses of complimentary champagne, a pocket full of business cards, a burned and ruined shirt and a slight hangover.
Speeches from honored guests or not, the event was a blast and allowed me to hear about a number of cool new Web projects people are working on. A few of the more noteworthy:
Zai.hu has been created to help Chinese users in keeping track of their friends’ activities from different social-networking sites and online portals by compiling them into one page. The service is similar in some regards to FriendFeed, but geared completely for the Chinese market.
Founded by Jenny Zhu (of ChinesePod fame), Suixuntong Learning is an enterprise learning network that empowers managers to take employee training and education into their own hands using Web technologies.
Comiqs.com is a completely Web-based and completely free Web app that allows you to get creative with your photos. Via the site, you can take your images (from your computer or directly from a URL) and style them, decorate them with speech/thought bubbles and put them in comic-style layouts. It’s a blast to play with, but sadly I wasn’t able to save my work as the site’s registration wasn’t working.
BloggerInsight allows businesses to tap into a network of bloggers from a variety of industries and gain intelligence on the Chinese Internet, high-tech and new media markets.
More than anything else though, it gave me a chance to spend a few hours chewing the fat with a group of people that don’t sigh and roll their eyes when I bring up technology, blogging, the Internet and Twitter!
It also taught me a valuable lesson. No matter how enlightening and engaging the conversation is, you must always be mindful of the ledges you lean against, for the ones strewn with tea lights bite. Sigh, it was a good shirt:
Additional (less charred) photos of the event can be seen here.