Sponsored post: This post is part of a series on SXSW 2013 sponsored by Riparian Data.

Image via Groupme

Aka the stuff I’m using and the people I’m following whilst in the live music capital of the world.


  • For finding out  the who and what of your current or near-future where: Banjo. Am I iffy on the privacy implications of location apps? Yes. But the new version of Banjo flips the people-around-me paradigm to a more useful and refreshing people-around-a-place one.  Unless everyone at the conference is using it, Banjo should help you avoid dead and irrelevant #socialninjaguruproudmamaof4loverofjesus zones.
  • For preparing for that quick meeting you have in five minutes with someone you only know a little through Twitter: Charlie. Charlie polls social network data from people on your calendar, and gives you a summary of news and shared interests. Sure, you could do everything Charlie does on your own, but it would take time, and lack of time is the main MO for having an app like Charlie.
  • For finding out what the weather is going to be 47 minutes from now: Partly Cloudy. There are scads of weather apps, but tmk, Partly Cloudy is the only one with a sundial and spinnable  gnomon. Unlike traditional stone sundials, Partly Cloudy’s can be adjusted to 12h, 24h, and 7 day increments.
  • For getting 6 cases of Fire Eagle delivered to your impromptu after after party: TaskRabbit. No lie—I wish I could slot Projective Space neighbor WunWun in here, since its network of helpers is actually on-demand, but WunWun is only in NYC as of now. With Task Rabbit, you have to post a task and then wait for Rabbits to bid before you get your cases of beer. On the bright side, the company seems to have Sx down pretty well, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long.
  • For keeping on top of SXSW’s 3 billion parties: Austin Party Guide, SXSW edition.  There are over 250 parties in this app, all geotagged  and organized by date and type, along with sections for photos, videos, and tumblr posts.
  • For keeping on top of online buzz & buzzers: Hey Big Fish. This collaboration between Waggener Edstrom, Little Bird and Tater Tot Designs analyzes online conversations around specific topics and displays the people and links generating the most noise. “Oh, like Twitter Trends?” says no one who has used Twitter ever. Kinda, but with a real-time less gross version of Klout twist. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
  • For keeping on top of your email: Gander. (NB Sorryimnotsorryforthepromo.) Gander will send email from bots and joke-loving old aunts to your skimbox, and make sure messages from the people you communicate with frequently end up at the top of your main inbox.  If your meetup reminder notifications are anything like mine, this pre-clean-up is a major timesaver.


  • Battery-powered chargers. Because your phone is going to run out of juice, and you don’t want to be one of those annoying people staring woefully at your blank screen, do you?
  • Carrier pigeon: Unlike your stupid phone, these birds never run out of juice.[1] Plus, they’re super viral.
  • Notebook. Also doesn’t run out of juice, and is not extinct. Goes well with Moscots, but is less smudgy.
  • Emergen-C. As Mister Sniffen can attest, techies are a mothy lot. Fend off airborne disease and tequila-induced unease with these sparkly packets of water-soluable vitamins. h/t Alex Howard
  • Collapsible water bottle. The most annoying thing about water bottles is carrying them. Instead, use this collapsible pouch from MOMA, which stands up when filled to 16oz, and rolls up when empty.
  • Birkenstocks or similar. Personally, I prefer Mephistos, because I am 85 and have rlly narrow feet. But either option stands up to miles and miles of walking—mine came out of the Walk for Hunger and Bonaroo with nary a dimple.
  • Fun bandaids, like these pickle ones from Gadgets and Gear. Because you can’t go wrong with the dynamic duo of blister-fixer and conversation piece.
  • Tee-shirts emblazoned with the logos of any of the following: Facebook, Twitter, Google, Box, Dropbox, Makerbot, 500. Brings all the babes to the bar!


This lot will keep you in the know about everything worth knowing, probably.

More to add? Chime in in the comments!

[1] Until they did