SXSWi: Sunday the 15th

Making whuffie at SXSWi using the power of Twitter.
Making whuffie at SXSWi using the power of Twitter.

11.30am Making Whuffie: Raising Social Capital in Online Communities

The language of the internet is lagging behind the tech and culture changes… which is presumably why ‘whuffie’ has been picked from a sci-fi story from the creator of Boing Boing in which currency is not money but reputation, connections, influence, access to resources and to more connections, favours and reciprocity, accomplishement, levels of trust, etc.

Whuffie was the basis of a talk by Tara Hunt, who helped make BarCamp a phenomenon. Here’s her SlideShare of the Making Whuffie concept:

You create your own ‘whuffie’ over time through online networks and the relationships you develop through them. Join Twitter, for example, and it may take some time to build up your ‘whuffie’ (do I really have to keep saying this word?).

But if you’re Britney Spears on Twitter, or similarly connected, then you’re said to be ‘whuffie-rich’.

Tara outlined some ways to create whuffie for clients – but also for those rawking SXSWi. I followed her advice of, for example, getting drunk at SXSW and mixing outside of my West Midlands/London circle, and indeed created connections with people who are whuffie-rich in social media world.

How my SXSW whuffie-boost works out over the next year will be interesting to see. But already I have an invite to stay in Austin next year with one of the SXSWi MCs and a few whuffie-boosting tweets have gone out to the masses of followers that others have and I don’t.

So far, I have a heck of a lot more random people following me. Which is cool, but weird. Apparently whufie ultimately raises up your bottom line. It turns out we’re all potentially our own business model now.

I’ll let you know.

Interview with the Twitchhiker
It started with a tweet:

Alright. Here we go. Everyone, I need your help on this. Please follow @twitchhiker, RT this message and read the blog at

Paul Is the guy who has set himself the challenge of travelling to the other side of the world in 30 days for the charity Water – but totally reliant on the goodwill of those on Twitter. Checking the Tweetdeck grapevine at SXSWi, I found that the Twitchhiker had made it to Austin – the kind Twitterfolk of Wichita had decided he needed to get to SXSW.

When I met him he was half way through and scrabbling for a lift to the airport later that day. No lift and he’d break his own 48-hour rule on getting stuck and have to fly home. To make life more difficult, he’s not allowed to ask the Twittersphere for what he wants.

Paul look fried. He’d been filmed by both the BBC and Good Morning America so hadn’t slept or seen anything of SXSW.

Fortunately, during the interview Austinite lady librarian @hallienoves came through with a ride to the airport and he was on his way again.

He’s now on the West Coast, sticking out a virtual thumb to get him somehow across the Pacific Ocean. He’s a lovely guy so help him on his way by checking out #twitchhiker and sticking in a donation at the same time.

Go @twitchhiker!

2pm Not another social media panel
Hashtag Kebab aka ‘the art of conference jacking’ – see separate post!