Big Omaha conference this week, watch free videos from last year

I’m always looking for great tech/interactive/entrepreneurial conferences and I think I’ve found another one that isn’t very far from my home. The conference is called Big Omaha and it looks like a mini SXSW here in America’s heartland. Is Omaha becoming the next Austin in the world of tech start-up and entrepreneurship?

My family was just up in Omaha last week to look at colleges for my daughter and we had a tremendous visit and were pleasantly surprised by how cool Omaha is. My wife Cathy captured the weekend great on this entry from her Uncommon Lifestyle blog.

There are several videos from last year’s conference that you might want to catch up on.

Check out the Kaneko Orgnization in the Old Market where the conference will be held.

One of my favorite talks from last year was this one by Scott Harrison the founder of Charity Water.

Scott Harrison – charity: water from Big Omaha on Vimeo.

Ideas for Attending SXSW from Home

I’m sure you know that SXSW is taking place for the next few days. There are three separate conferences in Movies, Film and Interactive combined into one single event. An amazing amount of content and presentations are currently taking place but you are not there.

Here are a few of my tips for getting something out of the conference if you can’t be there in person.

There is currently a link being sponsored by Pepsico where you can watch keynotes on demand, a YouTube SXSW channel and a Facebook page where you can find lots of links and content.

Another great way to get a sense of what people are thinking that attend the Interactive part of the conference is to follow #SXSWi from your twitter account. You will see live links to other individual conference sessions where attendees are tweeting observations in real time for the conference. These conversations can become a great archive of the topic that was covered. I’ll try to provide an update to some of my favorite breakout sessions.

After the entire conference is over many of the sessions will be podcast via iTunes, or via an interactive phone app. Here is the link to the 2010 iPhone SXSW audio archive application. I had downloaded this earlier and it works from my iphone, but it looks like it is no longer available from the US iTunes store. I wonder what is up with that.

If you have a favorite 2011 SXSW session, please share the links to content that may be available.

I’ve included this video from last year’s 2010 conference because I think it gives a great video overview of what takes place at SXSW.

My favorite crowd funding websites

I have a couple of new crowd funding websites that I have recently come across that I really like and plan to use. I think the model of being able to present your ideas to the community in a compelling way that people choose to partner with you in the creation of your idea is truly ground breaking. The first site is and I really like the variety of projects and creative ideas that are presented. Be sure to subscribe to their weekly email updates so you will get a list of some of the current top projects. When you come across a great project be sure to check out the types of rewards that are offered for each project. These can be equally as creative as the initial ideas themselves. One of the biggest projects that has received funding was for saving the movie “Blue Like Jazz” which raised close to $346,000. Most of the projects are much smaller but it shows the power of this great idea.  There are some unique guidelines to starting your project which can be found here. So why not start your own project today or back somebody elses project. Here is a video pitch for a project on the lost photography of Vivian Maier that I found very interesting.

Another site that I like a lot is It provides almost the same model as but you get your money for your project even if you don’t meet the deadline date.  These projects are equally as interesting and have some good partnership capabilities to help with the distribution of your media projects through iTunes, Amazon and Netflix.

What are your favorite crowd funding sites? Are there others? Please let me know if you’ve had a positive experience with either site. I’d like to hear your story.

Sencha Con User Conference – Learn about their cross platform developer tools

I came across this video of the opening session from the SenchaCon user conference held back in November. Looks like an exciting development tool that will allow developers to build mobile apps cross platform utilizing HTML5. They plan on releasing more videos form the conference here and announced a free to use version of Sencha Touch 1.0. This is their HTML5 mobile JavaScript framework that allows developers to create mobile web apps for the iPhone and Android touchscreen devices. I’d like to know if anyone has had experience using this development tool.

SenchaCon 2010: Welcome and Keynote Address from Sencha on Vimeo.