Open Story: South by Southwest

Editor's Note:This story is a collaborative effort of CNN and iReporters, who together look at a story from all angles. We call this approach an Open Story.
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  • The annual SXSW
    conference brings tens of thousands of people to Austin, Texas
  • CNN is covering the event together with the attendees
  • Participate by adding your experience on iReport

Editor’s note:This story is a collaborative effort of CNN and hundreds of iReporters who are taking part in the events of SXSW in Austin, Texas, this week. We’re calling it an Open Story. It’s our very first one. Let us know what you think in the comments. (And if you have something to add, please send it via iReport!)


CNN – The annual SXSW interactive, film and music festival is officially under way in Austin, Texas. It’s the kind of event that attracts early adopters of all stripes together to collectively sort out the future.


You might think of it as a massive crystal ball. Whatever the folks at SXSW are downloading, listening to and watching is likely the stuff the rest of us will be digging in, like, 6 months.


First up is the interactive festival, which attracts thousands of tech superstars and enthusiasts on the lookout for the next big thing. Here at CNN, we’re looking to the thousands of people milling around Austin with smartphones to help answer that question. And we’re doing it in a way we’ve never tried before: collaboratively, with all the people taking part in the festival.


What you’ll find here on this page is a collection of short updates, photos and videos sent to iReport from people on the ground in Austin. Some of them are CNNers, most of them are not. Together, they tell the story of what’s happening, what people are talking about, and probably what the rest of us will be downloading, listening to and watching half a year from now.


Use the interactive gallery above to follow along in real time. Add your own take via iReport. Tell us what you think in the comments. Together, we’re going to figure out how to weave together a narrative out of hundreds of individual perspectives.