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Trying to Get the Write Right in 2017

The Forrest Four-Cast: December 28, 2017

140 to 280: Not the Twitter Fix We Needed. Probably this post was too cynical, because I’ve enjoyed the additional freedom of 280 characters. But the power of social media is still significantly hampered by way way way too much hate speech.

AI Experts Everywhere at SXSW 2017. This post explored one of the top trends at last year’s March Magic. It also revealed how many of the most innovative and more forward-thinking minds in the artificial intelligence industry are female.

Bathroom Bill Epilogue: Four Takeaways. Aside from SXSW, the topic I wrote most about over the last year was the Texas Legislature’s efforts to pass discriminatory legislation. These efforts failed in 2017 — but they will return again in the 2019 session.

Four Super Sports Predictions. This pre Super Bowl column covered everything from eSports to improved stadium experiences. For 2018, I need to get more comfortable making more predictions across more different industries.

Four Thoughts on the Recode 100. I love reading the website Recode and so I loved analyzing their inaugural list of the year’s top tech personalities. Somewhat surprisingly, this column got very little traction.

Gambiarra is Bootstrapping in Brazil. My most popular Medium post ever, mainly because it went viral with the large Brazilian audience that follows SXSW. As always, community is the key to positive and impactful growth.

March Magic Memories: Aziz Gilani. Of the many March Magic Memories interviews conducted, this was one of my favorites. Hearing big-time VCs talk about coming to Austin in the spring so that they can play the Werewolf Game with top startups is always refreshing.

May 17: Doree Shafrir at Book People. Published last April, “Startup: A Novel” with its focus on workplace-related sexual harassment turned out to an incredibly accurate foreshadowing of what was to follow for the rest of 2017. As pictured above, this column helped provide a little more buzz for the author’s appearance in Austin.

Religion at SXSW: 10 Inclusive Sessions. Unexpected treasures are one of the things that make South by Southwest so special. I loved highlighting these faith-related panels at last year’s event, particularly because they encompassed so many different traditions.

When You Disagree, Don’t Be Disagreeable. This was one of the four ground rules of the first annual Obama Summit in Chicago in late October. Words to remember for 2018 (and beyond) if we work our way out of the current polarized mess.

Look for more short, four-paragraph offerings via this space in 2018. Bear with me please, I’m still at the beginning of a long, long journey to becoming a better analyst, prognosticator, and storyteller.

Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.

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Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.

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