Socializing the SXSW Experience

One of the bands performing at SXSW, Reading Rainbow.

It seems every average pursuit is being pushed in group format these days, and the annual South By Southwest tech and arts conference, which starts today in Austin, is no exception.

BusinessWeek proclaims in this 25th year of SXSW that group texting may be the highlight. Companies such as GroupMe, Beluga, Kik and TextPlus are making their names in this space, which takes the function of a chat room and moves it to mobile devices. What a great tool to have at SXSW, where the ambitious music fans can catch 100 bands in four days and still keep up with each other, connect inside the venues, and meet up for breakfast at sunrise.

A couple of other fantastic things about SXSW 2011 are the rumored temporary Apple superstore, Bob Geldof as keynote speaker, as well as Bad Brains playing the festival for the first time. And if you need some help getting around Austin, download the app for the Austin Lonely Planet guide free this week.