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Wednesday, 13 March 2013 14:39

5 things we learned at SXSW 2013

Written by  Brandon Griggs and Doug Gross, CNN
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Austin, Texas (CNN) -- Hoopla surrounding South by Southwest Interactive, the techie festival that wrapped up here Tuesday, has exploded in recent years.

The event is famously known for helping to boost Twitter in 2007 and Foursquare three years later, giving it a rep as a launching pad for new digital tools. Fresh-faced startups converge on Austin, hoping to get venture capital and buzz. It's one of the reasons attendance at SXSWi this week swelled to an all-time high of 30,621, up some 25% from last year.

It also has created big expectations. One of the most commonly asked questions among attendees here is, "What's the coolest new thing you've seen?"

"That hype has been good for growth. But it's also proved to be a double-edged sword," said Hugh Forrest, director of the festival, in an interview here Tuesday. "People expect something to launch here Friday and be as big as Facebook by Sunday. There are things here that may not hit the mainstream for a couple of years, because they're not fully developed."

SXSW has gotten so big and diffuse that trends can be hard to quantify. But if you go to enough panels and talk to enough people, some themes start to emerge. Here are five takeaways from the past five days:

Read more at http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/13/tech/innovation/5-things-sxsw/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

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