Friday Buzz: SXSW, a Year After Tragedy

The festivities will go on in Austin, Texas, starting this weekend, after a deadly crash at last year's event—but expect SXSW to be toned down this year. Also: Let's talk about your IT maturity score.

Last year, one of the country’s hottest events took a tragic turn.

The 2014 edition of the SXSW festival—which covers topics in music, film, and interactive technology—was thrown into disarray after a driver fleeing police ran into a crowd of revelers. Four people were killed; nearly two dozen others were seriously injured.

“And for each specific memory of the pain, there is a matching remembrance of good, an opposite and equal reaction to the night’s horrors: the bystander who laid her sweater on a victim, or who started CPR, or used his shirt for a tourniquet, or knelt near the head of an injured man to hold his neck until medical help arrived,” the Austin American-Statesman‘s Eric Dexheimer wrote in a feature piece.

The man who was behind the wheel of the car, Rashad Owens, remains in jail a year after the accident. Meanwhile, organizers of the festival, along with city officials, are looking to take the lessons of the tragedy and build a safer environment for attendees.

The city announced that it would cut down on the number of approved special-event permits, and some of the biggest brands at last year’s event are staying home amid criticism over unauthorized open-air parties. Those who are holding parties are toning back their events.

“It’s a very fine balancing act,” SXSW Interactive head Hugh Forrest told USA Today. “Our top priority is having a safe and user-friendly event for all our registrants.”

Webinar to Watch

How do you ensure that your technology matches your needs? Tech firms DelCor and ACGI Software say the IT Maturity Model can help. The companies will host a free webinar about the value of a solid IT Maturity Score on March 31 at 1:30 EDT. Learn more over this way.

Other Links of Note

Why you shouldn’t use a USB drive owned by someone you don’t trust: It can destroy your computer.

If someone donates to your nonprofit, what should you do? Lori Finch of Care2 offers a step-by-step guide on the right way to react.

Cool community startup of the day: The Portland-based community app Switchboard wants to make it dead simple to start an online community for any reason.

(Ahson Wardak/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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