SxSW Field Report, Day 0: Intro

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Hi, I’m Nate, and I work as a writer at Keen… although, up ’til now, you would have almost no way of knowing that.

Despite the fact that I’ve been working with Keen for nearly 2 years now, and have helped out behind-the-scenes on all sorts of things (our homepage copy, tons of blog posts, any of our tweets or emails that you personally found funny), I’ve always been super reluctant to actually put my name on anything like a blog post.

Why? OK, so. Remember in Coyote Ugly howJersey” (Piper Perabo) has this insane, not-particularly-realistic form of stage fright where she doesn’t mind doing sexy bar dances in front of hundreds of drunk monsters, but clams up whenever she has to perform her own songs on-stage? Yeah. Basically imagine the writing equivalent of that.


Ah, yes. A Coyote Ugly reference. Timely.

So, what’s changed? Well, basically, I really, really wanted to come with the team to SxSW, and I don’t really have any marketable skills besides writing, so I humbly offered up my services documenting the trip in my own special way.


Hm. How to put this delicately. I definitely at least sort of care about the things I am probably supposed to care about for this event. For example:

  • Technology is pretty good and stuff. e.g., I am typing this post on a portable computer, if you can believe it!
  • I am pretty good at networking, if networking includes having a LinkedIn profile and only ignoring it 70% of the time. (Also if networking includes wine.)
  • If you said a phrase to me like “growth hacking,” I would probably only throw up on your shoes a little. Like, the smallest amount of puke.

I guess my point is, with these posts, expect kind of an outsider’s perspective on Sx? I am interested in tech and in brands and marketing and in meeting awesome new people, but, you know, sometimes at weird angles.

In these posts, I’ll be sharing the stuff that is interesting to me, which might not be the same stuff that is interesting to everyone else. But hey! It might be fun to get a different perspective, right? Plus, I tend to kind of inherently generate weird encounters and make odd observations as a matter of course, so that could be fun?

In any case, there’s always, like, BuzzFeed and stuff, if you’d rather look at pictures of stuff from the 90′s. Nostalgia is pretty great, too.


Oh, my gosh. It is an Old Thing. I’m having so many Feelings!


OK, so the plan for these Sx field reports is to do at least one post per day until we come back from Austin on the 17th. My personal goal (which I am sure I will almost immediately abandon) will be to write each day’s post before I go to bed that evening. Obviously, by that point in the day, I am sure to be burned out, exhausted, possibly intoxicated, and completely frantic to just pass the hell out, so I am expecting to generate some real Pulitzer-caliber material here. (e.g., “Why Do Birds Exist: A 3000-Word Essay, by Nathan Walsh”)

Rushing through content at a breakneck pace like that, there is a reasonable chance that at some point I am going to put my foot in my mouth or say something dumb. This is not to make excuses (”Augh, damn all this Privilege!”) — this is me asking you to call me out on that shit if I do. Please please please email me at or tweet @whateverdude or tackle me on the street or call my horrific Google Voice number (57-DIARRHEA), and I will apologize (and probably cry some, in all seriousness) and do whatever I can to try and make things better.


This is what I look like, if you want to tackle me. (Sorry for looking pretty generic, I know that makes things trickier.)


  • I have been in New Orleans for the past week with a good chunk of the Keen team, so obviously I feel very rested and relaxed and not at all a bloated, rum-soaked hell demon.
  • I am one of those cool, en vogue “outgoing introverts,” which means it should be pretty fun to watch my slow descent from enthusiastic Party Person to sobbing lunatic hiding under a hotel conference room table, praying for the destruction of all human life and technology.
  • I like to sing and dance, so if you want to do those things with me, we totally should.
  • I am running on like 40 minutes of sleep writing this. Scale of 1–10, how much can you tell?

OK, no, this is going to be great, I swear! Hope to hear from you, maybe meet you, and share in some fantastic adventures together.


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