SxSW Best Bars, Restaurants, Panels & Pro Tips from W2O

If you're headed to SxSW and want to be in the know, check out this Content Capsule that will let you know the “best of” SxSW Interactive this year. The W2O Group team has put together a content capsule with lists of the best bars, restaurants, panels, videos, survival tips and more. Got additional goodness to add? Throw ‘em in the comments.

Click to find out what to do at SxSW 2014


Gay Rights Movement ... Moving Along

It dawned on me today that this is actually a pretty amazing time to live in, witnessing the evolution/progression of gay rights. You can clearly see the tide is turning:


I can only imagine this is similar to those who lived through the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. The devastating effect of racism and prejudice on our country and how oppositionists were in the majority, only to see their majority slip away as a result of brave individuals and enlightenment. That's what's happening today.

I wonder, will we look back on this time, years from now, celebrating our first gay president, the way we did our first black president? I certainly hope so.


Football Is Upon Us!

Yes, it's that time again. Time for chips, beers, hollering at the television, ruined fantasy pick, and tired Tuesday mornings after an overtime MNF game. I could wax poetic about the upcoming season, the injuries, the predictions, but at work, we've taken a different twist and done a ranking of the NFL teams' social media presence.

The wizards at W2O Group analyzed the social presence of all 32 NFL teams to produce this list of the top 20 in another installment of W2O Ranks. You can find more details on the  methodology of the ranking here. You'll also see that this infographic is presented using my company's (NextWorks) technology, the Image Capsule. Just hover over the various interactive tags to see the teams' social channels.

And yes, given the chances my Philadelphia Eagles have this year, I'm glad to see they ranked at #6!


CitiBike NYC Reviewed

When the launch of the CitiBike NYC bike share system was announced, I was excited at the prospect but had low expectations for it actually working effectively. You know ... government being in charge of anything consumer-related.

But after a few weeks of using the new bike share that extends from just south of Central Park southward along into Brooklyn, I've been pleasantly surprised. The biggest shocker for me was that these bike dock stations are EVERYWHERE. It seems you can't go two or three blocks without running into a bike station, which is great, because if you get to one station that's out of bikes, there are usually two within a short walk that may have more available.

I recently received my annual membership kit ($95/year vs. $9.95/day), and here are some photos of the unboxing:




And now onto the pros and cons of CitiBike:

  • MANY bike stations in the heart of Manhattan from south Central Park to Battery Park
  • Great alternative to the subway
  • Bikes are rugged, 3-speed bikes that are easy to hop on and go
  • Flashing white and red lights for nighttime biking
  • Bikes are simple to return to the docks
  • Good -- and simple -- mobile app


  • Check-out kiosks are bit cumbersome
  • Only one kiosks per bike location (these will get crowded when this really catches on)
  • Too many steps to checking out a bike at the kiosk
  • The touch-screen LCD at the kiosk is set too low (too low to bend over, too high to kneel)
  • First speed on the bike is useless -- it's geared too low
  • Card-swipe at the kiosk has been a bit wonky at times
  • Customers should be able to rent a bike through the mobile app and then have the app generate the 5-digit code that unlocks a bike (code is valid for 5 minutes)

I had never been a NYC bicyclist, and now that I am, I completely sympathize with those bikers who complain about the lack of bike lanes, the inattentive drivers, and daring pedestrians. It can be treacherous biking through Manhattan. I strongly urge you to reach the bike safety guide and to wear a helmet. There's no love for bikers on Broadway!



I thought I'd share this touching tale from our daughter Julie.

My wife took our three children into New York City to see the sights at Christmastime. While there, our oldest daughter was very saddened by all of the homeless people they passed. She kept saying, "Isn't there anything we can do? How do we live in a world with so much, and some people have nothing?"

My wife told her that praying might help. They were just about to walk past a church on 5th Ave. when all three kids asked to go in. They went in and sat in prayer. Julie sat there the entire time in prayer and tears. Afterward she said that she was praying for God to give her a means to help those people in need.

Just before they left she said she closed her eyes and then looked up, and God told her how she could start to help. She said she was going to make Christmas cards for those poor homeless, because Christmas is a time for family and togetherness. She wants them to know that they are not alone. She also said that this is only the start. Pretty amazing and well beyond her years.

Tonight she made 26 unique Christmas cards that she'll be handing out tomorrow in Manhattan to those less fortunate.