As the sorrow sweeping Japan deepens, we grow speechless. Today at the SXSW Interactive conference we watched a panel of several Japanese mobile business executives talk about trends in wireless. The big takeaway from Japan, which of course leads much of the world in technology adoption, is social media dynamics are becoming embedding in almost everything: games, photos, music, books, anything that could be digitized and shared with your human network in a Charlene Li like-air way. Afterward we had lunch with Edward Boches, who shared another panel’s concept of lowering international shipping operation costs by giving end consumers point systems as reward for offloading their orders from peak “Black Friday” demand periods, which would even shipping cycles, save energy, shave pollution, and potentially become a source of retailer “green” bragging rights.
The stories of technology knitting humans together continue here at SXSW. But nothing builds a community faster than seeing a real live human being, a Japanese mobile executive, ask for help with tears running down his face on stage.