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Trends at SXSW: The Hottest Startup, Social Network, and More

top 5 startups

Buzz, buzz, buzz: That’s the sound of SXSWers frenetically typing on their mobile phones and clogging up social networks with their thoughts on this week’s event. And they’ve been collectively anointing the most popular startup there, which – according to social analytics platform AddThis – is Path.

Social journal startup Path launched version 2.1 on March 8, with an API and the ability to record and recognize music (à la Shazam) and take clearer photos.

Path is trailed by Forecast, Highlight, Sonar, and Banjo, respectively (see our comparison of Highlight and Banjo, an interview with Sonar CEO Brett Martin, and Forecast coverage). These apps all involve socializing and become extremely more useful at events: you can discover new friends on Highlight, Sonar, and Banjo, and meet up with them later using Forecast’s future check-ins.

Interestingly, the trending stories are not about these startups but about the politics of technology: 2 of the top 7 articles from SXSW centered on Al Gore’s speech, where he urged entrepreneurs to create tools to change our gridlocked and special-interest-heavy political system. (Some SXSW startups already doing so include Votifi, Votizen, and Americans Elect.) The only other story in the top 7 about tech was related to some app where you compete against your cat (of course teh cats had to make an appearance).

As for sharing, the most SXSW buzz (38%)  is emanating from Facebook, with 20% coming from Twitter and a mere 2% from Google Plus. Pinterest is nowhere to be found:

“Pinterest sharing was smaller because the type of content being shared during SXSW is traditionally the type of content shared on Facebook and Twitter [photos, locations, and news],” says AddThis director of product Greg Cypes. “The preferred social networks of people at SXSW may have had something to do with it.”

Oh, and you guys are a bunch of partiers (too bad I wasn’t there):

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About the Author'

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]


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