I'm not sure, but it may be, as a generation before it said, a great way to get your legs in the air. Weightier blog posts and tweets tend to come out of Book Expo America; at South by Southwest people seem to be spending most of their effort trying to find the weight. Of locals, Jason Toney is there: drill down and he says at one point: "Disagreement on a panel--yes!" He's probably tweeting the event better than anyone, dishing out everything that's new to him, which is exactly why we read microblogs.
Colleen Wainwright is also there, and supplies a few vicarious you go girl moments: "Fuck this. I was an adult in the '80s. I've earned the right to call it a night."
Tony Pierce of course is more about Tony Pierce even when he's not: "everyone is blogging about sex whether they realize it or not" he notes a panelist saying. Also, "Hardly anyones at the Girl Gamers panel." Tony could tweet those kinds of things from a rentacar anywhere; his SXSW is whatever sounds like him.
He is far more buttoned up for the fishwrap of record's blog, with yet another cuddly creature story the Times does so well.
The Weekly throws some of its SXSW coverage into its Style Council blog. Alexia covers a big Digg party: Digg founder Kevin Rose tells her "Commit yourself to a given party for an hour, then hop to the next one." That's helpful. (Alexia's twitter is here.) She locates Macala, a bicoastal fashionista, who posts at her blog a primer called "how the fashion industry uses twitter" and admits two-thirds of the way down that "twitter doesn't apply to the fashion industry."
Alexia also dutifully skips a lunch to attend a talk by post-election Wonkette obsession Nate Silver. The Weekly also has music coverage.
Some attendees are booked into "wristband hotels"--a good marketing buzz idea that gets you into the music.
I've never been, which means as soon as I go it will be over. So I may never go at all and let everyone else have fun for years to come.