Live By the Crowd, Die By the Crowd

The SXSW conference has been all about bottom-up media; individuals and crowds creating, selecting and elevating content above and beyond whats doled out to them by traditional media outlets and corporations.

Sure, Business Week journalist Sarah Lacy’s keynote interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg yesterday was a trainwreck, an abortion, went down in flames and every other metaphor for disaster. Why? Because Sarah was all about Sarah, all the time (except when she was dissing her audience). The media took her to task for it. So did the blogosphere and the Twittersphere (to which her “screw all you guys” response bears special mention).

In real time.

Her self-justification in this YouTube interview only makes something bad something much worse indeed.

Ironically, Sarah has, in unifying thousands of conference attendees against her (and providing the burning topic for conversation at last night’s parties) become the most valuable object lesson in what’s so endlessly discussed here in Austin. The word made flesh.

If you doubt the pundits, experts, panelists and pontificators, the Story of Sarah proves them right. In a highly weird way, it’s almost the best thing that could have happened here. Except, of course, for Sarah herself.

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