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There was no structure for this panel, and despite Ana Marie Cox's presence on the panel--her keynote was relatively packed but a CSS session the day before had more people--not a lot of people. Because there wasn't anything prepared or an outline, the panel devolved into the audience critiquing Wired, including a vociferous fellow who hadn't read Wired in years but was still critical of it for some reason.
I asked a question: with the demise of newspaper technology sections, is all tech coverage moving into magazines, or even into just Wired? Would there be other places to find interesting tech stories? It seems like a trend that Wired's circulation has increased while newspapers, with all of their other problems, are dropping personal tech (while generally keeping or expanding business tech).
Instead of getting expert commentary from the two editors--one from Wired, one from Tech Review--I got suggestions to read blogs and check out the SJ Mercury News.
I didn't want to be an ego junky and say, I've written for Circuits for seven years, contributed to Wired in the past, and run a definitive technology blog.
But I guess I assumed the panel would understand the audience is as qualified as they are. I think that every SXSWi attendee I've met could as easily be on stage in a panel as in the audience. This should encourage conversation, not patronage.
Cox, however, answered my question much more directly by noting that the kind of coverage that had been relegated to special sections is now totally integrated into newspapers and magazines in sections that never would have breathed a word about technology before.