Live-Streaming Apps Dominate Buzz at South by Southwest

A live-streaming app called Meerkat, calls to online activism and pedicabs with a "Game of Thrones" Iron throne seat were the top topics of conversation at South by Southwest over the weekend, as 33,000-plus members of the technology, marketing and media industries poured into Austin, Texas.

"You never know what's around the corner at South By Southwest, it could be a small thing or it could be life changing," said David Rubin, Pinterest's head of brand, at the social media company's annual barbecue on Saturday. He said the festival is a good place to schmooze with clients and do some recruiting.

"Pinterest is about creativity and the employee base is quirky and interesting, so it's a good place to meet potential employees," he said.

The five-day festival is not yet half over, but buzz-worthy trends are already emerging. Here's a look at top topics so far at the annual gathering of the Technorati.

Live-Streaming Apps

An app called Meerkat is dominating conversations. The simple app allows people to live stream anything at the touch of a button. The app used to let users automatically Tweet live streams too, but that came to a stop after Twitter confirmed Friday it acquired Periscope, a Meerkat rival, for undisclosed terms and limited Meerkat's access to Twitter.

At a panel Friday about government patents, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker had used Meerkat to stream her official swearing in of the new chief of the U.S. Patent and Trademark office Michelle Lee on Twitter. "Being the first @cabinet official to share key events on this exciting new platform," she tweeted. Countless others streamed other panels and events.

Meanwhile, rival live-streaming app Stre.am is a finalist for SXSW's innovation awards.

Online Activism

Some major political figures are using the festival to call for online activism. Former Vice President Al Gore gave a rousing talk about...

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