Entrepreneur Rick Waghorn reports from South-by-South-West, a major conference in Austin, Texas, where digital-minded folk congregate each year.

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One of the more fortunate aspects of this trip to SXSWi is the fact that Addiply rolls into Austin on the back of the UKTI and HM Government’s ‘Digital Mission’ undertaking to showcase 40 of the UK’s leading tech companies to our Texan hosts.

All of which means I left Norfolk with a thick wad of info regarding the next six days – not least an itinerary of where me and my wares need to be on any given day.

Saturday remains the highlight with ‘The Party At The Manor’ – ‘a chance to network at the ‘fantastical’ home of gaming mogul and astronaut, Richard ‘Lord British’ Garriott…’

Over above free beer and a Texan BBQ, it’s the guided tours that leave the mind boggling including, apparently, ‘…secret passageways, a dungeon and some of the world’s top collections of curiosities…’

Before then, however, and I have a pressing invite to meet and greet the Berlin contingent at five o’clock on Friday. According to them, there is an ‘official’ UK/Berlin get-together scheduled – which appears to come as news to my official UKTI timetable.

It would appear that HMG haven’t been talking to our European colleagues…

Anyway, Mashero sound worth seeking out. According to my new best pal Daniel, they have developed a tool ‘…for effective and cost-efficient online ads integrating targeting and real-time creation.’

In English, I’m hoping that means those clever Germans have a nice simple way for small, local advertisers to build their own banner ads – something that we have always struggled to source.

The other ‘trick’ to making a splash in #sxswi is having a new feature or product to launch.

Alas we don’t have an iPad3 up our sleeve to reveal to the great and the good. We toyed – briefly – with ripping out the text and deploying a Spanish/$ version of the platform for the large US Hispanic market-place, but in the end time – and a lack of a cheap translator – ran against us.

So, instead, we have decide to try and get all ‘geo-aware’ – to start to play with longtitudes and latitudes and not just post- and zip-codes.

Fortunately, Harry and Toby from our long-standing friends at NeonTribe on Colegate have a few tricks up their sleeve in this regard; I can now see an Addiply map that places me in the heart of Austin, Texas, you – in all likelihood – in the heart of Norfolk.

Or rather, you could. For now it is all sat on our ‘back-stage’ area, making sure that it all works to a ‘T’ before we set it properly live on our beta site and meet the Boys from Berlin or wander through Mr Garriott’s ‘fantastical’ passageways.

Being a football writer by trade, I don’t actually have to worry about how such things actually work – I can leave that in the capable hands of Gillingham’s finest coder, our Ian.

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