5 must-reads before you head to SXSW (and a tip for those of us staying home)

If you’re heading to Austin later this week, here are the five things you’ll want to read so you’re ready for SXSW.

1. Scope out the 20 SXSW Interactive panels that journalists should attend then figure out which ones are most important to you and which ones you can hear about from your friends.

Bonus: For keeping track of your schedule, we recommend Lanyrd or Sched.

2. Decide where to eat.

Bonus: Check out Austin’s food carts.

3. Pick your parties and the bands you can’t miss.

Bonus: Update your foursquare and Gowalla apps, they’ll be new and useful (as will these apps).

4. Consider Mark Briggs’ 5 do’s and don’ts for journalists.

Bonus: Check out these tips for book-related events, PubCamp and the SXBookstore.

5. Review SXSW’s official survival guide.

Bonus: They also provide tips for first timers.

For those of us staying home, there will be livestreams of all the keynote sessions and of the 12:30-1:30 p.m. CST sessions on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. You can also follow the event on Twitter at #sxsw and by monitoring individual session hashtags (which are noted on the description pages).

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