After a recent trip to the Austin SXSWi (South by Southwest Interactive) festival, Schipul's Katie Laird joined fellow technology advocate Kelsey Ruger on the Business Maker's Radio Show to discuss her experience at the event.

The importance of the Web user was an exceptionally important concept in this year's SXSWi event.  Whether through simplified and 'user-friendly' interfaces and design or via useful tools such as Flickr and Shadows, it has never been more important for technology developers and users to focus their efforts on connecting humans to data and humans to other humans.

This socially-focused online world is a far cry from the 'read only' Web 1.0 of days gone by.  Users are empowered with tools like to not only manage and organize their bookmarks (or favorite Web pages and content), but to share their findings with other users, discover new online content and join online communities that have similar interests.

With other technologies like blogging, podcasting and wikis, users are given active voices in the Internet community.   A Web site is no longer just a company brochure or static group of pages, it is a place to post your opinions, to comment and connect with strangers from around the globe, to collaborate with friends and co-workers in different physical locations and to find a wealth of information with a touch of humanity.

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