Twitter SXSW Keynote Panned, @Anywhere Lauded

Monday’s Twitter keynote at the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, is getting tepid reviews.

According to multiple sources, Twitter CEO Evan Williams is a dull speaker and interviewer. Umair Haque of the Harvard Business Review did little to stem the exodus of festival attendees from the convention center. His interview of Williams was “too slow, boring,” according to NBC. On top of that, Williams “simply is not the most engaging speaker,” CNET said.

CNET also blamed the line of people jostling to leave on Williams introducing Twitter’s news too early in the talk – less than 30 minutes into the keynote, Williams announced the @Anywhere platform, a service that will let users access their Twitter feeds from third-party sites.

Once that news was out, so were dozens of SWSX attendees. And the tweeted reviews were in.

“Maybe if we ask nicely, [wine blogger Gary Vaynerchuk] will come in and stir things up a bit at the…keynote,” wrote @julzie.

“This Twitter keynote is VERY boring. Can’t tell if it’s [Williams] or lack of provocative questions from [Haque],” wrote @smc90.

CNET’s Daniel Terdiman put it this way: “There’s no question that this will not go down in SXSW’s annals as one of the best talks. But maybe there’s a silver lining there. ‘This Keynote provides much needed mental rest for sxsw attendees,’ tweeted @convagency. ‘Almost a buddhist retreat.’,” he noted.

For now, Twitter fans are looking forward to the release of @Anywhere. The platform will allow Web sites to tag words, names or other day so users can click those links and follow the person, place or thing discussed. That way, users won’t have to search on Twitter or another outlet. Twitter hasn’t said when it will launch @Anywhere.

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