my<em>sxsw</em>idea<em>2012.pngWhere do creative thinkers, entrepreneurs, tech visionaries, artists, and social changers get together to swap notes, spread new ideas, and kick the tires of the future? SXSW (South by Southwest), a Music/Film/Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. Because we're big believers in using technology to innovate social change, and because all these tech and creative folks tends to be _our folks (you know, independent, living and working beyond the 9-to-5), we think SXSW is the prime place to be having some important conversations about the way we're living, working, and doing business today. We pitched a panel (featuring awesome thinkers and doers like Etsy, Loosecubes, SnapGoods, Jim Gilliam, and our founder) for this conference, and if you think it's a conversation worth having, please help it out by voting for it in the conference's PanelPicker. Here's our pitch: Frontier Justice: Can Technology Save Creatives? It’s not a jungle out there—it’s actually a frontier being pioneered by creative and entrepreneurial trailblazers. In the economic Wild West, we frontiersmen (or freelancers) lack things like laws that protect us from outlaw clients who don’t pay, affordable health insurance, or unemployment if we don’t strike gold. Luckily, nobody’s more creative than us, and the homesteading movement we’re leading is set to make the creative, mobile workforce one of the most exciting and liberating places to work. Technology is empowering those of us who currently have the least power—the freelancers, the self-employed creative professionals, and the lone rangers without a traditional career track—to make new versions of the age-old practice of mutual support. We’re using the internet to make online and offline communities, and using those communities to build market power, organize politically, and form connections. It’s a cross between a saloon, a chat room, and a union hall. And, for something a little different, we also proposed a presentation on a topic on which we're working to become self-made experts: getting paid. We thought we'd suggest Get Paid, Not Played: The Answer is Rating Clients for the music and film folks, whom we know often work without much guarantee. Community feedback makes a big difference in determining the lineup for the conference. And with so many ideas out there, please share other interesting ideas you've come across that we should help support for the conference.