Stickybits Meets Avi Buffalo at SXSW

Has my focus changed so drastically in the last year? Or has SXSW become more about indie software developers than indie music? (sorry, I hate labels too). And the subtext is that this year it’s all about the “Location Wars”. Not a battle of the bands, but more of a land battle of sorts. Everyone is fighting for geospace. All the “big” players will be out in force. Foursquare, Gowalla, Google, Facebook and Twitter will be posting their claim to know where you are and when. And naturally sell that information to the highest bidder. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Our recent recessionary economy has stimulated enormously creative ideas in marketing. And this is just the beginning. But just as established bands (meaning they’ve been around more than just 5 years) play SXSW alongside bands just looking for an audience, so too are the young upstarts in social media looking for their groupies! And just as with the bands, we’ll be hearing people tell us that they were in Austin in 2010 and saw the introduction of, say Stickybits.

Many of you have not yet heard of Stickybits. In fact, I had not until today. But trust me you will. The startup founded by Billy Chasen (Chartbeat) and Seth Goldstein ( introduces its seemingly quirky but potentially groundbreaking location based service.

The concept is simple. With the advent of barcode scanning in hand-held phones, consumers have a wealth of information at their fingertips. With Stickybits, you can attach digital data to any barcode. And when someone scans that barcode with their phone, that digital data is then fed to their device. Let’s say you as a young band playing at SXSW is giving away CD singles with a barcode on the sleeve. That barcode could be linked to a video of your band along with a link to your website. Or maybe your product has a distinctively low carbon footprint and your customer is interested in how the product got to the marketplace. Fine, attach a link to your website or a video that traces it’s journey.

There are no limits to how these little gems can be utilized. And no doubt this week at SXSW there will be a lot of creative and hilarious applications. Free adhesive Stickybits will be handed out to many of this years’ 12,000 attendees. These barcodes can be followed, so if your girlfriend slaps you on the ass when she heads back to the hotel, be sure and have your buddy check to see that she didn’t leave any Stickybits behind.

As for me? Well to be honest, I’d probably just assume see Avi Buffalo in their first SXSW appearance. I mean, I saw their first gig in a vegan restaurant in Long Beach!


6 Responses to “Stickybits Meets Avi Buffalo at SXSW”

  1. 1 Nathan H. March 17, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    any idea on unit cost on these things? RFID tag prices or cheaper?

    • 2 asbillseesit March 17, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      A pack of 20 is $9.95 and they are , yes sticky! But you can create your own, save them and print them anyway you want. Say on a T-shirt or business card. The uses are unlimited. Check out their site at

      • 3 Nathan H. March 17, 2010 at 8:25 pm

        only bad thing is that the cops will know who exactly has been posting them all over the subway

        50 cents is a bit steep…they get to be 1-5, I bet you’ll see ’em all over

  2. 4 asbillseesit March 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Nathan ,

    I still think that the best use is as a printed barcode on a product, like I mentioned , maybe a CD-single with a link to a video/website etc. It’s going to take imagination, and there is no shortage of that out there!

  3. 5 Nathan H. March 17, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    a sticky bit tattoo with your medical history sounds kind of cool

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