I agree with the sentiment that setting panels and content so early is counterproductive in the Web world, and that unconferences like BarCamp are eclipsing the old conference model. But - we continue to get great value out of the $400 or so we spend for a SxSW-i ticket. It's a great way to meet leading lights in the web industry, talk to them directly. Any panel with a relatively open format quickly becomes relevant because of the high level of understanding and engagement from the participants.
Last year, I helped arrange the Coworking Meetup and led a Core Conversation on Transparency. This year, I've suggested this panel:
Designing Experiences in an ADHD Culture
Attention Deficit Disorder is increasingly recognized as a cultural adaptation to information barrage. How can experience designers cope with distractibility and lack of attention? What do we need to be doing, or not doing, to continue to connect with users amid all the noise? Is there an ADD upside?
I have noticed myself and the connected folks around me exhibiting classic ADD symptoms more and more. I've found intriguing studies that suggest ADD and ADHD aren't "disorders" -- but helpful adaptations with a definite upside. We'll talk about the current research, the upsides and downsides of the trend, and techniques for directing and holding attention online in our interaction designs.
Help me make this panel great! Vote for it in the SxSW Panel Picker and provide comments right there, or through separate email.