Those of you who know me well realize I have an innate dislike of unproven, overhyped technology, or even technology (hello second life!) that's suspiciously ubiquitous and yet unexplainable or inaccessible to non-techies.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the whole SXSW Interactive thing would make me gnash my teeth a little bit. The conference--part of the admittedly cool SXSW music & film event held since the nineties--is designed for people who consider themselves on the cutting edge of the latest-greatest-bestest-newest-coolest tech stuff at all times. The Twitterati will no doubt be out in force, downloading brilliant iPhone Apps like "How Big is Your Brain" (I have the answer, btw) and sending out their 140-character Big Ideas in a constant, multi-tasking frenzy.

I love technology. Don't get me wrong. But good technology MUST be useful, purposeful, accessible, and usable. If you evaluated many of the tech trends of our nascent millenium, you'd find that many technologies and platforms that have been so hyped at places like SXSW (and in blogs... and at CES... and by the slavering media... and so forth). Twitter? It's usable, accessible, and purposeful, but I'm not convinced it's useful. Facebook? It's all four. Second life? Neither usable, accessible, useful, nor purposeful.

And--I don't know, the SXSW Interactive frenzy is just kind of annoying. There's always been something self-congratulatory about the Interweb crowd; in our era of joblessness, runaway corporate sharks, and global poverty, the idea that iPhone apps or Twitter are useful things to discuss for three days just seems tone-deaf. I've only done a quick scan, but I haven't seen any news yet out of the conference that promises to be world-changing. I have seen a lot of quotes by businesspeople who still want to be seen as "in the know," however. One man said, and I'm paraphrasing, "I come here not for the conferences, but for the dealmaking we get done in the halls."

Maybe it's just me, but I think we've had enough "deals" to last us the rest of the century.