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SXSW wrap: Saturday's highlights

Staff Writer
Austin 360

INTERACTIVE

Saturday panel notes

At an energetic SXSW Interactive keynote, Seth Priebatsch, the 22-year-old founder of Boston-based Scvngr, said lessons from the gaming world will help solve problems in areas such as education.

The Obama administration's Startup America partnership heard from entrepreneurs about matters such as barriers to getting funding through the Small Business Administration and seeking government contracts.

"It's not like they were trying to have a social media revolution. This is just the tools they had available to use," Andy Carvin of NPR said at a packed session on social media and the Mideast protests. At another session, attendees heard about social media in Mexico, where anonymously written blogs have gained traction because they can report on drug violence without fearing retaliation from the cartels.

CELEBRITIES

Pee-wee, Conan and even Elmo visit

Rainn Wilson of "The Office" appeared at the SXSW Film Festival to talk about the new movie "Super," which screened Saturday night at the Paramount Theatre.

Wilson's panel with director James Gunn drew a big crowd earlier in the day, but co-star Ellen Page was present only via speakerphone after a flight delay kept her from getting to Austin in time.

On his Twitter feed, Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) did some celebrity spotting of his own, posting a picture of himself with actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Reubens was in town for a screening Saturday of an HBO special on his Broadway show and a panel today.

Conan O'Brien promoted the documentary "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop," premiering today at the Paramount.

Also in town: Twitter mavens Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore; Eliza Dushku and Rick Fox; and Muppet superstar Elmo, who appeared at a screening of the documentary "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" and even granted a fan's request to let the man tickle him.

DISASTER RELIEF

Festival-goers raising thousands for Japan

Hurricane Party, a mobile app, is sponsoring a Red Cross for Japan Relief fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Kenichi, 419 Colorado St. At press time, the site sxsw4japan.org, created by SXSW Interactive attendees, had raised almost $11,000. Japanese television personality and former Austinite Reika Miyazaki took to Twitter to ask SXSW attendees to help with relief donations. Read an interview with her at austin360.com/digitalsavant.

Compiled by Sarah Beckham from staff reports