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SXSWi: Hello, Austin!

I've landed in the capital city of the Lone Star State for this year's South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Now that I'm on the ground...

AUSTIN, Texas--I just rolled off a JetBlue flight where half the passengers were typing on MacBooks and talking about last night's episode of Lost and the other half were wearing worn-out band T-shirts and combat boots. Incoming text messages from Twitter are making my cell phone buzz off the hook. I have this sudden craving for baby-back ribs and a giant margarita.

I guess it must be South by Southwest.

I'll be here through Tuesday night for South by Southwest Interactive, the digital-culture arm of the festival, and I'm pumped. Unlike my seasoned colleague Daniel Terdiman, I've never been to SXSWi. Heck, this is my first time in Texas. But amid my naive wonderment at the local culture ("The barbecue here actually tastes good!") I'm hoping to pull in some fun interviews, cool news, and wacky photos. Hey, it's an amorphous five-day geekfest loaded with open bars. Who knows what'll happen?

OMG! There's a cowhide ottoman in my hotel room! Caroline McCarthy/CNET

One thing's for sure: at Tuesday night's "Bigg Digg Shindigg," a massive party that the social news site is throwing on the final night of SXSWi, I bet a whole lot of people will be asking, "So who's the buyer?"

Additionally, I just got an interesting piece of bacn: a friend request to Dodgeball, the where-you-at text-messaging start-up that was bought by Google and largely forgotten as Twitter gained momentum. The friend who invited me said that he doesn't think Twitter's servers will survive the onslaught of SXSWi messaging and that he's using Dodgeball as a backup plan.

Or maybe Yahoo's FireEagle should've debuted a little sooner...

See more stories in CNET's coverage of SXSWi (click here).