Mark Boulton Design shuts up shop for a week next week as I’ll be taking my third trip over to Austin to enjoy South by Southwest Interactive.

Like Jeremy, it will be my third time at the conference and if the last two were anything to go by, this will be bigger and better. Talking of Jeremy, he’s put together his superb little guide to all the parties. If you’re going, that is well worth looking at.

So, what’s on the cards this year?

The first time I went to SXSW, in 2004, I didn’t know a soul (apart from Andrew of course; my colleague from the BBC). Then, last year, I met an incredible amount of great folk whom I really looking forward to seeing again.

Talking of parties, I have to plug the The Great British Booze-up. Organised by those nice chaps at Clearleft, @media America and Boagworld. It’ll be well worth coming along.

The bowling is happening again. Last year I was on a team, but haven’t put my name down this year. What’s the point? Did you see the Pixelworthy, now Happy Cog, team? What chance does a Brit, no, a Northern Brit, have against that? Now, if Rugby Union or Crown Green Bowls was your game, then I’d be all up for it.

I’ll be giving two presentations this year. One, on typography, with Rich, and the other one with Khoi on Grids. I’m pretty nervous about both of them, which is kind of normal I guess, but still, if you see me looking slightly ill, or wandering around a glazed expression, it’s not the local beverage.

Of course, as on the last two occasions, I will be making a visit to the local Apple Store. The strength of the pound is just too tempting to resist. As my iPod is knocking on three years old know and the battery has pretty much has it, I think I may be shelling out on an upgrade. Might just get a red Nano for the missus too.