Part of me thinks I should be an insider at SXSW, that because I am one of the founders of the community, and a developer of the technology that SXSW bootstrapped out of, and continues to grow through, that they should have at some point asked me to talk. It's a matter of honor, I guess, and some amount of pride.
I've asked them, many times, why I was never invited to speak, they haven't been willing to answer. They've asked me to apologize for offering my own explanation, in a comment a few years ago on Marc Canter's blog -- and I've said I would be happy to, if they would tell me the real reason I'm on their short blacklist (maybe at the top of it).
I know you can apply to speak now, I even started to fill out the forms last year, but they asked so many "Who Are You" kind of questions, and my pride kept kicking in. Why don't you know who I am? I am willing to play the hamster up to a point, in some contexts. But this is so totally over the top.
There were years, at the beginning, when you had to get an invite and they weren't willing to provide one. They still invite people to speak on their keynote stage. Ahh, I'm not important enough. But they've invited people, many of them, onto that stage to talk about my work, my contributions -- so why can't I speak for them too?
I know it's supposed to be a lot of fun, and some of the participants have been very nice to me, offered good places to stay for free, etc. But I want to get past the gatekeepers. I'd like to be invited, for real, by the people who run the show. I think they've benefitted from my generosity, why not reciprocate?
Update: Paul Ford says the theme of the web is Why Wasn't I Consulted?