Social networking at conferences is very different than normal social networking. It simultaneously drives non-conference attendees nuts, while is an essential part of the experience for the conference attendees.
I know both sides firsthand. I was ready to unfollow half of my Twitter stream during SxSW a couple years ago, and saw the benefits of it when I was at SxSW last year. When you’re there, the social networks are the way to keep track of what’s happening. I even signed up on Gowalla and may check in to FourSquare over the next few days.
So apologies in advance for my Twitter stream the next couple of days while I’m at SxSW. If you need to unfollow me, I understand.