SXSW is taking place this week and I am super excited to be attending...spiritually and digitally. For all of those who also are unable to physically attend the festivities this year, I’ve assembled a list of three great ways to avoid getting caught up in all the social media noise while staying in the loop secondhand:

sxsw apps1. Pixable live stream. For those who are strictly interested in images from the festival, Pixable has you covered. Tap into their SXSW live stream for user generated pics directly from Austin. And for those who rather not filter through the barrage of photos to find a decent shot, try the SXSW – trending tab for only those SXSW related photos that received the most shares.

2. Now This News dedicated SXSW channel. Mobile video news app Now This News will be featuring a dedicated SXSW channel to coincide with the 2013 event. Now This News is a video news app for your smartphone that features short (three minute or less) news videos created by the Now This News editorial team. Videos are meant to be short, sweet, to the point, and catchy to induce sharing.

3. Hey Big Fish. And for those of you who had the idea of just visiting twitter for updates on the event, we’d like to offer you an even better idea. Hey Big Fish is a web application that helps you sort out SXSW Twitter noise from SXSW Twitter news. Hey Big Fish monitors influencers under an umbrella of various SXSWi topics, relevant SXSWi hashtags (besides #SXSWi), and the most influential SXSWi related content, all in real time. If, for example, you want to see who is influential within 3D printing at SXSWi on Monday afternoon and what the most influential content is that they put out, Hey Big Fish has you covered.

Now of course experiencing an event secondhand is never the same as actually being there. But with the proper use of these various live coverage portals, you’ll be able to stay up to date on the important takeaways from the festival. And who knows, if you’re diligent enough in your monitoring, you might even be able to trick your friends into thinking that you went to Austin for the week.