TedxBradford: your life online

This is Friday in my busy social week

Last entry of my busy week. I took the day off and made the trip to Bradford for the very first time. I caught a direct train to and from Bradford from Victoria Station. One of the worst looking train stations I’ve ever been to and I’m pretty glad I don’t have to spend much time in most of the time. I could have changed at Leeds to Bradford but to be honest when I saw the off peak return for £10.50 I weighted up the price of changing and getting a taxi late night and decided its a deal.

Bradford is interesting city, and it seems I arrived at the very right time with the victory of George Galloway, the opening of a city centre square (although actually round) and the unveiling of the Bradford life online exhibition at the National media museum. I had always heard the National media museum was something special and although I didn’t really get a chance to walk around for a while, got a feeling it had tons of interesting things burred within it. Also impressed to see a full size IMAX rather than the knock off ones.

TedXBradford was for the most part a really nice TedX. All the speakers hinged around the idea of life online.

The whole thing kicked started in the usual style with a thank you from Chris Anderson followed by Tim Oreilly recorded a day ago in his hotel room in Washington.

The most interesting talks for me, came from….

Jane MacDonaldTales of Things & Electronic Memory

Jane Macdonald at TedxBradford

I was familiar with Janes work before but hearing her talk about it live was great… Really interesting thinker

Maureen PennockArchiving the Web

Maureen Pennock at TedxBradford

Maureen’s talk was all about archiving the web… It reminded me of the work I had done with the Digital Preservation unit in Kew Gardens back when I was at Ravensbourne College. Sounds like things have limped forward but also reminded me to add cubicgarden.com to webarchive.org.uk.

Professor Paul RogersWorld Security in the Digital Age

Paul Rogers at TedXBradford

This talk was like no other. Most of the talks were pretty neutral about the web. However Paul literally sucked the air out of the room with his talk about the political mess and security woes the internet has accelerated. Afterwards there was a level of what just happened in the cinema. It reminded me of a talk at heard in BarCampBrighton asking what would happen if things went dark. Pauls talk was much more sharper and I think I tweeted – “Everyone is wishing for the Energy Singularity…”

I also want to add…

Anna FarmeryHow 3D printing is the next social revolution on the web

Gwyneth SutherlinOpen Access or Silent Culture: ICT user experience

Dr Kieran Fenby-HulseThe Modern Mixtape: The Evolution of the Digital Playlist

were also note worthy… Kieran’s talk drove me nuts because I so wanted to tell him he was wrong. The Digital playlist is not the modern mixtape and here’s a bunch of reasons why… Anna’s almost like pitch on why small businesses should embrace 3D printers was passionate and great but I kind of heard it all before, sure many others had not.

After TedxBradford was a special showing of the twitter documentary Twittamentary by director Siok Siok Tan.
Unfortunately the Q&A never happened because Siok wasn’t contactable on skype afterwards but whats interesting about the showing was having the twitter backchannel on the side of the screen as everyone watched. This was no Ben vs Mena thing, just a interesting way to watch a documentary. However quite a few people did tweet that it was very distracting to watch a doc with people chatting about it along side.

The documentary I felt was a little sloppy and if it wasn’t for the subject I would have gone elsewhere. It was worth watching and confirmed my believe that together we can do amazing things, maybe even over turn some of the doomsday scenarios Paul Rogers had mentioned earlier.

Generally TedXBradford was good and enjoyed the day… I’d certainly consider it again next year

Geeky&Sexy… The politics of first time dating

This is Thursday in my busy social week

Following Tuesday’s talk at Preston Social, I was looking forward to deep diving on the politics of first time dating for the new look Geeks Talk Sexy…

We had it all planned out and about 4pm I got a text message from my partner in crime saying she wasn’t able to make it anymore. To be honest I was really really peed at this news. A few weeks back she had told me that she had a funeral on the same day and might not be able to make it. I did say back then, if she can’t make it just tell me but it would be a real let down but I could have struggled through. I mean its devastating when ever anyone dies and to be honest Geeky&Sexy can’t even be considered when something like this happens. However she said she will be there…

Except she wasn’t! The only reason I’m not naming her is because I can’t be bothered with the stress (i’ve had the same thing before remember…)

Anyway, I headed to FYG Deli early as I wanted to work out what I was going to do and have a nice red wine and cheese platter to calm my frustrations. I explained what had happened to the lovely owner and she had a think about the problem. After a while she suggested why don’t the two waitresses do the part which was missing? Brilliant! And after a quick preview of the justification why the guy should pay emailed to me a few days earlier. They gave a look over and went away to do there day jobs.

About 7pm people started arriving, some new faces and some old faces. The great thing is although we had about 15 people (which is nice intimate number) half were female and the other half were male. So we really had a spread of ideas and thoughts.

Kicking off about 7:30pm, once people had settled and got themselves a drink and little snack from FYG’s amazing deli menu. I started the presentation and handed it over to the two FYG waitresses to explain why the man should pay on the first date. They were nervous at first but quickly gained confidence together. I then explained why its best to go dutch or split the bill on the first date. After which I left the question of the woman paying in the air.

The conversations really got going as soon as the waitresses explained why the man should pay. There was very little prompting and poking for peoples views. Everyone felt so very comfortable in the intimate setting of FYG, it all just came out. People were very respectful of other peoples opinions and I swear I had a harder time trying to call breaks and move the topics on to the other aspects of the politics of first time dating. I’m sure if I had left it, we would still be discussing it all till 11pm still.

I know its hard to convey in a blog post after the fact but it was one of the best things I’ve done in March.

Everyone loved it and are looking forward to the next one on Thursday May 3rd. Its going to be at FYG Deli again, topic may change a little to how to end a relationship in the best possible way…