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

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at cubicgarden@mas.to, cubicgarden@twit.social and cubicgarden@blacktwitter.io