So lately, I’ve been wondering, can all these seemingly tiny actions taken on twitter add up to a more ‘real’ experience? Does the virtual world of twitter eventually turn into reality? I think I got my answer today.
It actually all started more than a few years ago, when a child hood friend of mine, Vinay (founder of dailyfeats), told me about TED. Most of you out there are probably quite familiar with TED, but for those of you who are not, here’s wikipedia’s definition:
“TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate “ideas worth spreading.”
TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event and the conference was held annually from 1990 in Monterey, California. TED’s early emphasis was largely technology and design, consistent with a Silicon Valley center of gravity. The events are now held in Long Beach and Palm Springs in the U.S. and in Europe and Asia, offering live streaming of the talks. They address an increasingly wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture. The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can. Past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, educator Salman Khan, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners. TED’s current curator is the British former computer journalist and magazine publisher Chris Anderson.”
So ever since my friend Vinay told me about this awesome yearly meeting of the minds, I’ve been hooked on the idea of TED, it’s one worth spreading. But when I first found out, 7+ years ago, TED conferences were held only once a year in Long Beach, California, and the talks were not available to the public. Around 800 of the smartest and coolest people from around the world were getting together to talk about Technology, Entertainment and Design, and the world wasn’t even invited. :(
Around 5 or 6 years ago, Chris Anderson (the main curator behind TED) decided to make the talks available to everyone on the internet…for FREE! This changed everything, forever. Since then, TED has been the favorite website for millions of people around the world. In fact, I heard today that the website receives close to a million viewers a day. Now that’s astounding!
I’m currently living in Bangalore for work and plan to be here for an undetermined period of time. I just got back from Toronto a week ago, and having moved to Bangalore recently, I don’t have that many friends here (as of this morning, a total of zero, to be exact). As much as I’m beginning to like it here in India, I do miss my friends, family and colleagues from home (yes, I said colleagues, I work with really cool people). So, this morning, I have two parallel thoughts going on in my mind, ‘I miss being around like minded people’ and ‘can twitter lead to real life experiences?’.
Over the past few weeks and months, I’ve been tinkering with twitter. I’ve never really been a big fan of facebook, and maybe because of this, I’ve always kept my distance from twitter. But I recently came to a conclusion, twitter is very different from facebook:
facebook is a network of people you connect with by chance, twitter is a network of people that you connect with by choice.
In fact, now that I think about it, it was a few years ago when Vinay first told me about the power of twitter (hmmm…think I should listen to him more).
At around 1:15pm today, I started following Chris Anderson from TED on twitter. I see the following post on his twitter feed:
Spectacular stage ready for TED@Bangalore this afternoon.
With this picture attached to the tweet: