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TED via Twitter

I experimented with a few different ways of reporting from TED this year, but one consistent tool was Twitter. Its advantages were twofold: it was an easy way to broadcast details of what was going on in real time. And, second, it provides a really handy snapshot of what happened that I can use as a reference tool now the conference is over.

TED itself is such an assault on your senses ?breaks between speakers are minimal and this year the breaks between sessions were also pretty short (and filled with chatting and gladhanding.) So it’s useful to refer to what I jotted down on my electronic Twitter notebook as things unfolded. Then, as I painstakingly copied my twitter feed into note form, converting it to read chronologically, the thought struck me that it might be worth reproducing in full as a somewhat strange, 140-character-centric review of proceedings.

So here it is, TED via Twitter. (For those who don’t tweet, the #ted hashtag means the tweets would show up in one feed, giving an easy way for those not in Long Beach to follow along.)

Tuesday 3 Feb, 9:22 AM

heading to long beach. #ted2009 curtainraiser

Tuesday 3 Feb, 12:20 PM

Just saw Ben Zander, who presented memorably last year and whose wife will speak at #TED2009. He’s so excited he can hardly stand still

Tuesday 3 Feb, 1:56 PM

Uh oh. Bus trip to oil islands at #TED2009. 50 minutes and we just arrived back where we started. Fail. (Interesting chat on bus, however)

Tuesday 3 Feb, 2:17 PM

Made it! Starting tour of Long Beach oil islands: 4 named after astronauts who died early in space program. Produce 32,000 barrels a day

Tuesday 3 Feb, 3:57 PM

ok, oil fields tour at #ted2009 super interesting. Two large bldgs by architect who designed tomorrowland, Disneyland. Photos later

Tuesday 3 Feb, 10:33 PMblog post and pictures from long beach oil islands uploaded

Tuesday 3 Feb, 10:35 PM

just spent way too long recording a video blog on today's events. turns out my mac's too old to support flip software. gah.

Tuesday 3 Feb, 11:10 PM

#ted2009 great conversation this evening with nathan shedroff, who's running the new mba in design strategy program at cal college of arts.

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:10 AMReport from #TED2009 University, with presentations from Ray Kurzweil, and others

Wednesday 4 Feb, 8:32 AM

Ready for another round of TED U. First up: Adrian Hong of Liberty in North Korea with "A North Korean Tale"

Wednesday 4 Feb, 8:37 AM

Schedule lied. Dan Dennett up first, on "sweet, sexy, cute, funny." He's talking Darwin

Wednesday 4 Feb, 8:57 AM

Grow areca palm; mother in law's tongue or money plant and grow all the fresh air you need. c/o Kamal Meattle, CEO, Green Spaces #TED2009

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:00 AM

just test drove Aptera electric 2 seater. 100 miles/charge. $25k. Available Q4. Aerodynamic teardrop. Video later

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:02 AM

Chatted with Ron Dembo, Yale mathematician/closet architect. Launching $1 million Z prize for architects to "reskin" buildings

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:04 AM

Ok #TED2009 officially under way. Chris Anderson: "open your minds for ingenuity, wonderment and inspiration"

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:14 AM

#ted2009. Juan Enriquez: Economy=elephant in room. Need to say no to entitlements or we lose the dollar. [Poptech video worth watching too]

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:21 AM

#ted2009. Juan Enriquez showing Boston Dynamics' incredible robots. Check out the videos online

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:24 AM

#ted. Nice Enriquez quote: "as we worry about the flames of the present, keep an eye on the future."

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:35 AM

Next up @ #TED, PW Singer, military analyst/writer

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:42 AM

Singer/#TED: robotics/unmanned systems affect who of war at fundamental level

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:48 AM

Singer/ #TED: future of war as Youtube war/al Qaeda 2.0. Robots record action reshapes public's relationship to war. War becomes a soundbite

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:55 AM

Singer/ #TED: need to match 20 C laws of war with 21 C technologies. Robots emotionless: that's positive but problematic

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:00 PM

3 minute #TED talk: Yves Behar's new electric motorcycle. 150mph. Mission Motors. I'm meeting them later to find out more and get pix

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:04 PM

#TED musical interlude: Naturally 7. All noise made with voice. Wow.

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:24 PM

Ok #TED. Bill Gates up now to talk about rebooting philanthropy

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:27 PM

#TED. Gates: hope I'm in "reboot" section because of new job and not because you have to reboot yr computer and you associate that with me

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:33 PM

#TED. Bill Gates a comedian! Talking about malaria. Pretended to loose mosquitoes from jar. "Not only poor people shd have the experience" [[update: there really were mosquitoes in the jar]]

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:35 PM

#ted Gates. Next question: how do you make a teacher great?

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:44 PM

#TED. Gates: optimistic about school system. Namechecks KIPP (knowledge is power) schools in Houston. It's all about the teachers

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:45 PM

#TED. Gates: Work Hard Be Nice book, Jay Mathews

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:47 PM

#ted. Gates. "Good that mood was bleak in Davos". Don't extend problem, deal with it

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:50 PM

#ted. Gates: "Do need diversity of ideas to try things out." Q&A with Chris Anderson, who has Apple laptop on lap

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:54 PM

#TED. Gates: unbelievable correlation between population growth and health. Worse health = higher pop. Improve health, reduce pop by 1bn

Wednesday 4 Feb, 12:58 PM

#TED. Gates: "I'm as engaged in new work as was with software. It's not about legacy; these are amazing issues."

Wednesday 4 Feb, 1:01 PM

Conductor Ben Zander doing #TED shtick. Teaching audience how to sing happy birthday

Wednesday 4 Feb, 1:09 PM

#TED. Nice. Culmination of happy bday, sung to TED (25th anniversary). Ricky Saul Wurman (TED founder) and Chris Anderson hug on stage

Wednesday 4 Feb, 1:34 PM

#ted. Should be clear. I didn't drive Aptera; was driven. Legal and roadworthy. Cops waved as we drove by. Experience from inside v normal

Wednesday 4 Feb, 2:03 PM

nipped back to hotel to upload aptera video which @mattvella promises to turn into stg watchable. upload sloooow. i want to be back at #ted!

Wednesday 4 Feb, 2:10 PM

ok. upload taking way too long. not going to take laptop back to venue. will solely tweet #ted this pm and then write blog posts later

Wednesday 4 Feb, 2:58 PM

#ted gift bag made from recycled coke bottles

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:07 PM

#ted. Tim Berners-Lee on dev of web: "This is how innovation happens: my boss said I could do it on the side"

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:13 PM

#ted. Berners-Lee: think of a world of linked data. Data is relationships

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:17 PM

#ted. Berners-Lee: dbpedia. Database of linked data (all data: govt, personal, etc). Not about transparency; about improving quality of life

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:19 PM

#ted Berners-Lee: Give me your raw data now! People don't want to but we need that info. Linked data gets people out of silos

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:21 PM

#ted. Berners-Lee. Social networks are data. Shows slide of walled off/silo'd networks/fb/orkut/flickr etc

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:22 PM

#ted. Berners-Lee: People do their bit, everyone else does theirs and it all connects

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:28 PM

#ted. Short talk from Cindy Gallup. Launching website: // use it to frame healthy conversation about sex

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:31 PM

#ted short talk. Yair Landau: 17 yr Sony vet. Left to use social network (FB) to create/crowdsource CGI movie: Mass Animation

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:36 PM

#ted. Nandan Nilekani, Infosys, now up to discuss the rise, fall and rise of India

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:41 PM

#ted. Nilekani: Shifts in India: idea of people from burden to human capital; rise of entrepreneurs; English from colonial to global lang

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:45 PM

#ted. Nilekani: ideas in progress: education (doesn't function); infrastructure (needs to be implemented); cities (neglected as un Indian)

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:46 PM

#ted. Nilekani: Every province had own market. Internal globalization now building single Indian market. Critical

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:48 PM

#ted. Nilekani: Labor policies need reform: 93% workers part of informal workforce. Higher Ed. also not keeping pace with demand

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:49 PM

#ted. Nilekani: India can't repeat problems of west (health/pensions/environment.) Must fundamentally rethink/develop new paradigm

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:52 PM

#ted. Nilekani: India fast forwarded process of a billion people attaining prosperity. Not just India's issue

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:53 PM

Whew. No respite at #ted. Patti Maes from MIT up now

Wednesday 4 Feb, 3:57 PM

#ted. Maes: We don't have ready access to useful info yet. Group @ MIT Media Lab worked on $350 wearable interactive camera/projector/mirror

Wednesday 4 Feb, 4:00 PM

#ted. Maes: similar to MSFT Surface but this can Interact with ANY surface. Shows dialing phone projected on hand

Wednesday 4 Feb, 4:04 PM

#ted. Al Gore takes stage

Wednesday 4 Feb, 4:05 PM

#ted. Gore: arctic ice is the beating heart of global climate system. Shows slide of how much has gone

Wednesday 4 Feb, 4:07 PM

#ted. Gore: methane released from melting ice a serious issue. Last month Antarctica reported negative ice balance

Wednesday 4 Feb, 4:10 PM

#ted: Oil industry spent $quarter billion promoting oxymoron of clean coal. Reminds Gore of Joe Camel

Wednesday 4 Feb, 4:19 PM

#ted. Ray Anderson. Biggest culprit in massive mistreatment of world's biosphere=biz/industry. As CEO of Interface, RA a recovered plunderer

Wednesday 4 Feb, 4:26 PM

#ted. Anderson: Mission 0 incredible for business. Costs go down. No clever mktg campaign cd have created this goodwill. Halfway to 0 impact

Wednesday 4 Feb, 4:27 PM

#ted. Anderson: Might not have survived last recession were it not for sustainability

Wednesday 4 Feb, 4:29 PM

#ted. Anderson: will have fully sustainable industrial petrointensive company by 2020. If we can, anyone can

Wednesday 4 Feb, 5:24 PM

Bugger. Missed Saul Griffith of Wattzon at #ted. But great chat with Judy Estrin, formerly on board of DIS and FDX. Will post blog/vid later

Wednesday 4 Feb, 5:26 PM

Now Seth Godin talking tribes at #ted. "Find the true leaders." Shows Jobs/Gates pic. Found different but successful ways

Wednesday 4 Feb, 5:29 PM

Godin talking up Tony Hsieh and @zappos and sustainable architect Michelle Kauffman for uniting communities. #ted

Wednesday 4 Feb, 5:30 PM

#ted. Godin: Who are you upsetting? Who are you connecting? Who are you leading?

Wednesday 4 Feb, 6:05 PM

#ted. Producer Jake Eberts talking about Oceans, Jacques Perrin's $75 million, 8 yr documentary/labor of love. DIS to release April 2010

Wednesday 4 Feb, 6:15 PM

#ted. 9 min clip of Oceans. Footage is incredible (cf also Blue Planet) but to me mostly emphasizes the importance of the soundtrack

Wednesday 4 Feb, 6:18 PM

Standing ovation for Jacques Perrin @ #ted.

Wednesday 4 Feb, 6:27 PM

Yann Arthus-Bertrand points out impact of flying to #ted. His work shows human impact on planet: "we don't want to believe what we know"

Wednesday 4 Feb, 6:41 PM

Arthus-Bertrand @ #ted. New film, Home, will be distributed for free 5 June. "it's too late to be pessimistic."

Wednesday 4 Feb, 6:47 PM

Remember the "where in the world is Matt?" dancing video hits on Youtube? He's @ ted in palm springs.

Wednesday 4 Feb, 7:13 PM

Regina Spektor great round off to #ted proceedings. Those overwhelmed by my tweetstorm will be relieved to hear my phone battery is dying

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:11 PM

just back in hotel after dinner for jacqueline novogratz. i really loved her book, the blue sweater. smart, human approach to philanthrophy

Wednesday 4 Feb, 11:12 PM

only thing about all these events at #ted is entirely forgetting to eat (i know, i know, mustn't complain.) still, i could eat my own arm

Thursday 5 Feb, 6:49 AMOk, TED day one round-up blogged

Thursday 5 Feb, 6:51 AMJudy Estrin, author of Closing the Innovation Gap, former CTO at Cisco and board member of DIS and FDX, on "what's next"

Thursday 5 Feb, 6:52 AM

And, driving the Aptera 2e (@mattvella promises to upload the video later

Thursday 5 Feb, 8:42 AM

First session, day 2, #ted. Theme: See. Oliver Sacks, Olafur Eliasson, Ed Ulbrich & Golan Levin

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:01 AM

#ted. Sacks talks of visual hallucinations in visually impaired. "the theater of the mind generated by the machinery of the brain."

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:05 AM

#ted: Joann Kochera-Morin (sp?) UC Santa Barb: Allosphere=artists, scientists, composers, musicians. Real data mapped visually and sonically

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:06 AM

#ted. These data visualizations are accurate (she says). They're bonkersly beautiful (I say.)

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:13 AM

#ted. Wonderful footage of glass blowing from Dale Chihuly

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:19 AM

#ted. Olafur Eliasson. I lay in his Weather Project installation at Tate Modern for an indecent amount of time. It was a-ma-zing.

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:22 AM

#ted. Eliasson: who has responsibility for what we see? His viewers co-produce the work, which inspires people to be involved

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:24 AM

#ted. I can't tweet this. I'm blinded by lovehearts coming out of my eyes and shooting at Eliasson. Swoon

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:34 AM

#ted. Sony Animation sneak peek of new movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Flying hamburgers! (Trippy morning.)

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:37 AM

#ted. Ed Ulbrich, Digital Domain. Benjamin Button. First hour of film, completely digital Brad Pitt head (no prosthetics)

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:40 AM

#ted. Ulbrich: when got green light to make Button, threw up. Had to will processes and technologies into existence

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:46 AM

#ted. Ulbrich: state of art motion capture in 04 didn't cut it. Needed facial info between markers. Walked away, looked to other industries

Thursday 5 Feb, 9:56 AM

#ted. Ulbrich: The "tech stew" allowed perfect mash up of live Brad Pitt and database Benjamin Button. Amazing footage of process

Thursday 5 Feb, 10:08 AM

#ted. Golan Levin: where's "art" in Apple's app store?

Thursday 5 Feb, 10:20 AM

#ted. Levin shows eye-capturing tech taking pictures of eyes. "typing with your eyes."

Thursday 5 Feb, 11:20 AM

#ted. Chatted with John Winsor, VP strategy Crispin Porter Bogusky. His what's next video coming

Thursday 5 Feb, 11:20 AM

Trying new #ted tactic. Laptop open in simulcast room. Missed Nina Jablonski entirely as result

Thursday 5 Feb, 11:26 AM

Hans Rosling update at #ted. Check out his earlier TED talk; he's delightful and his data viz fascinating

Thursday 5 Feb, 11:30 AM

#ted. Rosling: "Terrible simplification that there is one Africa. It's not respectful and it's not clever."

Thursday 5 Feb, 11:54 AM

#ted. Louise Fresco: Understand where you are in the food chain. Food is about respect, sharing, honesty, identity. She baked onstage

Thursday 5 Feb, 12:05 PM

#ted. Eat Pray Love's Elizabeth Gilbert on how to keep doing sthg you love when greatest success might be behind you. Managing creativity

Thursday 5 Feb, 12:12 PM

#ted. Gilbert describes Ruth Stone's process for writing poetry/Tom Waits' songwriting. Collaboration with strange external force

Thursday 5 Feb, 12:23 PM

#ted. Jacek Utko: what can save newspapers when no practical reason for newspapers to survive?

Thursday 5 Feb, 12:25 PM

#ted. Utko: Design was just a part of the (newspaper reinvention) process, but design needs to be connected to every part of that process

Thursday 5 Feb, 12:33 PM

#ted. Margaret Wertheim on the power of the crochet hook. She's organizing the crocheting of a gigantic coral reef. An ecoproject

Thursday 5 Feb, 12:45 PM

#ted. Wertheim: mathematicians so blinded by symbolism, couldn't see what was in front of them

Thursday 5 Feb, 12:47 PM

#ted. Wertheim: We live in society obsessed with one way of presenting information. Instead, teach complex, abstract ideas through play

Thursday 5 Feb, 2:42 PM

#ted. Entrepreneurial philanthropy lunch with Carl Schramm of Kauffman Foundation. Super interesting. I'll write up later

Thursday 5 Feb, 2:45 PM

#ted. Also just shot demo of pulse smartpen with inventor, jim marggraff. Great pen that records audio, translates, etc (terrible video)

Thursday 5 Feb, 3:46 PM

sorry. network died #ted. just got back on. shai agassi was great. surgeon catherine mohr also fascinating, unveiling new robot for surgery

Thursday 5 Feb, 4:09 PM

Broadway actress Sarah Jones making #ted audience laugh after biologist Robert Full wowed. Theme of imp. of interdisciplinary collaboration

Thursday 5 Feb, 5:12 PM

#ted prizes just about to be announced. jill tarter, sylvia earler and jose abreu get one wish each

Thursday 5 Feb, 5:25 PM

Jill Tarter from SETI at #ted: "is it really just us? if it is, it's an awful waste of space." More on Tarter

Thursday 5 Feb, 5:31 PM

Jill Tarter #TED: "any signal we detect would have started its journey a long time ago." SETI described as "archaeology of the future"

Thursday 5 Feb, 5:35 PM

"Homo sapiens is one small leaf on a very extensive tree of life ". Tarter @#ted. "Man not the pinnacle and sooner we realize that the better"

Thursday 5 Feb, 5:41 PM

Tarter wish #ted: "you would empower earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the ultimate search for cosmic company"

Thursday 5 Feb, 5:54 PM

Neil Turok #ted prize update (wish for african einstein). $2.6 million in scholarships; center opened in Nigeria;

Thursday 5 Feb, 5:56 PM

al gore on #ted prize winner sylvia earle: "she is the voice the world needs to listen to on the crisis our oceans are facing. "

Thursday 5 Feb, 6:00 PM

sylvia earle #ted: "I'm haunted by the thought of "tomorrow's child and why we didn't do something on our watch while there still was time."...

Thursday 5 Feb, 6:02 PM

sylvia earle #ted: quotes Auden: "Thousands have lived without love; none without water. " 90% of earth is water. "No blue, no green. "

Thursday 5 Feb, 6:05 PM

sylvia earle talking up google earth at #ted.

Thursday 5 Feb, 6:13 PM

sylvia earle #ted: "nothing else will matter if we fail to protect the ocean. Our fate and the ocean are one"

Thursday 5 Feb, 6:16 PM

sylvia earle #ted wish: "use all means at your disposal to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas"

Thursday 5 Feb, 6:19 PM

jake eberts (previewed film 'oceans' yesterday) just stood up and promised to do anything to help sylvia earle realize her #ted wish

Thursday 5 Feb, 6:24 PM


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