On Wednesday, Bride Of Coturnix and I went to Ignite Raleigh. There was an Ignite show in many cities around the world that night, and the one in Raleigh was one of the biggest, with 702 people in attendance, in Lincoln theater (which is far too small for such a crowd – but crowdiness made it more intimate). It was a blast. I saw a lot of old friends, met some of the people I only know from Twitter or blogs, and met some new ones. All 19 talks were excellent, thought-provoking and, what is important at Ignite, they were all full of energy and fun (and funny!). It is hard to pick favourites, as each speaker was very different, from local techies (including Henry Copeland of Blogads.com) to the local TV meterologist (she went to shool with Bride Of Coturnix) to the current Miss NC.
All of the speakers are on Twitter and it was fun to be able to tell them how much we appreciated their talks afterwards, ask additional questions about something they said, check out their blogs (and slideshows) and thus build a whole new local sub-community around this one event.
At the bottom of this post are links to some of the blog posts describing the event, both by participants and the audience. You can also check out the hashtag #igniteraleigh for more. The event was livestreamed on Ustream – you should be able to see the videos there soon (or on the Ignite Raleigh homepage).
Tomorrow is something similar yet different: TEDxRTP. TEDx conferences are local franchises of the TED conference. As someone said (I forgot where I read it), If Ignite is a poetry slam, TEDx is a poetry reading. More detailed explanation of differences between these similar-yet-different kinds of events can be found here.
I had a small involvement in the organization of TEDxRTP early on (and then kinda disappeared as ScienceOnline2010 and trip to AAAS10 took a lot of my time and energy away), but I negotiated that the location of the event would be at the RTP headquarters (those of you who attended #scio10 – that is where we all first got together and heard Michael Specter deliver Keynote Address) which is a perfect venue for this.
Tickets for TEDxRTP have sold out within hours two weeks ago (I was in the air during that entire period of opening and closing the registration period – it is just as being one of the organizers that I had my ticket reserved in advance), but we are aggressive at asking people who cannot make it to release the tickets to the waitlisters, so if you are on the waitlist, and check your e-mail early in the morning, perhaps you’ll be lucky…. if not, watch all the videos!
Here are some of the blog posts about Ignite Raleigh #2: