Celebrity status : one person

My celebrity status was raised today to the level of “one person”.  Here is a quote from the Cyprus Mail article covering TEDxNicosia:

Perhaps the most apt response to that performance was from one person on social networking site Twitter who said, “Holly molly! Check the voice on that kid! Jaw dropped at #TedxNicosia”. Hashtags are used on Twitter to enable people, including strangers, to discuss a set topic.

If you missed the original, here it is:

TEDxNicosia 2013 – The power of RE

The stage at #TEDxNicosia

As most of you know, I spent most of the yesterday in Nicosia, attending the second ever TEDxNicosia event.  I know quite a few people who wanted t go, but the event was sold out in 72 hours, and even yours truly missed getting the ticket.  If it wasn’t for the kind invite of Marina Theodotou, I would have missed it too.  So, here are my experiences, notes, and thoughts on the conference.

Continue reading “TEDxNicosia 2013 — The power of RE” »

TEDxNicosia speakers report

TEDxNicosia 2013 is just a few short hours away.   As I mentioned previously, I am very excited, and I keep thinking about it.  One particular thought was bugging me all day today – how are the speakers being selected, and is there anything common among them? Do they share any specific knowledge or experience, or personal characteristics?  Not knowing any of the speakers personally, I decided to go for some fun PHP scripting rather than any serious research.  It’s Friday after all!

The result is this little project.  I basically took the 12 speaker profiles directly from the TEDxNicosia speakers page, and used it as my source data.  Each profile is saved into a text file with the name of the speaker.  Then I ran some simple analysis on those text files.   First, I wanted to see if their profile texts were sharing any common words.  That would be an indication, right?  Obviously, I had to filter out some words like ‘as’, ‘and’, and ‘he’ (see a full list of filtered out words).  For the rest, here is the top 20 most common words (by the way, the script reports the names of speakers as well, but I took it out for clarity and simplicity):

  1. Cyprus, shared by 11 out of 12 profiles;
  2. years, shared by 10 / 12;
  3. university, shared by 8 / 12;
  4. international, shared by 7 / 12;
  5. world, shared by 7 / 12;
  6. work, shared by 6 / 12;
  7. national, shared by 5 / 12;
  8. media, shared by 5 / 12;
  9. currently, shared by 5 / 12;
  10. including, shared by 5 / 12;
  11. well, shared by 5 / 12;
  12. all, shared by 5 / 12;
  13. life, shared by 5 / 12;
  14. first, shared by 5 / 12;
  15. people, shared by 5 / 12;
  16. USA, shared by 5 / 12;
  17. development, shared by 4 / 12;
  18. London, shared by 4 / 12;
  19. business, shared by 4 / 12;
  20. experience, shared by 4 / 12;

Interesting, isn’t it?  The easiest to notice for me is geography.  The most shared word is Cyprus, which is not surprising, because the TEDxNicosia event is happening, here, in Cyprus, and because most of the speakers either live here, or were born here, or moved here.  the other two geographical highlights are the USA and UK (London specifically).  These are the most influential, however there are indications of other travel (national, international, world).

One other thing which stands out is hard work.  It is suggested by work, all, life, development, business, and experience.  It sounds like all these people know what they are talking about.  Especially if you throw in university in there.  Also, first is indicative of either trying new things or of leading somewhere.

The rest might also mean something, but they don’t stand out so much.  At least not to me.   Except maybe if I put together media and people.  Then there is a sort of social suggestion.

After reading speakers’ profiles, I think the above is pretty accurate.  Even if it wasn’t, accuracy wasn’t exactly the point.  The whole thing is more of technical entertainment piece.  Oh, by the way, that reminds me.  What does TED stand for?  Technology, Entertainment, Design.  While we are looking at speaker profile words, why don’t we try and see if the TED words are in there too.  A bit more of coding, and here is what I get:

  • technology is represented by 3 out of 12 speakers;
  • entertainment is not represented by anyone;
  • design is represented by 2 out of 12;

Doesn’t sound too good?  Well, that’s because these numbers have very little to do with the actual speakers.  The source data were speaker profiles, which are only a few words long.  If these were worded even slightly different, the results would be completely different.  Just to give you an indication – even though the word ‘entertainment’ haven’t been used, a few other words, such as ‘music’, ‘dance’, ‘film’, ‘book’ were used plenty, and these can easily be used near entertainment.

Now that Friday night is quickly turning into Saturday morning, I think I should grab a few hours of sleep and drive out to Nicosia.  See you all there, or see you all after!

TEDxNicosia 2013 – RE-Think. RE-Generate. RE-Act.

Since the last TEDxNicosia event back in 2011, everyone and their brother were asking: “When?  When is the next one?  And how do I get there?”  Well, guess what – the next TEDxNicosia event is this Saturday (March 9, 2013)!

That’s the good news.  The bad news are that the event is totally sold out.  In fact, all tickets were sold out in 72 hours!   If you don’t have a ticket now,  you aren’t going this time.  Sad, I know.  But that’s not all the news either.  I have more.

(drum roll, nervous shaking, breath in, breath out, … go!)

Marina Theodotou, the event organizer, has invited me to attend the event in the capacity of the blogger.  Yes, that’s right.  This is my first “official” time.  I’ll be there for the whole day, blogging, tweeting, snapping pictures, and what not.  I’ll tell you all about it.  I promise.  But before I even start, here is the disclaimer:  the only compensation/gain that I received or will receive is the complimentary ticket to the event (Thank you, Marina).  All of the views, opinions, writing, tweets and images posted on this blog or in social networks under my accounts, are of my authorship, unless otherwise stated. 

Now, with that cleared, I have to say that I am super exciTED.  I can’t wait to get there, listen to speeches and presentations, and hang out with some really cool people.  Just a couple of days to go!

TEDxNicosia videos are online

I’ve been waiting for TEDxNicosia videos to be published online and finally the wait is over.  As good as they are, there is really no way to express the atmosphere that was in the room.  But they definitely help to imagine.  Get inspired!

And, as mentioned before, if you have time for only a single talk, then watch this one, by Nicos Anastasiou.

Together with the photos and the summary of my personal experiences, I hope you can realize now how cool of an event that was.

TEDxNicosia photos are online

When I went to TEDxNicosia event last month, I forgot to take my camera.  I was a bit sad to miss such an opportunity.  But during the talks I caught myself thinking that it’s probably for the better that I didn’t have the camera with me.  The talks were so interesting and engaging that I would either forget to take more pictures or miss parts of the talks while making shots.  And then again, sitting in the middle of the row it wouldn’t be too easy to move around.  And we all know how boring are the picture taken from the same place.

Anyway, now all my thoughts are put to rest.  As I mentioned before, TEDxNicosia was very well organized.  And part of that organization was arranging for an excellent photographer – Andri Josef.   I remember seeing Andri all over the place during the event – next to the stage, on the floor, in the cafeteria, and always behind the camera.  She must have taken a gadzillion images during that day!  Now, you can have a look at some of them in TEDxNicosia Gallery, covering the speakers, the venue, the organizers, the attendees, and more.   Here is a check-in image of Michael and me.  We just got our badges, heading for the coffee.