Last night the TEDxBrayfordPool team launched the TEDxBrayfordPoolSalon programme. A TEDxSalon is a smaller TEDx event that screen existing TED talks around a single topic to fuel discussion. Our salons are co-curated by the participants who choose the topic for the next event during the course of each event.
The first topic, Viral Crowds, was hosted by Siren Radio presenter Christopher Clarkson. It explored the power and danger of online crowds, what makes something go viral and the how social media affects our society.
Chris introduced James Surowiecki talk The power and danger of online crowds and Dao Nguyen's What makes something go viral? over pizza and drinks followed by an discussions around three key questions:
What is social media to you?
What makes something go viral?
How can social media create social media?
Participants got a chance to move round the room and give their thoughts and opinions on each question and to round off the event the team posed a final question using Mentimeter to create a word cloud and then offered them a chance to choose the topic for the next event.
Social media evokes a lot of different feelings for many people. Some see it an intrusion in their lives filling it with white noise. Others see it as an echo chamber that perpetuates their own views. Viral Crowds only touched the tip of the iceberg but ultimately most people felt that social media was a positive source of interaction that helps build community... and a great source of memes.