Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Amazing Talks From Pittsburgh People: On Preparing for TEDxGrandviewAve

TEDxGrandviewAve will take place on February 23, 2013 in Pittsburgh, PA. The theme of our TEDx event is "The Edge of Innovation" in reference to Grandview Avenue which runs along the top of Mt. Washington overlooking the city.

Mt. Washington photo from Postcards from Pittsburgh

Currently, our team is searching for the Top 9 Innovative Speakers to present ideas worth spreading in front of an audience of thought leaders. During the event, we will record each 18-minute (or less) speech. Afterwards, we will post the talks online for the world to see, listen, respond, and help turn into real world action.

Events like TED and TEDx create wonderful platforms to begin conversations around important ideas. A great deal of time and energy goes into applying for a TEDx license, securing a venue, confirming speakers, approaching sponsors, inviting attendees, and setting the stage for the best talks we can provide. If you are unfamiliar with TED Talks, the 20 most-watched TED Talks to date is a great place to start. To find out more about our upcoming TEDx event you can visit our website, follow us on Twitter @TEDxGrandviewAv, "Like" our Facebook page, and check out the posts from Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto's Blog: "Step up to the Mic! TEDxGrandviewAve's Call for Speakers" and "Mark Your Calendar for TEDxGrandviewAve."

Pittsburgh, PA provides an extraordinary setting for innovative ideas with the many universities, research centers, businesses large and small, and cultural institutions. I have scoured the internet looking for innovative and fun talks from Pittsburgh people. Here are ten of my favorite talks:

1) "Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" by Randy Pausch at Carnegie Mellon University

2) "Rebuilding America, one slide show at a time" by Bill Strickland at TED

3) "Duolingo: The Next Chapter in Human Computation" by Luis Von Ahn at TEDxCMU

4) "Design Outside the Box" by Jesse Schell at Dice 2010 (3 Parts)

5) Fred Rogers Acceptance Speech - 1997 Daytime Emmy Awards

6) "The New Trendsetters: Utilizing the Power of Social to Change Fashion" by Susan Gregg Koger at Web 2.0 Expo SF 2011

7) Andy Warhol paints Debbie Harry at the Commodore Amiga product launch press conference in 1985

8) "Rick Sebak at Work" - talking about making documentaries for WQED

9) "Google Female Rapper" - Kellee Maize

10) Pittsburgh Dad: Watching the Steelers

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 2012: Upcoming Networking Events in Pittsburgh

Wednesday, June 13:
Build Guild: "A monthly gathering of web folks that enjoy chatting over drinks. Mustaches optional."
Where: LOT 17 (4617 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA)
When: 6:30pm
RSVP on Facebook

Wednesday, June 20:
Startup Drinks Pittsburgh: All local entrepreneurs, investors, advisors, and change-makers are welcome!
Where: Truth (51 S 12th St., Pittsburgh, PA)
When: 5:30pm
RSVP on Facebook

Saturday, June 23:
Cellhelmet™ Launch Party: The world's first and only case to guarantee the iPhone. "As a special thanks to everyone who has supported us from the beginning and for those that will help us into the future - everything's on us. FOOD. BEER. GAMES. MUSIC. GIVEAWAYS. FUN!"
Where: Boyce Park (Monroeville, PA)
When: 12:00-8:00pm
RSVP on Facebook
Check out!

Please post more upcoming Pittsburgh events in the comments!

What Is Social Media and Why Should I Care? (Pittsburgh Edition)

If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say?

You can, you know. With social media and the internet at your fingertips, you no longer have to be on television, hold a major office, or become vetted by a major news corporation before sending out your message to the world.

We truly all have a voice online - a searchable, dynamic, resounding voice. Echo Bounce gives rise to Pittsburgh voices using the greatest communication tools known to man - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. - to convey their messages. Many people find having a conversation with one person difficult. What do you say to all people? It can be a scary thought. What will people think? What if I say the wrong thing? Where do I start? There are no right answers, but there are more effective ones.

Social media platforms provide a tremendous stage with the whole world as an audience. Choose your messages wisely. Entertain. Inform. Lift up the world.

Above all, participate. You can start here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Social Media Networking Events in Pittsburgh

The word "networking" suggests ideas of boring suit-and-tie meetings. The thought of navigating a room full of stuffy suits and big egos can be daunting. However, if you would like to meet professionals without encountering an Old Boys' Club, there is hope. I discovered many networking events through social media sites - Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn - where the high profile business attire was left at home. Events like Open Coffee Club at AlphaLab, Startup Weekend Pittsburgh, and the Social Media Group Pittsburgh Speaker Series allowed me to have fun, meet interesting people, and collaborate on new projects in the company of forward-thinking experts in technology, business, and social media marketing.

If you are wondering what engaging professional networking events look like, I have compiled photos taken since the beginning of 2012 from meetups around the city:

Open Coffee Club at AlphaLab in the Southside (February 10, 2012):

RhoMania Wine Tasting at Red Door Gallery in the Southside (March 11, 2012):

Startup Weekend Pittsburgh at Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland (March 23-25, 2012):

Obscure Games Meetup at Hambone's Pub in Lawrenceville (March 28, 2012):

Pittsburgh Tweetup at Piper's Pub in the Southside (March 28, 2012):

Carnegie Mellon University Code App-a-thon in Oakland (March 30, 2012):

"Crunchy" Art Show at the Rocking Horse Artspace in Lawrenceville (April 13, 2012):

SUD:PGH Startup Drinks at Hough's in Greenfield (April 19, 2012):

Social Media Group Pittsburgh Speaker Series at the Benedum Center in Downtown (April 20, 2012):

Check the Pittsburgh Events Calendar for upcoming technology, art, and business meetups. Please contact Jaclyn Vesci (@JVesci on Twitter) by emailing with new events, ideas and projects you are working on. I'd love to meet you around town!

Also, tell the world about the exciting projects you are working on! Snap a picture. Post it on Twitter. Create an event page on Facebook. Write a blog post. Get out around town and interact with people that enjoy the same types of projects as you do. Let's make Pittsburgh the most connected city in the world. Want to see how connected Pittsburgh is now? Look at this amazing CMU research project map from Livehoods!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

PGH TweetUp at Finnigan's Wake: @NBA_ALZ and @SecretAgentL

PGHTweetUp (@PGHTweetup) organizes a monthly gathering of social media tweeps at local establishments. In February, Tweeters from around Pittsburgh met up at Finnigan's Wake to discuss all things a-Twitter in the city. After we took some time to meet everyone in the room, we discovered each person had something unique to contribute, both online and in person. There were marketers, artists, entrepreneurs, and all-around interesting people. We even got Artist/Songwriter Yung Alz (@NBA_ALZ) to perform for a group of us while accompanied by @SecretAgentL. Watch the video above!

TweetUps allow us to bring life into our twitter handles and get out from behind the computer. They are also a great way to meet new people and promote your work. You never know who might show up or what might go down, everyone is welcome!

The next Pittsburgh TweetUp is March 28th at Piper's Pub - 6:30pm-?

Follow me on Twitter: @JVesci