Friday, 2 September 2011


When local poet, student and entrepreneur Mishal Saeed approached me for sponsorship for the TEDx project she's curating with her friend Uzair Butt, I was a little sceptical but her enthusiasm, professionalism and outright honesty won me over in the end so I'm doing it for free in lieu of paid sponsorship.

Make no mistake, this doesn't mean I've gone soft or backtracked on my commitment to getting a deposit prior to doing any work, it's just that the chance to get involved with a project like this only comes up once in a while so I'm grabbing it while I can.

What is TEDx?

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED's mission, "ideas worth spreading." The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

At TEDx events, a screening of TEDTalks videos — or a combination of live presenters and TEDTalks videos -- sparks deep conversation and connections. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

You can find out more about it here and perhaps be inspired enough to organize your own.

The brief

Working within the narrow framework of TED rules, I have to build Mishal (I mean, TEDxSalford, it's not about Mishal) a website that gives her

  • a live video streaming facility

  • a form for people to add their details to a mailing list

  • social media widgets

  • PayPal integration

  • a slideshow

  • a gallery

  • a contact form

  • a guestbook

  • blog functionality

  • easy updating

The solution

While it's easy enough for me to build a DHTML website and tack a blog on the end for updates I've decided that WordPress offers all that functionality and more so I'm going to use that.

Mishal has already got an account on GroupSpaces for her mailing list so I have only got to link that on the home page, although a WordPress mailing list plugin may well prove to be a more elegant solution, particularly because the potential attendee doesn't have to leave the site and go to another to sign up. In fact, WordPress offers all the functionality required by this brief so all I have to do is set up the site and add the plugins - job done.

Social media

TEDxSalford already has a Twitter account, a Facebook page and a Linked In group. I've spoken to Mishal about setting up a company page there. Although BT Tradespace has its limitations and is dreadfully slow, having an account there is good for SEO particularly if you link to a range of pages on your website and take advantage of their facilities for feedback, etc. Meengle is not well known but at least it's an opportunity to get your site linked. QYPE is recommended for its popularity so it's also a good idea to have your linked there for SEO purposes. Mishal may well get potential attendees out of it.


The event itself has not been finalised in terms of times and dates, but it will be held at the Media City in Salford Quays and speakers Irene Khan and Clare Woodcraft.

The website and domain are hosted on GoDaddy.

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