“Livebloggers have to sit in the back.” The official decree — a condition of covering the TEDx Toronto conference in real time — was stamped into guidelines, announced over loudspeakers and whispered by volunteers in bright red shirts.
The back? I don’t think so. This is TED, producer of the oh-so-sharable video talks I’ve been watching for years — only this time I was determined to be close enough to let some of that electric talent and passion rub off on me. So I left my laptop at home, hunkered down in the second row and discretely liveblogged with my iPhone. I hooked up to the complimentary WiFi, but the connection was been sucked dry by a few hundred social updaters — my phone refused to produce even one bar. The signal powering my 3G, which had worked fine in the lobby, couldn’t reach into the auditorium. So I texted one of my Rock Content co-workers, and within two minutes I was texted back a phone number linked directly to my liveblog. For the rest of the 8-hour day, I’d update the blog with text messages and set it to pull in photos, videos, links and quotes produced by the 480 people that had managed to grab a piece of WiFi. Read the rest of this story in our LiveArticle and liveblog about the conference.