TEDxRutgers 2012

Vukosi Marivate

TEDxRutgers 2012 has come and gone (Website). I thought I should put my thoughts up about the event. I was one of the organizers of this and last years event. I take events like these as great opportunities to get to know and work with other students around the university. There are always so many things going on at Rutgers on any given day during the semester. Just check the GetInvolved website for the never ending list.

Given this great number of things to do, students have a large variety of activities to choose from. My advice is to actually choose something and go with it instead of being overwhelmed by choice. The experience, outside my day to day research, is refreshing and rewarding. You get to meet new people who are not in your discipline, share ideas and potential collaborations in things you had never thought of before.

TEDxRutgers was, for me, one of those rewarding experiences. I started off in 2010 just as an attendee at the first one. The event was and still is run mostly but our great undergraduate students but I saw an opportunity to bring in some of my experience and joined the team as an organizer in 2012. The speakers in 2012 were from diverse backgrounds from in, around and outside the university. You can read more about the speakers here. We had students, faculty and performers. I will update this page later with the link to the videos on Youtube.

My main responsibility was management of the website as well as all of the social media. I have a large interest in social media, especially as it pertains to mining data. Aside: Always be on the lookout for the opportunity attend some of the Network Science/Social Media seminars/talks hosted at the Department of Computer Science or School of Communication.


We had a great campaign for the event. Growing the Facebook page to 600 fans and having a reach (potential people who saw our posts on Facebook) of close to 15000. Below are the insights generated by Facebook about our fans in terms of reach.

Facebook Analytics

We had an Facebook ad going to get fans until about 11th April But as you can see in the How You Reached People section. We became more and more Viral as the ad was shown so that was a great investment.

What does viral mean?


TEDxRutgers 2012 Twitter Reach
TEDxRutgers 2012 Twitter Reach

Twitter was even better with a reach of close to 32000 people. Below is a snapshot of the traffic generated on Twitter on the day of the event.

Uploaded with Skitch!

We used a number of services to do tracking, you can find out about our partners here: http://www.tedxrutgers.com/partners/.

The only thing I think is heavily missing from the events is more participation of graduate students. Not only as organizers but also as attendees. It really is just a day out of the year but I believe we as grad students have so much to offer given our diverse experiences and the fields we work in.

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