As a human who’s interested in the world around you, TED Talks should become part of the things you regularly consume. They’re like The Big Picture, Jon Stewart, or Planet Earth; insightful, entertaining, and provocative.
Speakers from all around the globe descend upon Long Beach, California to give quick, poignant presentations on their passions and areas of expertise, ranging from orgasms, to synthetic life forms, to spaghetti sauce.
Media entrepreneur Chris Anderson (this Chris Anderson, not that one) took charge of the TED (short for Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference by way of The Sapling Foundation in 2001. When Anderson became conference curator, the best speeches and performances were added to the website. These online video and audio presentations became so popular, an April 2007 relaunch of the site made TED Talks its primary focus.
Savvy marketing by Anderson turned a highly exclusive event (the conferences caps out at roughly 1,000 attendees, many of whom pay $6,000 a ticket), into a highly exclusive event with a global message that carries with it some gravity. As the tagline goes, TED Talks are “Ideas Worth Spreading.” They’re conversation starters, inspiration points, intelligent devices meant to spur reflection and innovation. And spreading they are.
In a recent interview at the TED offices in New York City, Robert Scoble discovered TED Talks have seen a collective 250 million views. That number will increase exponentially as video pours in from peripheral TED conferences and events, which are gaining traction in localities around the world.
For a taste of recent TED Talks goodness, check out 4chan founder Christopher “m00t Poole’s case for only anonymity (embedded below). It’s especially interesting given all the recent hullabaloo over Facebook’s privacy concerns. Once you’re done learning about how uncensored online imageboards can impact the world at large, check out some more TED Talks. Make them part of your regular, web-video-viewing routine.