TED Talks – Ideas Worth Spreading
TED Talks were first established in 1984 by a guy named Richard Saul Wurman. From its initial conception and humble beginnings that you had to attend in person via a yearly conference. It has grown into an Internet sensation and YouTube giant, proven by that fact it passed the one-billion views mark back in November 2012.
While a billion of anything is good going, it’s a sad fact of modern life that there are dumbed-down musical videos that have passed that figure multiple times over on one video alone.
You have to ask, why do thick people have to outnumber the bright ones? How can Justin Beiber outdo the marvels of the natural world or the wonders of space?
Look, I like music as much as anyone and don’t hate on someone for watching and liking a musician. It’s just a touch frustrating that we have so many interesting and varied things to learn from TED talks, yet people prefer to go through life without learning anything.
I’m not suggesting that everyone is suited to TED talks, but I think that a lot of people would be if only they got a start somehow. Well hopefully people will read this and find out themselves what all the fuss is about. That’s what this YouTube category is for after all, to spread the word of my favourite YouTube channels.
Back in the Day We Had Four Televison Stations
Nowadays there’s endless channels to watch. It’s not like back in the day when we had four television and twenty radio stations to choose from. We’ve got literally millions of websites and thousands of YouTube channels, plus forums, social media platforms.
The list is huge. How can anyone keep up with them all? It’s impossible, but I suppose that’s the joy of today. We have technology coming out of our ears. It’s got to the point where we take it for granted.
TED Channels are Growing in Diversity
The inital TED Talks, which stands for technology, education and design, were based anually in Long Beach, California. Then after 2014 they uprooted and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada.
Speakers are given 18-minutes to spread their message to the audience, which consists of seated guests and Internet buffs gourging on the live-streams around the world.
I have lost count of interesting TED Talks that I’ve enjoyed watching. The speakers are as important as the content. Some better than others, but that has to be expected.
New subjects and topics that you’ve never even dreamed of will shock and amaze you in equal measure. We all have our favourites, but with TED there is something for everyone and I won’t believe you if you tell me you don’t enjoy watching a TED talk. Bad ones are genuinely hard to find.
You can pick from TEDx Talks, TED-Ed, TED Fellow, TED Institute and the list goes on and on.
Famous TED Talks and Celebrity Guests
Film stars, television actors, world-renowned scientists are all the norm when it comes to TED talks. The calibre of content is the best available. How could it not be with the likes of Bill Gates, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Stephen Hawking and countless others cut from the same fabled cloth.
Competitions and the TED Prize
With increased viewing figures, more money from advertising, sponsors and other endorsements, TED changed the format of their annual competition. They altered the format and went from three winners down to one. This enabled them to consolidate the prize money and better equip the winner to make their wishes come true.
The real beneficiary is the winner’s chosen charity.
Famous celebrity cheff Jamie Oliver was the first person to win the single prize.
TED itself has Won Many Awards
After initially being rejected for their proposal of a television series of the best TED talks. The company saw minor success on the Internet, but the next growth phase a few years later enabled them to invest heavily into video production to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars.
This enabled TED Talks to be delivered to a wider audience, with better quality content, more guests and locations. All in all, the investment was a total success.
The icing on the cake has been the awards won by the TED team themselves. Webby Awards, Podcast of the Year Awards, among many other industry achievements that have helped build the TED brand.
TED’s owner Chris Anderson said in an interview in 2012:
It used to be 800 people getting together once a year; now it’s about a million people a day watching TED Talks online. When we first put up a few of the talks as an experiment, we got such impassioned responses that we decided to flip the organization on its head and think of ourselves not so much as a conference but as “ideas worth spreading,” building a big website around it. The conference is still the engine, but the website is the amplifier that takes the ideas to the world
Criticism of TED Talks
Nothing in this world is perfect, not even the cleanly cut image of science and technology. It all started when Frank Swain, a deaf journalist, refused to participate in a TED talk unless he was compensated.
His beef was simple. He argued that it was unfair how TED charged attendees $6000, but forbids organisers of the smaller, independent events from paying their speakers.
You have to feel for the guy, as to be fair it’s only normal to get paid for something, especially in the business world.
There have also been accusations of elitism. Apparently the parties in Los Angeles have strict guest lists and over-the-top security measures.
Regardless of all this, you can’t argue with the fact that for most of us, we can easily hop on to YouTube and watch as many TED talks as we want. That won’t cost us a dime. Perfect, eh?
Let us know about any special TED Talks or events that you’ve watched or been a guest at. Though if you’ve got $6000 to spend on the entrance fee, it’s most likely you’re far too posh to be reading Gossip Lolly. 🙂 Not that we’re poshist or anything.
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