I haven’t blogged on the SAP Community Network for work in several months, so I’m happy I finally wrenched that elusive set of hours away that it took to put together my report on my recent trip to Los Angeles for video-related conferences:
Usually when I go online at conferences and events, I’m reporting on Web 2.0 events or social justice activism or just plain existing. In Los Angeles, the landscape was both unfamiliar and immediate, and it was and still is for me a bit of a reach to put together the growing, stunning implications of the past, present, and future of streaming media on the Web and what it could mean for television — whatever THAT is. I could think of no better place from which to contemplate this disruption than from this center of stardom, the birthplace of celluloid dreams. I welcome your read and thoughts!
TED has realized its incredible value not only as a conference but as a platform. Largely through capturing videos of their incredible sessions and then making them available worldwide for free viewing afterwards, they’ve been able to harness the power of an amazing viral spread of enthusiasm.
Cohen used the example of Hans Rosling’s incredible talk jettisoning him into unlikely-internet-stardom, so from a content standpoint TED has a goldmine — and they want to share it. This is where the technological and philosophical elements come in.
Technologically, they facilitate this worldwide viral spread in part by making sure the videos are subtitled into multiple languages. Not only are the videos subtitled, but the full transcripts are available. One excellent feature Cohen pointed out was that you can click a word in the transcript and the video automatically scrolls to that point.
And if technology and awesome content weren’t enough, TED is pursuing a fully open philosophy. “In pursuing the strategies of openness, all of the unintended consequences have been explosively positive,” says Cohen, while announcing TED Open TV Project — a network of partners that can use TED talks for free and build broadcasts around them. The bottom line for TED? “TED has evolved from a conference to a media company to a platform for spreading ideas.”
Definitely staying tuned to — and rewatching — this one.