TED Talks videos’ one billionth view later this month marks TED’s whirlwind six years as an internet sensation. If it seems like yesterday that you first watched a TED talk online, well, it practically was. Though TED began in 1984 and the annual conference commenced in 1990, the popular talks did not reach the world wide web until 2006. TED Talks videos hit 500 million views in June of 2011. Do the math and you’ve got 500 million views – that’s half – in the last 18 months alone.
What triggered this meteoric rise of TED Talks? All bets are on simple word of mouth, sharing via Facebook, and their inspiring nature. TED Curator, Chris Anderson, stopped by ‘CBS This Morning: Saturday” recently to provide some insight on the innovative venture that in turn encourages innovation. While TED’s slogan is, ‘Ideas Worth Spreading,’ Anderson ensures that TED speakers have the ability to explain their fascinating work, not just do it. Basically, unique ideas mean nothing if others cannot understand them. Anderson notes that he hopes TED Talks tweak viewers’ brains. I know I was able to better understand my junior high school students after watching a TED talk on teenage brain activity!
TED’s curator also touches on the potential impact on education. In the future, children around the world may have access to the best educators at the click of button. In a world where education at multiple levels is becoming more expensive, TED Talks online could be a model for free education. Imagine combining the $100 laptop with streamed or downloaded teacher talks. This could result, for example, in children in Zambia learning about Darwin and the Galapagos Islands at the same pace as kids in Norway. Really, the possibilities are endless.
For now, TED continues to successfully harness innovation and share it with the world on various platforms, be it at physical conferences or on the inter-webs. As of 2012, over 16,000 talks have been given at TEDx events in more than 130 countries. We are thrilled to bring TEDx Fukuoka into this mix! Interested in learning about the YouTube and TED phenomena? Head over to ted.com and pull up Anderson’s video, ‘How web video powers innovation’. Watch it and find out just how much videos you watch every day are changing the world a little at a time.
By Amelia Hagen