You’ve probably heard of TED talks by now. You’ve probably even seen one. Perhaps you’re a raving fan.
But, did you know today’s online accessibility of TED talks was largely an accident? Originally, Director of TED Media June Cohen sought to turn TED talks into a television show. But “lacking mainstream appeal” (read: too smart for network television), TED put their talks online instead.
5 years later, the site videos have reached 500 million views, the site has received 1 million Facebook followers, and there have been 1 million iPad app downloads.
If not mainstream, TED talks sure are popular. Why? Because they’re the greatest secular sermons out there. <18 minute online presentations from thought leaders across the world. They’re intoxicatingly good, and incredibly helpful learning tools. Could one receive a higher education online simply by going to free TED school from the convenience of their home? Not yet. But, I think we’ve found the model.