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SXSWi: June Cohen, TED

Radical Openness: Growing TED by Giving it Away

Early Sunday morning, daylight savings time on top of it. But June Cohens Solo Panel was absolutely worth getting there in time.

She gave a short overview how TED has developed during the past years. The first TED talks were actually online as early as 2006 as podcasts. In 2007 you were able to view them on the website.

The big idea behind TED is to reach people everywhere, to spread brilliant new ideas and thought provoking opinions. It’s intention is to offer a platform for innovation for a global audience. It has grown to become a strong community, with many enthusiasts and participants around the world. Being able to be a part of it probably is the greatest reward one could get. Money can not substitute this.

TED grew slowly and undertook a gigantic leap during the past years, with the introduction of TEDx and opening up to TV broadcasts. The new thing for 2011 is the fact, that TED is opening it’s API.

The talks we are actually able to watch onsite or via Youtube have been translated in up to 80 different languages by volunteers. TED ensures the quality of these translations using an editorial model: One person translates, the other edits. Preferably, they do not know each other and live in a different part of the country, to ensure that no local dialect is used. You are able to view subtitles and transscripts of the talks in many languages. Just recently the first TED talks were held in languages different from English and are provided with English subtitles.This was one of the many unintended consequences radical openness innitiated.

Now we are all very excited of all the consequences growing from the opening of the API for developers.

Besides the “real” TED talks there have been quite impressive TEDx events all over the world. If you haven’t yet, please make sure to check out the website and listen to some of the talks. It’s overwhelming.