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Online TEDTalks hit billion-view milestone
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Nov 13, 2012


Videos stemming from TED, the gathering of the brilliant, famous and influential, passed the billion-view milestone on Tuesday.

The number continues to rocket with more than a million TEDTalks watched daily, according to the organization behind the prestigious TED gatherings that give rise to the presentations made available free on the Internet.

"It's a thrill and, in some ways, a surprise that this has happened," said entrepreneur Chris Anderson, who bought the Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) conference in 2001 and turned it into a nonprofit operation devoted to "ideas worth spreading."

"It is a very hopeful sign for the world that there are so many people interested in serious content," he continued.

TED started in 1984 as a private gathering.

With Anderson as its "curator," TED has become renowned for 18-minute talks devoted to mind-bending perspectives on anything from music or dance to climate change or futuristic technology.

The nonprofit Sapling Foundation behind the conferences began making recordings of talks available online as podcasts in 2006, then began streaming videos free at a TED.com website the following year to reach a global audience.

"So much of our civic landscape is about people barking without listening; people head butting each other blindly trying to push their world view," Anderson said.

"These talks open the door to a different kind of communication that starts with curiosity and admitting 'Maybe I don't know everything about the world,'" he continued.

"Wonderful things can happen when people broaden their sense of what is possible."

In tribute to passing the billion-view milestone, playlists of favorite TEDTalks from famous "Tedsters" including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates; U2 singer Bono, and actors Ben Affleck and Glenn Close will be released.

More than 1,400 TEDTalks can be seen online, with topics ranging from saving oceans or exploring far away galaxies to global politics or the genesis of inspiration.

Organizers of the prestigious annual conference in California in 2005 launched a global version of the event imbued with an international mindset.

TEDTalks have branched out to venues such as YouTube, iTunes, Netflix, and news website Huffington Post.

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