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Super Ted

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

This post is all about sharing ideas. I spend a lot of time on the Internet, as, probably, do you.

But how much of that is quality time?

If we take the magnificent and most quotable Eleanor Roosevelt’s statement as our guide, I’d say I spend a lot of my time online reading about or discussing events and people, whether that’s Waterstone’s removing their apostrophe (terrible) or Liverpool’s Stewart Downing (He cost £20 million and still hasn’t a single goal or assist this season, but he does have one arrest – also terrible).

And then there’s Facebook, the great black hole of “average” and “small”, which can easily swallow you up. I find Twitter a tad more enlightened!

But, I do spend quite a bit of my online time with ideas too, whether that’s reading about or discussing them (I just checked my Twitter account to verify my claim and I have also been sharing a lot of ideas I’ve been reading about lately on there!).

There are some fantastic resources online and I intend to share some that I have come across and use with you in the weeks and months ahead.

I’m going to start with one of the biggest and best: Ted.

Now Ted is so successful that many of you will have heard of it and some of you will frequent it. But, if you don’t stop in every now and again or you’ve never heard of it then you’re missing out!

I would urge everyone to bookmark it. Create a new folder called “Ideas” and starting filling it up with great sites focused on ideas (I’ll help you out there).

Ted, in its own words, is about “ideas worth spreading”. It’s completely free and provides “riveting talks by remarkable people”. This is another claim I can happily verify. Some evidence here: they are short videos, please give at least a couple of them a go:

ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

rory_sutherland_life_lessons_from_an_ad_man.html (included especially for all you PR/marketing/Advertising types!)

sheila_nirenberg_a_prosthetic_eye_to_treat_blindness.html

dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html

bart_weetjens_how_i_taught_rats_to_sniff_out_land_mines.html

I have watched a lot of Ted Talks at this stage and the great thing about them – apart from being hugely interesting, educational and entertaining – is that they are relatively short (the vast majority are 18 minutes or under, some are only a few minutes) and they are very accessible.

It’s not a site designed for academics, it’s a site designed for everyone. Perhaps the best thing about Ted is that learning about all those ideas can help get your own creative juices flowing and give you the kickstart you need to start coming up with some great ideas of your own.

If you watch the videos they will certainly give you a new perspective on many issues and even change your thinking, if you’re open to it.

It’s a word I don’t use often, but many of the Ted Talks are simply inspirational. At worst, they are merely engaging and interesting. So it’s not much of a risk watching one!

Ted started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design. To say it’s broadened its remit since then would be putting it mildly! Business, Science, Culture, Arts, Entertainment… there are many broad themes containing talks and ideas of all kinds.

Helpfully, there’s also a Best of the Web section featuring those great videos out there that didn’t come through Ted. Like this one with Steve Jobs:

steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.html

What really got me excited about Ted (again) today was reading about Ted 2012 “Full Spectrum”. It sounds like a dodgy action movie sequel starring a middle-aged Irish man, but it’s not.

You see Ted is “in the midst of a dramatic reinvention of the ancient art of the spoken word”.

How so? Well “Full Spectrum” refers to the “rich use of multiple technologies, formats and approaches for the most powerful possible impact on an audience”.

The speakers they have secured this year are amazing and “Full Spectrum” promises to be spectacular. The Journal.ie gives you a flavour of the speakers here  and the full list is here.

So, finally, I challenge you to try Ted for 30 days!

matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days.html

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