TED Conversations

David Hamilton


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Why isn't TED also a Television station? Couldn't it either make a lot of money, or support a lot of wishes?

Couldn't they just broadcast talks 24/7, and wouldn't a lot of us turn it on in the background? I would... Seems like a money maker to me. The History Channel is all about aliens and the end of the world, and The Discovery Channel is mostly about cutting down trees now... Is there even a niche market for smart television any more? Could TED capture it?

What do you think?

I edited the title, because I accidentally gave people the impression that I would rather have TED be a TV station, than an internet active search medium... That had never occurred to me, I merely thought it would be cool to also have a TED television station.

Also, the idea of advertising revenue, made a lot of people cringe. While personally, I actually don't mind the idea of the people at TED getting rich, and trying to make their content more accessible for TV, since everyone knows there are many less deserving organizations... I understand, that, in general, most people are angry at traditional ideas of capitalism now, and they immediately jumped to the conclusion, that basically, the corporations would take over, it would be dumbed down, and there would be a boat load of advertising.

That argument has tended to prove true as intellectual material tries to reach a broader audience, IE afformentioned The History Channel, which is now proud to say "Made every day"... No it's not, certainly not by Ice Road Truckers, or anyone else on The History Channel nowadays... So... I revise, both, to avoid the argument, and because I like this idea better anyway.

On top of remaining the same organization it is on the internet, wouldn't it be nice, if TED was also one of the first Not For Profit Television Stations. Still funded by advertising, but with small, living wage salaries, with benefits... and advertisers chosen by TED, with the goal of implementing ideas talked about on the shows. Or, chosen by TED's online community. You want to advertise here? What problem are you solving?


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    Dec 16 2011: I don't think TED has the potential to fill the programm of a whole channel. At least not as it is now and trying to force it to produce such an amount of material would most likely degenerate the quality of it's content drastically. But what would really be a good idea would be an education-channel with TED-Talks in one or a few of it's shows. Broadcasting lectures from universities or lectures specifically produced for television...shows for kids that explain what evolution is or how a powerplant works or other stuff like that. The foundries for what I know today and why I'm interested in science were laid by shows I watched as a kid...With that in mind I most certainly would not want my kids to watch reality tv
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      Dec 18 2011: I think I agree with this entirely. I think the only reason I suggested TED as a full network, was because I think it could just run in a loop until it increased in content naturally... and even that would out compete History, and Discovery nowadays. I think I'm more discontent with the current television content directed at an intelligent audience, than I'm certain TED TV would be a smash success. This may be a particularly American problem.
      • Dec 18 2011: I do wonder about the possibility of showing other Science/Educational shows not specifically TED stuff, but is educational in specific areas and fills the gaps between TED Talks or something.
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      Dec 22 2011: "TED-Talks in one or a few of it's shows"... actually seems to be around already. I haven't experienced what it's like up-close and personal, but in 2010 TED has started to issue licences to broadcasters worldwide.
      Especially area's where internetconnectivity is still poor, this is a good (or the only) way to expose people to TEDTalks. Apart from that I do think that any audience can and will benefit from TEDTalks being broadcasted on TV. It wil always rub off. Even the most greasy of surfaces will eventually be effected. In any case it's to be prefered to not broadcasting them for some cynical reason. Lokal stations are, within the guidelines of TED, in teh best position to decide how to "dress them up" i.e. how to present them and incorporate them into their programm.

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