What’s All This Noise About TED?

Teddy Ruxpin? Teddy Roosevelt? Ted Bundy? Nope, we are talking about TED for Technology, Entertainment and Design. This website features videos referencing everything from creativity to web design taken from globalized conferences. TED went live in 2006, and it is free for the public to access. This award winning, video viewing venture earned its 1 billionth view in 2012. Watch and learn from visionaries via more than 1,300 TED talk videos, which continue to increase by an average of six talks per week. As a freelance marketing writer, forging through groovy and revolutionary news and advice is a super simple way to add fresh air to your writing.

Presenters on TED

One of the most well-respectable and educational portals on the Web, TED features some significant speakers. Let’s start with Nobel Prize winners including Al Gore, Murray Gell-Mann, Leymah Gbowee, and Kary Mullis. Of course, other non-Nobel Prize winners frequent the video footage. Bill Gates loves to present on surprisingly non-techie topics, such as education and philanthropy. Another Bill, of the Clinton variety, has spoke about health care. Hundreds of other presenters ranging from Fahad Al-Attiya to Benjamin Zander offer a wealth of information on topics that include:

  • Technology
  • Business
  • Design
  • Global issues
  • Science
  • Entertainment

Using TED as a Freelance Writer

Successful freelance writers share the urge to expand their horizons. Sources of creativity and inspiration are fuel for writers who forge through mind-numbing, random topics hour after hour. Over at TED, you can find jewels of information as they relate to current events. Here are a few gems that pertain directly to freelance marketing writers:

The Creative Spark

This set of 10 talks features authors Amy Tan of “The Joy Luck Club” and Elizabeth Gilbert of “Eat, Pray, Love” fame. Other creative spirits presenting on this playlist include Isaac Mizrahi and Janet Echelman. Creative, soul searching topics include:

  • Where Does Creativity Hide by Amy Tan
  • Your Elusive Creative Genius by Elizabeth Gilbert

What We Learned from 5 Million Books

Viewed more than 1 million times, this TED talk discusses the concept that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” By using the technology Google Labs’ Ngram Viewer, Jean-Baptiste Michel and Erez Lieberman Aiden ‘read’ 5 billion books within minutes. Michel and Aiden discuss what they discovered from analyzing 500 billion words. As a writer and sure lover of words, you will be amazed at their statistical journey in understanding culture and history through writing. One highlight: if you want to become extremely famous, become a politician or author. These are the two careers with the highest rise of fame—actors and math mathematicians are equally losers who statistically fall short in fame.

How to Make a Splash in Social Media

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, explains how new trends get created via the Web. Learn how effective the Web and social media is in creating socially driven initiatives. This 4-minute clip explores the way thoughts become memes, which are then incorporated into physical culture.

While watching videos online is a sure way to squander valuable writing time, a little direction can help you avoid this. Instead of zoning out to cat videos, expand your cultural horizons and get inspired with TED talks!

Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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