If you aren’t familiar with the TED nonprofit, it’s useful to think about them as a community built on the foundation of sharing ideas. From entertainment to food to design to global issues, TED shares short, powerful talks that are eighteen minutes or less from influencers all over the world.
Today, there are over 1,900 talks available to watch online to learn more about nearly any subject you’d like. As you may imagine, there are quite a few on social media, technology, and internet marketing, since the field is essentially a hotbed of new ideas and developments.
It can be overwhelming to find talks in the library if you don’t have hours and hours to click on every single one that might pique your interest or be of use. Accordingly, here are some of the talks that have changed my view on everything from why we use social media, to how we use social media, to how we can think more strategically about our actions, purpose, and use of time on the Internet.
TEDTalks aren’t salesy, and aren’t designed to sell a brand or a company or a firm. The inevitable conclusion of many of these is that it’s difficult to achieve a high, effective level of strategy on your own– sure, you can do it, but is it going to be the best it can be? TEDTalks are interested in excellence, not mediocrity, and that’s the mental level of game that your social media needs to be playing.
Seth Godin, The Tribes We Lead: Seth Godin is one of those guys you just need to know if you have any interest in small business, entrepreneurship, thinking, marketing, or ideas. He has plenty of worthwhile eBooks, but this talk focuses on the transition of Internet marketing from a mass-media approach to understanding the intricacies of specificity and the human social unit of tribes.
There’s power in all movements, and they don’t necessarily have to be comprehensive: “That means the idea you create, the product you create, the movement you create isn’t for everyone, and it’s not a mass thing. That’s not what this is about. What Kevin Kelley has taught us is you just need, I don’t know, a thousand true fans– a thousand people who are enough that they will get you the next round and the next round and the next round.”
Johanna Blakeley, Social Media and the End of Gender: This talk from Johanna Blakeley dismantles the idea that media and advertising companies should define audiences in terms of traditional demographics (gender binaries, etc) instead of complex psychographics- what does it mean to market based on interest, rather than gender? Additionally, women on social media will be more important than ever before: “It turns out that women are really driving the social media revolution…if the case is that social media is dominating old media and women are dominating social media, does that mean that women are going to take over global media?”
Kevin Allocca, Why Videos Go Viral: There’s really nobody more qualified to talk about the viral nature of social media videos than the trends manager of YouTube, someone who spends his days watching videos for a living. Out of the 48 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, only a tiny percentage goes viral. How does that happen? According to Allocca, it’s all about tastemakers, communities of participation, and unexpectedness.
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