TED becomes a publishing platform

Joshua Gans doesn’t go to TED either. But, like us, he appreciates Chris Anderson’s publishing innovations. Now lots of people know about TED, especially those who have an Apple TV.

The annual TED conference, held last weekend, used to be a small, exclusive, intimate affair in Monterey California. But it just moved to be a much larger event in Long Beach. It is pricey to attend and, no, I didn’t actually do so. But TED’s history tells us much about how publishing has changed.

(…) TED has become a publisher (curating content and disseminating it) and a publishing platform (a format designed to attract and disseminate more content). The platform is akin to other new forms of publishing such as blogs or tweets. A TED talk is something that can be described and that gives it informational power.

TED could have done the traditional publishing thing — put up walls and sold exclusivity. Instead, it has chosen to embrace the notion that information has the most value when it is shared widely. Perhaps traditional publishers of other forms of media should take note.

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