TED began in 1984, long before there was an internet. They brought together cutting edge thinkers in technology, entertainment, and design (hence the name T-E-D) at two conferences each year. The idea was create an annual think tank atmosphere that crossed traditional field boundaries, exposing people to original and creative ideas for innovation and inspiration.
Once the internet evolved and streaming and sharing videos became a reality, TED jumped on the bandwagon. Today, their website, hosts over 900 “Ted Talks” — videos recorded at the annual TED conferences as well as TED Global conferences that occur in countries around the globe. The most popular Ted Talks, like the one below by Ken Robinson, have millions of individual views:
Since it was posted in June 2006, the video has been viewed more than 9.6 million times.
In addition, TEDActive offers a live simulcast each year of the Long Beach conference which is held in Southern California. This allows people to see the conference in real time instead of waiting for individual talks to be posted to the site.
TED also knows how to give the audience what they want. They will sometimes repost videos from other sources that fit within their overall mission, such as the iconic Steve Jobs Commencement Address at Standford.
The video appears on TED at http://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.html.
Most importantly each new posted video generates comments and ratings from viewers, both on the TED site and their Facebook profile.
If sharing video to spark interaction with your customers is your goal, TED is a good model to study.