Vancouver is One Heck of an Innovation Hub and the Presence of TED Proves It

We live in an age of sharing. Things we didn’t share at all before, such as what we ate for lunch, now plaster every virtual wall on the Internet.

There isn’t anything inherently wrong with sharing. And, judging by the traffic to meme sites and funny YouTube videos and kitten-based “listicles,” people have a seemingly insatiable appetite for content, so why not keep spreading it around? But it’s not that simple.

To go viral, content requires substance: a certain quality to it that compels the reader or watcher to inform his circle of peers about it. If it’s a video of a fluffy kitten tumbling off a couch, consuming that media evokes a simple happiness, an emotion the watcher wants his friends to experience, too.

Higher-calibre content, such as long-form journalism or a presentation on stage, is held to a higher standard before being deemed share-worthy—it needs to shock, enrage or inspire the audience profoundly.

When the TED conference was first launched in 1984, American architect and graphic designer Richard Saul Wurman likely did not envision a model built around creating viral videos that would benefit from YouTube. But in hindsight, that’s what he was creating: quality content built to be shared and posted for free online.

Read the rest of this article by Techvibes editor-in-chief Robert Lewis in BCBusiness for free.