One school of thought holds that online video is a vast morass of trivial nothingness, sucking the essence of creativity and drive out of society. All that time spent watching silly stunts and obscene jokes is corrupting those who might otherwise go on a quest for world peace and love. But others hold a different point of view. Online video accelerates innovation. An instantly available video of children dancing in Japan might inspire a group in Los Angeles to innovate new dance moves which are instantly available to the original group in Japan, and so on. In essence it is more like a “global laboratory,” said Chris Anderson. This is the guy behind TED Talks – Ideas, worth spreading.
In Chris Anderson’s view, large human crowds can do cool things when they can collaborate. And one of the best ways to collaborate across the miles is via online video. Tiny and relatively inexpensive Flip cameras bring news from a slum in Kenya where a trash dump was turned into a vegetable garden, feeding several families. This can inspire others and also change perceptions. Online video brings worldwide recognition and possibilities to a juggler or unicyclist in far flung corners of the earth. It creates a global community that can innovate. No other medium has such power. In Anderson’s view, the key elements of “crowd accelerated innovation” are Crowds, Light and Desire. Of those three, Anderson contends that Light requires you to open up to the world and give away your secret so that others may improve upon them. Food for thought.
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